Neuroscience Around the Web – Issue 10

Here are some interesting studies I found on the web recently:

Why We Should Be Napping at Work

In our knowledge economy, "an employee’s value is based on their outputs, not their inputs." To produce the highest quality outputs, we need to be well-rested and alert, not just present. Yet most of us are not getting the recommended 7 - 9 hrs. That's where naps at work come in.

Research has shown that naps of 10 to 20 minutes "increase alertness, reduce fatigue and improve performance" and "may be as effective as drugs at reducing blood pressure." It's to the employer's benefit to provide nap spaces.


Calories Are the World's Most Useless Measure 

And have contributed to the obesity epidemic. Not all foods are metabolized the same way meaning that not all calories are equal.

Smart Phone Addiction is Real

The concept is controversial, but it is related to "reductions in academic and work performance, sleep disorders, symptoms of depression and loneliness, declines in wellbeing – and an increased risk of road traffic accidents."

Researchers in Brazil have now found that it leads to poorer decision-making. Just like with "other forms of dependency, including drug and gambling addiction," people with smart phone addiction also show "impaired decision-making in ambiguous situations,but not when the risks associated with making a decision are clearly outlined.

We're Able to Grow New Brain Cells Throughout our Lifespan 

And this continuous supply is connected with learning and memory. "This capacity is called plasticity, which is the brain's ability to form new connections throughout life to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust in response to new input from the environment." 

Important Research on Preventing Breast Cancer 

Restricting your eating window to 8 hrs or so has been shown to prevent breast by lowering blood sugar and insulin levels. Although this experiment specifically studied breast cancer, it may apply to other cancers as well.

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