Does Intermittent Fasting Make You Smarter?

There is no doubt that intermittent fasting–a practice by which one fasts and feeds at set intervals–has helped many practitioners drop fat, but is it also making these folks smarter? Mark Mattson, the chief scientist at the Laboratory of Neurosciences thinks it might. Mattson’s team studied forty mice. Both groups consumed the same number of[…]

6 Easy Steps to Unlock Your Creative Genius

What we refer to as creativity is often referred to as “divergent thinking” by neuroscientists. Divergent thinking is a non-linear thought process that draws on many possible ideas to render an optimal solution (as opposed to convergent thinking, which follows a linear set of logical steps to arrive at one solution). If you want to solve an equation,[…]

Can Pupil Size Predict IQ?

Could IQ–a famous standard of intelligence that has long eluded quantification–be as easy to measure as pupil size? Could the reason why establish a link between norepinephrine and fluid intelligence (and therefore, Mental Mojo consumption–See last paragraph)? Georgia psychologists Jason Tsukahara and colleagues hypothesize affirmatively in a paper they published two months ago. First a little background. Pupils have long been[…]

The 20 Most Common Cognitive Biases

In laymen’s terms, a cognitive bias is a shortcut taken by your brain that leads to illogical conclusions. Cognitive biases arose in the brains of our ancestors, whose environment placed a premium on quick decisions at the cost of accuracy. Today, these biases can still benefit us in certain contexts (e.g. athletic competitions or life and death situations), but[…]

These Psychological/Personality Factors Predict Success

Yale Professor Amy Chua made big waves in academia with her 2014 book The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America. Her theory that three traits–belief in superiority of one’s group, feelings of insecurity, and impulse control–explain the greater success of cultural groups such as Mormons, Nigerians, Persians, East Asians[…]

Why the Human Brain is Shrinking

Fact: our brains are 10% smaller than they were 10,000 to 20,000 years ago. Anthropologists and psychologists across the world have advanced various explanations sharing the common threads discussed below. One driver of brain shrinkage they seem to agree on is domesticity. As this theory’s lead proponent, Bruce Hood of the University of Bristol, explains: “We have been self-domesticating[…]

In Life, Lean In or Lose Out.

Saint Benedict once said: “Daily keep your death before your eyes.”  In May of 2015, luminary Parker Palmer took the stage at Naropa University (an liberal arts college in Boulder, Colorado that emphasizes Buddhist teachings of enlightenment) and gave one of the truest commencement addresses of all time. Echoing the wisdom of Saint Benedict, his[…]