March 19, 2014

Another Day, Another Way #ilovemybrain


Photo credit: Brian Dys Sahagun

With brains being so complex, it’s perhaps best to simplify the rules on how to love your brain as much as possible. No. 1: Wear a helmet – naysayers aside, it’s the best brain insurance policy currently available. No. 2: Eat your blueberries. Smoothies, muffins, pancakes, or popsicles – whatever format your blueberry love takes, the little berry has been determined to get top marks in retaining good brain function. No. 3: Do your neurofeedback?

Well, research is  still on the fence regarding the effectivity of games at sites like that try to retrain and improve your brain. It seems that we may get better at the games via familiarity rather than increased intelligence.

Study results are a bit more positive on neurofeedback, which is a type of biofeedback that teaches ‘self regulation’ by helping people recognize and replicate when they are producing certain types of brain waves. Research is beginning to show that neurofeedback can improve attention and focus in children with ADHD; serve as part of a therapeutic approach to depression; and even improve memory ‘consolidation’. This is in addition to neurofeedback’s promising benefits for people with brain injuries.

And the main reason we like it? One researcher, Dr. Michael Persinger, experimented with neurofeedback as a way to feel God. Persinger’s sensors initiating divine feelings in subjects are attached to…what else?…an old helmet. (Unfortunately Swedish researchers have not been able to replicate Persinger’s results.)