Brain Boosts

A recent article1 has presented some of the most recent research methods for boosting the performance of the brain. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is one of these methods. The current is very small, from 1 to 2 milliamps. This method is much safer than other types of brain simulation as tDCS does not cause neurons to fire directly. It must makes the neurons more excitable. When tCDS is applied over the right parietal lobe of the brain, mathematical ability is boosted. When it is applied to the right anterior temporal lobe, visual perception and memory is boosted. Bear in mind that tCDS is still in a research mode. You cannot go to your doctor or educator and request tCDS to boost the brain of yourself or your child. But is do, blue es offer the possibility of that potential for the future.

Musical training is another method for boosting the performance of the brain. The primary auditory region involved in hearing can be boosted by musical training. The primary motor area involved in fine motor control can be boosted by musical training. Bear in mind that a music lesson will not suffice here. This is a matter of prolonged and intensive musical training.

Perhaps the simplest means of boosting the brain is by turning on the lights, bright lights. The article reports research in which people with normal vision were given a variety of test while exposed to bright light during the day. Performance in visual searches, mathematics, logical reasoning and reaction time all improved with exposure to bright light. Brain scans have revealed that just a few seconds of light exposure activates an area in the brain stem, the Locus Coeruleus, that play a role in alertness. Moreover, blue light appears to be more effective in sustaining cognitive performance than green light.

With respect to diet, the flavonoids appear to be effective brain boosters, specifically the hippocampus, which is essential to effective memory. The flavonoids are found in fruits such as blueberries and blackcurrants, and also in cocoa, green tea, and red wine. (BDNF) BDNF stimulates the growth of axons linking one brain cell to another.

Regarding exercise, numerous studies have shown that moderate exercise can slow age-related cognitive decline. A study done at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign showed that daily walking improved executive functions such as planing and abstract thinking in younger adults. It is thought that physical activity might spur the growth of neurons in regions important to memory, such as the hippocampus, and improve activity in areas responsible for executive function. It is thought that BDNF is involved here along with the vascular endothelial growth actor (VEGF), which aids blood vessel growth.

Meditation is another method for boosting the brain. You can find meditation discussed in the Healthymemory Blog Post “The Relaxation Response.”

1Thomson, H. (2010).Mental Floss , 2 October, 28-32,

© Douglas Griffith and, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Douglas Griffith and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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