Tag Archives: brain

After watching this, your brain will not be the same

After watching this, your brain will not be the same

Dr. Lara Boyd | TEDxVancouver

Published on Dec 15, 2015

In a classic research-based TEDx Talk, Dr. Lara Boyd describes how neuroplasticity gives you the power to shape the brain you want.

Our knowledge of the brain is evolving at a breathtaking pace, and Dr. Lara Boyd is positioned at the cutting edge of these discoveries. In 2006, she was recruited by the University of British Columbia to become the Canada Research Chair in Neurobiology and Motor Learning. Since that time she has established the Brain Behaviour Lab, recruited and trained over 40 graduate students, published more than 80 papers and been awarded over $5 million in funding.

Dr. Boyd’s efforts are leading to the development of novel, and more effective, therapeutics for individuals with brain damage, but they are also shedding light on broader applications. By learning new concepts, taking advantage of opportunities, and participating in new activities, you are physically changing who you are, and opening up a world of endless possibility.

Brain Plasticity in Children with Learning Disabilities

Dr. Lara Boyd: Brain Plasticity in Children with Learning Disabilities

Published on Nov 6, 2014

Dr. Lara Boyd speaking at the Neuroplasticity and Education: Strengthening the Connection conference presented by The Eaton Educational Group at the Four Seasons Hotel on October 24th, 2014.

How do we learn? And why do some of us learn things more easily than others?
These are some of the questions that have driven Dr. Lara Boyd, a brain researcher at the University of British Columbia, to better understand the inner workings of the brain. In her Ted Talk, “After Watching This, Your Brain Will Not Be The Same,” Boyd describes how neuroplasticity gives you the power to shape the brain you want.
She notes that the knowledge we were once given about the brain is either incomplete or entirely incorrect.

What we know about the brain is changing at a breathtaking pace, and much of what we thought we knew and understood about the brain turns out to be not true, or incomplete. Now some of these misconceptions are more obvious than others. For example, we used to think that after childhood the brain did not, really could not change. And it turns out that nothing can be farther than the truth.

Another misconception about the brain is that you only use parts of it at any given time and silent when you do nothing. Well, this is also untrue. It turns out that even when you are at a rest, and thinking of nothing, your brain is highly active.

Boyd notes that technological advances like MRI have given her the tools to make such discoveries, as well as many others. But the most intriguing fact regarding the brain she has come across thus far is that, every time you learn a new fact or skill, your brain changes. This is called neuroplasticity.
Boyd says that there are three contributing aspects of neuroplastic change: chemical, structural, and functional:

So your brain can change in three very basic ways to support learning. And the first is chemical. So brain actually functions by transferring chemicals signals between brain cells, what we call neurons, and this triggers series of actions and reactions. So to support learning your brain can increase the amount of the concentrations of these chemical signaling that’s taking place between neurons. Now because this kind of change can happen rapidly, this supports short term memory or the short term improvement in the performance of a motor skill.

The second way that the brain can change to support learning is by altering its structure. So during learning the brain can change the connections between neurons. Now here the physical structure of the brain is actually changing so this takes a bit more time. These types of changes are related to the long term memory, the long term improvement in a motor skill. . . .

Now the last way that your brain can change to support learning is by altering its function. As you use a brain region it becomes more and more excitable and easy to use again. And as your brain has these areas that increase their excitability the brain shifts how and when they are activated. With learning we see that whole networks of brain activity are shifting and changing.

Perhaps even more intriguing is that, according to Boyd, these three aspects that are happening across the entire brain can occur in isolation from one another, as well as, and more commonly, in unison. And together, they support learning, and are happening all the time.
And so, we must come to terms with the astonishing reality that the human brain is not just incredibly malleable in infancy, but well into old age as well. This exciting knowledge takes away so many judgements and boundaries we have created.
Norman Doidge, M.D., a Canadian-born psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and author of The Brain That Changes Itself and The Brain’s Way of Healing, has been fascinated by the very same topic as Boyd. “The brain is a far more open system than we ever imagined, and nature has gone very far to help us perceive and take in the world around us. It has given us a brain that survives in a changing world by changing itself,” he says.
But if we know how neuroplastic our brain is, why can’t we learn anything we choose with ease? Why don’t we succeed at everything? Why is it so easy to forget things?
Boyd says there is no one size fits all for these answers, as our individual uniqueness can determine the impact of interventions.

…neuroplastcity can work both ways. It can be positive, you learn something new and you refine the motor skill. And it also can be negative though, you forgot something you once knew, you become addicted to drugs, maybe you have chronic pain. So your brain is tremendously plastic and it’s being shaped both structurally and functionally by everything you do, but also by everything that you don’t do


How the food you eat affects your brain

How the food you eat affects your brain

By Mia Nacamulli Published on Jun 21, 2016

View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-the-foo…

When it comes to what you bite, chew and swallow, your choices have a direct and long-lasting effect on the most powerful organ in your body: your brain. So which foods cause you to feel so tired after lunch? Or so restless at night? Mia Nacamulli takes you into the brain to find out.


20 Foods To Naturally Increase Your Brain Power

1. Olive oil

Rich in polyphenols, which are powerful brain protective antioxidants.

2. Coconut oil

Enhances the ability of the brain’s neurons to use energy while at the same time reducing the production of damaging free radicals.

Provides saturated fat — a vital nutrient for the integrity and function of brain cellmembranes.

3. Wild salmon

A terrific natural source of the omega-3 oil DHA. DHA plays a pivotal role in maintaining the health of brain cells and actually helps to stimulate the growth of brain cells in the brain’s memory center.

4. Blueberries

Power-packed with brain-protective antioxidants. Blueberries also help to reduce inflammation, a cornerstone of virtually all brain degenerative disorders.

5. Turmeric

Acts to turn on the parts of our DNA that help reduce inflammation. The important role of turmeric in brain health has been described in the Vedic texts dating back more than 3,000 years.

6. Eggs

Rich in choline, the precursor chemical for acetylcholine, one of the most fundamental neurotransmitters. In addition, eggs contain cholesterol, an important component of brain cell membranes as well as serving as a brain-protective antioxidant.

7. Dandelion greens

Rich in prebiotic fiber, the specific type of fiber that helps nurture the growth of brain supportive gut bacteria.

8. Walnuts

Rich in a variety of nutrients to support brain health including vitamin E, omega-3 fats, copper, manganese, and fiber for brain supportive gut bacteria.

9. Exercise

I had to put it on the list. Call it a “food for the soul” if you wish. Aerobic exercise turns on the genes that make BDNF (a growth and protective hormone) that targets brain cells.

10. Asparagus

Rich in prebiotic fiber to support brain-healthy gut bacteria. Asparagus is high in anti-inflammatory nutrients and folate.

11. Kimchi

A traditional Korean fermented dish that’s loaded with healthful probiotic bacteria, which promotes brain health.

12. Jicama

One of the best sources of prebiotic fiber. Jicama, also known as Mexican yam, is high in vitamin B6, folate, and vitamin E.

13. Kale

great low-carb vegetable that’s rich in vitamins C, K, and A, as well as potassium and iron.

14. Broccoli

High in sulfurophane, a chemical that aids in detoxification, reduction of inflammation, and control of damaging free radicals.

15. Avocado

High in monounsaturated fats to protect brain cells. Avocado oil has been shown to help maintain healthy blood pressure levels.

16. Red wine

Rich in polyphenols that may actually boost brain blood flow.

17. Dark chocolate

Like red wine, also rich in polyphenols.

18. Spinach

Rich in brain-protective antioxidants along with vitamin K, folate, and lutein.

19. Almonds

Like fatty fish, almonds have high levels of brain-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and lots of brain-protecting vitamin E.

20. Pumpkin seeds

A rich source of zinc, a mineral that plays an important role in memory and overall brain function.


Tinnitus: Ringing in the Brain

Tinnitus: Ringing in the Brain

Josef Rauschecker | TEDxCharlottesville

Published on Jan 23, 2017

In this talk Josef Rauschecker illuminates the science behind tinnitus as well as the current state of treatment options.

Josef Rauschecker has 35 years of experience in systems and cognitive neuroscience, more than 25 years of experience in animal electrophysiology, and upwards of 15 years of experience with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). At Georgetown University Medical Center, he helped create the first human fMRI research facility. He has also held visiting appointments at several institutions, including Harvard Medical School, and has been the recipient of a Humboldt Award and a Finland Distinguished Professorship.

Laboratory of Integrative Neuroscience and Cognition