nicolejb
2 years ago10,000+ Views
5 Things We Learned About the Brain In 2015
I've been doing a lot of lists from this year, 15 Good Things that Happen in 2015, 10 Tech Innovations from 2015, but this one is probably my favorite.
Because psychologists and scientists are research even more about humans and it's pretty incredible what they can learn about the human mind and behavior. And it looks like we can link some of what we assume is goof for us, and real science.

1. Smartphones are crazy distracting

According to a study in University of Florida "cognitive failures" arise because of smartphones. These from forgetfulness, running into things, missing appoints or scheduled event. Their suggestion? Turn off your phone during important meetings, events, and at night.
Or as my mom would suggest, "Turn off your phone at the table! You never listen"

2. Pollution is bad for the human brain

We know it's bad for the body, but what does pollution mean for the brain? A recent study showed that small increases in exposure to pollution were linked to decreases in white matter in the brain. White matter is essentially the brain growing so in other words, exposure to environmental toxins causes "shrinking" of the brain.
"Please try to get out of the city every once and a while. It's good for your health." -Mom

3. Eating more Bacteria can actually be good for your mood (and brain).

Huffington post said, "the brain-gut connection has been another major theme in neuroscience and psychology research over the past couple of years." Studies suggest that a healthy gut and more good bacteria in the gut, can bring about a reduce in anxiety and depression.
"I told you to eat more yogurt. Probiotics are so happy for your tummy." -Mom

4. Sleep is critical for emotional intelligence.

A University of California, Berkeley study found that loss of sleep impairs emotional judgment. What is emotions judgment you ask? Well it's your ability to accurately read the emotions of others which is a HUGE part of emotional intelligence.
"You never get enough sleep! I don't care how busy you are you need sleep to feel better!" -Mom

5. Nature is good for your mental health.

Apparently outdoor strolls reduced obsessive, negative thoughts that characterize depression. In a study by Stanford, entitled benefits of nature experience: Improved affect and cognition, it states that even just a little time daily outside can improve overall mood.
"Go outside you spend way too much time inside! You'll be happy you did!" -Mom

So to sum up, listen to your mom or parental guardians. Their theories about stuff were all correct, science says so. What's your favorite thing we learned this year?

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Our brains are so incredible, aren't they? So reading that about sleep, think about how damaging narcolepsy can be to those of us who wrestle with it. :( I have a really cool (awful?) video to share later about narco for you, @nicolejb.
2 years ago·Reply
Ohhh I'd love to see that @ButterflyBlu! It's interesting because every other science journal says "sleep sleep sleep!" but too much sleep can be bad too.
2 years ago·Reply
@nicolejb @ButterflyBlu I've been away so am way late with comments, but yeah I definitely perform better on less sleep than too much. I've had insomnia since I can remember but get extreme lethargy after too much 'catch up' sleep over a few consecutive days when I finally crash out. I get a similar reaction anytime I eat a meal-sized feed, which is not ideal during the day. My body is really responsive like that & if I challenge those 2 things, it just lays me out like that *click fingers*. Staying on top of 'not too little, not too much' regarding both good & bad is a daily job. Lol.
2 years ago·Reply
YES @MissB82 exactly my problem too. I won't sleep during the week and then "catch up" during the weekend, but it just makes me feel worse. It's sort've like an experiment, everyone is different, but it's SO important to create a sleep schedule and internal clock.
2 years ago·Reply
oh wow that was a good one
4 months ago·Reply
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