• What I Learned From Prison Inmates

    The other day, I spent my morning volunteering an the San Quentin prison with a program called The Last Mile. As Wired recently reported, this nonprofit seeks to help inmates prepare to get a job on the outside. I was as shocked as anybody when a friend of mine called up asking me to teach advanced […]

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  • What Make The Game of “Go” So Hard to Learn?

    This weekend, a friend of mine brought a “Go” board to a party. I’d heard a lot about this notoriously complex and ancient game. Most recently, it was in the news because a computer finally beat a master Go player. This triumph of computer programming illustrates just how hard Go is. Computers were regularly beating […]

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  • The Lost Art of Compilation for Authors and Students

    There is an essential skill which many of us have lost. This loss is a symptom of how easy it is to publish. Or tweet. Blog. Snap. Broadcast. Record. Our filters have dropped. We say what is on our minds and hope for a “like.” Really, our ancestors were no different. They wanted the same social approval. […]

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  • For Long-Term Memory, Sleep On It


    Sleep is important for a lot of reasons, but one reason is its role in learning and memory. Scientists have known for some time now that memory doesn’t function as well without proper rest, but the reasons for this are just now starting to be revealed. New research sheds light on the mechanism of how […]

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  • A Game to Battle Depression With Friends

    Games are an untapped source for social good. There are some examples of “good games.” Duolingo teaches foreign languages. Neuroracer helps prevent cognitive decline. I’ve written about many other such examples around this blog. But I’m also a game designer by training, so it was inevitable that I’d try to create a socially-inspired game eventually. Inspiration […]

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  • Cut Out Sugar for a Healthy Hippocampus


    Sugar has come under fire for a number of health reasons, but a new study shows the direct effects sugar can have on the brain – and it’s not good for mental health. The research shows that consumption of sugar can have more damaging effects than trauma has on the hippocampus early in life. Stressors and […]

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  • Retain Information by Making Rewarding Memories


    How does our brain decide what memories are important? How does it determine the information that is worth storing accurately? New neuroscience research shows that memories associated with a higher reward are reinforced and prioritized, while other memories take a back seat. Memories are prioritized based on rewards  It has been known for some time […]

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  • For A Fit Brain, Choose Running Over CrossFit


    You’ve probably heard that exercising is good for your brain as well as your body. But not all exercise is created equal. A new study shows that aerobic exercise (like running) is better than anaerobic exercise (like weight lifting) when it comes to improving learning and memory. Exercise is good for your brain Over the […]

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  • Hand Writing Can Make You Smarter

    hand writing

    Whether you’re in a lecture, workshop, or you’re trying to learn something new through a how-to book, you will probably be jotting down notes about what you’re learning. Are you jotting them on a piece of paper, or typing them in a word file? Science says that hand writing is the way to turn note-taking […]

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