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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Secrets of You Brain: Post #4--Using it

Using Your Brainpower. In “Keeping Your Mind Sharp,” no real surprises but worth noting: exercising 3 times a week can stave off depression; sprinting followed by a reduced pace 4 times during your workout will up your spirits for the day; engaging the mind in play, music, puzzles, and work (especially in elderly) make for healthier minds; oh, yeah, and did I mention the effects of regular exercise?? “The Hyperactive Advantage” discusses how in people with ADHD (and the numbers seem to be growing from 3-5% to more like 7-9%) the center that controls the emotional and physical part of the brain is not working as well as it should be. Thus, the executive center, the prefrontal cortex (which controls planning, organizing and focusing attention), gets inhibited resulting in the typically scattered ADHD manifestations. And while the traditional classroom is the worst place for these folks, nontraditional, hands-on venues work better. The big advantage for ADHDers seems to be their capacity for creativity. In fact, researchers found that the negative descriptors for ADHD were identical to the positive descriptors for “creative” people! And don’t forget that Shakespeare, Picasso, Mozart and Einstein displayed childlike qualities that could now be interpreted as ADHD.

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