Karla Lant is an experienced freelance writer, journalist, editor, and adjunct professor. She focuses on science, technology, politics, education, and technical writing. Browse by publication below.
Social media is everywhere, and like any new technology, a new generation of parents worry about how being on social media platforms affects children. In particular, people seem to worry about social media making us stupid, or causing our language to deteriorate, as we learn to communicate in shorter bursts, and with emoticons and gifs rather than wordy passages.
What would you give for a chance to remember lost memories? If you were suffering from Alzheimer’s disease (AD), probably a lot. For some time researchers have speculated about whether the disease really destroys memories, or whether it instead might just lock them away, preventing us from recalling them. New research with mice and lasers suggests that the latter scenario might be the case.
A new study involving mice reveals that EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), green tea’s super ingredient, is even more powerful than we thought. EGCG is the most biologically active component and abundant catechin in green tea, and the new research shows that it may alleviate insulin resistance caused by high-fat and fructose levels, also called HFFD-induced insulin resistance, as well as cognitive impairment.
If you’re trying to learn something new, a recent study suggests that unwinding with a few drinks after studying could help improve your brain’s ability to retain the information you just went to the trouble to learn.
Can games help you train your brain? The jury is out, but several groups of scientists and startups are hard at work trying to prove that they can. This week Lauren Goode at The Verge reported on three of them, and on the controversy of prescription video games.
It’s no surprise that many people accept the power of music to improve their mood. Classical music therapy is grounded mostly in the social sciences like psychology, however. It has been constrained by the assumption that if music is helping you, the difference is in your mind, not your brain. In other words, there is an assumption that music triggers emotions that in turn affect the mood, just like anything else can trigger emotions and feelings of well-being.
Entrepreneurs, creatives, and leaders all know what it feels like to experience “flow,” that feeling of intense focus that is extremely high-energy, yet calm enough to be productive. This distilled form of engagement is a lot like losing yourself in an activity by focusing on it intently. For adults with ADHD, this feeling of total immersion, falling down a rabbit hole, is nothing new; this is one of our basic operational modes.
Have you ever had an experience you wished you could just erase from your mind completely? “Yes”, probably, yet if I asked you if you learned from that experience and if it helped shaped you into the person you are today, you’d say yes again.
Motivation really is all in your mind. It happens when your brain releases dopamine that gets to the “nucleas accumbens,” or reward center of the brain. Dopamine in the reward center triggers action in your brain: it forces your brain to assess a situation and decide whether what’s about to happen it good or bad.