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Optimizing Brain Fitness I The Great Courses

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Paths are the best way to keep exploring content you're interested in. We'll create a stream of content for you filled with the best videos related to “Optimizing Brain Fitness I The Great Courses”.

Learn More: http://bit.ly/TGC_Home_Page With its up to 500 trillion synaptic connections, your brain is easily the most powerful machine in the world. These connections are what create your thoughts, what drive your emotions, and what control your behaviors. Even more incredibly: This amazing machine is constantly changing through a process known as brain plasticity. And you can take advantage of this process to improve and enhance your brain's jaw-dropping powers—at any age. Brain plasticity, the secret to optimizing your brain's fitness, is one of the most revolutionary discoveries in modern neuroscience. While it was traditionally thought that our brains were fully formed by adulthood, the truth is that our life experiences continually shape and mold our brains in fascinating ways. In fact, optimal brain fitness is the gateway to improvement in a range of areas, including: memory; attention and focus; learning and creativity; and sensory acuity and fine motor skills. Now, discover the secrets to increasing and expanding your brain's power to meet everyday challenges and enhance the quality of your life with Optimizing Brain Fitness, an engaging 12-lecture course that shows you how to take advantage of the basic principles of brain operation and build the brain you want to live with for the rest of your life. Delivered by Dr. Richard Restak, an award-winning teacher, practicing neurologist, and professor at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, these lectures are packed with vital information and research-based exercises you can perform every day to tap into your hidden mental potential.
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Acclaimed neuroscientist Tali Sharot visits the RSA to explain the biological bias of optimism, and its effect on our lives and societies. Listen to the podcast of the full talk: http://www.thersa.org/events/audio-and-past-events/2012/the-optimism-bias
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Flow is technically defined as an optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and we perform our best. Steven Kotler runs through the neuroanatomic shifts that make it possible. If your guess is that the brain somehow works harder or faster during flow states, you may be surprised to learn that everything actually slows down thanks to what's called transient hypofrontality. Read more at BigThink.com: http://goo.gl/O8uR Follow Big Think here: YouTube: http://goo.gl/CPTsV5 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BigThinkdotcom Twitter: https://twitter.com/bigthink Transcript: Flow is technically defined as an optimal state of consciousness. A state of consciousness where we feel our best and we perform our best. It refers to those moments of total absorption when we get so focused on the task at hand that everything else disappears. So our sense of self, our sense of self-consciousness, they vanish. Time dilates which means sometimes it slows down. You get that freeze frame effect familiar to any of you who have seen the matrix or been in a car crash. Sometimes it speeds up and five hours will pass by in like five minutes. And throughout all aspects of performance, mental and physical, go through the roof. Underneath the flow state is a complicated mass of neurobiology. There are fundamental changes in neuroanatomy – which is where in the brain something’s taking place, neurochemistry and neuroelectricity which is the two ways the brain communicates with itself. The most prominent of this is the neuroanatomical changes. So the old idea about ultimate performance - “flow” is what’s known as the ten percent brain myth. The idea that we’re only using ten percent of our brain at any one time so ultimate performance must obviously be the full brain firing on all cylinders. And it turns out we had it exactly backwards. In flow parts of the brain aren’t becoming more hyperactive, they’re actually slowing down, shutting down. The technical term for this is transient, meaning temporary, hypo frontality. Hypo – H – Y – P – O – it’s the opposite of hyper means to slow down, to shut down, to deactivate. And frontality is the prefrontal cortex, the part of your brain that houses your higher cognitive functions, your sense of morality, your sense of will, your sense of self. All that shuts down so, for example, why does time pass so strangely in flow? Because David Eagleman discovered that time is calculated all over the prefrontal cortex. When parts of it start to wink out we can no longer separate past from present from future and we’re plunged into what researchers call the deep now. Transient hypofrontality is interesting. It was discovered back in the nineties and it had a very negative connotation, it was found in schizophrenics and drug addicts. And then in the early two thousands Aaron Dietrich who was then at Georgia Tech discovered or hypothesized that transient hypofrontality actually underpins every altered state – dreaming, meditation, flow, drug addiction – it doesn’t really matter. And then in 2007, 2008 Charles Limb at Johns Hopkins working with first jazz musicians and second with rappers was looking at flow in those contexts and found that the prefrontal cortex was shutting down as well. Though depending on the altered state you get different parts are shut down. Like in flow one of the most prominent examples is the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex. It shuts down in flow. This is the part of the brain that houses your inner critic, that nagging defeatist always on voice in your head turns off in flow. And as a result we feel this is liberation right. We are finally getting out of our own way. We’re free of ourselves. Creativity goes up. Risk taking goes up and we feel amazing. The project at the Flow Genome Project – my mission for the past 15 years has been sort of to reclaim flow research from the hippie community, from the new age community and put it back on a really hard science footing. And really what that took was flow research has been going on continuously at kind of both here in the United State and Europe all over. And it really just took synthesizing all the information and bringing it together and putting it on a hard and neurobiological footing. [TRANSCRIPT TRUNCATED]
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Learn More: http://bit.ly/TGC_Home_Page Everything that goes on inside your body and every interaction you have with the outside world is controlled by your brain. It allows you to cope masterfully with your everyday environment. It is capable of producing breathtaking athletic feats, sublime works of art, and profound scientific insights. It also produces the enormous range of emotional responses that can take us from the depths of depression to the heights of euphoria. Considering everything the brain does, how can this relatively small mass of tissue possibly be the source of our personalities, dreams, thoughts, sensations, utterances, and movements? Understanding the Brain, a 36-lecture course by award-winning Professor Jeanette Norden of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, takes you inside this astonishingly complex organ and shows you how it works, from the gross level of its organization to the molecular level of how cells in the brain communicate. With its combination of neurology, biology, and psychology, this course will help you understand how we perceive the world through our senses, how we move, how we learn and remember, and how emotions affect our thoughts and actions.
01:29:54
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Google Tech Talks June 16, 2008 ABSTRACT Explore the brain's amazing ability to change throughout a person's life. This phenomenon—called neuroplasticty—is the science behind brain fitness, and it has been called one of the most extraordinary scientific discoveries of the 20th century. PBS had recently aired this special, The Brain Fitness Program, which explains the brain's complexities in a way that both scientists and people with no scientific background can appreciate. This is opportunity to learn more about how our minds work—and to find out more about the latest in cutting-edge brain research, from the founder of Posit Science and creator of the Brain Fitness Program software, Dr. Michael Merzenich. Speaker: Dr. Michael Merzenich, Ph.D. Michael M. Merzenich, PhD: Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Merzenich leads the company's scientific team. For more than three decades, Dr. Merzenich has been a leading pioneer in brain plasticity research. He is the Francis A. Sooy Professor at the Keck Center for Integrative Neurosciences at UCSF. Dr. Merzenich is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including the Ipsen Prize, Zulch Prize of the Max Planck Institute, Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award and Purkinje Medal. Dr. Merzenich has published more than 200 articles, including many in leading peer-reviewed journals, such as Science and Nature. His work is also often covered in the popular press, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time and Newsweek. He has appeared on Sixty Minutes II, CBS Evening News and Good Morning America. In the late 1980s, Dr. Merzenich was on the team that invented the cochlear implant, now distributed by market leader Advanced Bionics. In 1996, Dr. Merzenich was the founding CEO of Scientific Learning Corporation (Nasdaq: SCIL), which markets and distributes software that applies principles of brain plasticity to assist children with language learning and reading. He is an inventor on more than 50 patents. Dr. Merzenich earned his BS degree at the University of Portland and his PhD at Johns Hopkins.
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Whether search engines like Google and Bing make you stupider or smarter is largely up to you, explains psychiatrist Gary Small during Big Think's Farsight 2011 event.