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brain function

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Video: Exercise Can Change Your Brain

Working out boosts your mood and memory.

Watch neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki as she discusses the life-changing benefits of physical activity on the most important organ in your body--your brain! You will be inspired by watching this short, fascinating video!

PositiveTip: Take a 30 minute walk every day for your heart and brain!

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Your Brain Prefers Junk Food!

Sadly, the human brain naturally prefers high caloric-density foods.

Researchers showed pictures of different foods to healthy participants. They had to predict the caloric content of each food and bid what they'd pay for their favorite food.  During bidding, researchers scanned the area of participant's brains that helps evaluate food value. Both brain activity and bid amounts were highest for high-calorie foods. Participants were poor calorie estimators, so researchers believe the brain's preferences are built implicitly through experience of what fills us up efficiently.

PositiveTip: Train your brain to prefer tasty, but lower-energy foods.

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Teen Exercise May Improve Brain Efficiency

Fit teen’s brains have improved white matter to aid attention and memory.

A new study examining 24 students aged 9 and 10 found that physically fit teens had better developed white matter than less fit teens. White matter connects different brain regions. Researchers monitored white matter connecting attention and memory brain regions and hypothesize that “children with higher fitness levels may have faster neural conduction between brain regions important for cognitive control”.

PositiveTip: Keep your teens physically active so their muscles and brain matter will both develop.

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Low Vitamin B12 Levels in Older Adults May Lead to Low Cognition

Low levels of B12 may affect global cognitive scores in older adults.

Insufficient vitamin B12 is common in the older population due to decreased absorbtion, medications, or dietary changes such as limiting dairy and egg consumption. Chicago researchers followed a group of older adults for five years and found that low B12 levels may contribute to cognitive problems in multiple ways. This observational study did not say whether increasing B12 would prevent or reverse cognitive effects.

PositiveTip: For optimal health and brain function we all need adequate vitamin B12, either from dietary sources or from a supplement.

Magnets, Morality and the Human Soul

The National Academy of Sciences recently reported that you can impair someone's ability to make moral judgments by applying a powerful magnetic field through the skull to the right temporo-parietial junction (TPJ) of the brain. This research confirms that moral capacity functions in the brain, and makes us ask: Is there such a thing as a separate soul? 

The human brain.