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Tips on how to improve your mind and boost your learning speed, using the latest technologies and cognitive techniques.

Four Steps to Managing Stress: Part Four

By , 8/20/2013 at 8:04 am

Guest Series by Kathy McGurk:

Congratulations, you have made it to the fourth and final step for managing stress. Good news, in this step you will learn to have fun! In Step 1, you successfully identified the major stressors in your life. Step 2 allowed you to focus on changing your unnecessary and controllable stressful feelings, while Step 3 concentrated on the realization and acceptance that some potentially stressful situations are beyond your control, consequently altering your reaction to the stressor became imperative.  If you have completed all of these steps, then you are ready for the final, and the most fun, step. (more…)

Four Steps to Managing Stress: Part Three

By , 8/13/2013 at 8:04 am

Guest Series by Kathy McGurk:

If you’ve been advancing through the 4-step process to better manage your stress, you have officially made it half way! You have identified the major stressors in your life and begun to avoid the unnecessary stressors that are within your control. In the next step, you will continue to learn how to identify and deal with stressful situations that are often times aren’t quite as controllable as those in step 2. Already, you should be feeling a little bit of stress relief and you should be proud of yourself for making it this far, but just imagine how you will feel after completing the full 4-step process. (more…)

Four Steps to Managing Stress: Part Two

By , 8/6/2013 at 8:04 am

Guest Series by Kathy McGurk:

Hopefully after following step 1 of the 4-step process to managing stress, you have adequately pinpointed the real triggers of stress in your life, and are ready to continue moving on in the process. If you were dedicated to finding and acknowledging what really makes you anxious, I know you are committed to further understanding how to rid yourself of the negative these emotions. By sticking to this process, your body and mind will feel exponentially better and you will be able to put more energy into other tasks, instead of stressful emotions. (more…)

Four Steps to Managing Stress: Part One

By , 7/30/2013 at 8:04 am

Guest Series by Kathy McGurk:

We’ve all been there. The moments when we feel in over our head—when our job, our family, our education, or our lives seem like too much to handle—when we are stressed! While stress can often times be a good response–stress keeps us alert, motivated, and energized, all too often it becomes unhealthy and counter-productive.

Stress can take a major toll on our bodies, both physically and emotionally, leaving us with the difficult task of figuring out how to manage it all. While there are many different ways to cope with stress, I have broken the arduous job into 4 easy-to-follow steps that will ultimately help you cut back on the daily anxiety that impacts your well-being. In the next 4 blog posts, I hope to walk you through the 4 steps towards becoming as stress-free as possible. (more…)

Dr. Bill on Memorization – It’s Not a Dirty Word

By , 7/3/2013 at 4:43 pm
We have extolled the virtues of rote memorization many times on this blog. From its benefits for your brain to improving your long term retention, memorization is all sorts of awesome. Unfortunately, in recent times, schools and teachers have been using memorization less and less as an integral learning method in their curriculum. Of course, while project-based and interactive learning projects are great in the classroom, let’s not forget that memorization is a necessary component to fully learn a concept.
Fortunately, thought-leaders like Dr. Bill Klemm, agree that memorization is as important as ever. In his recent blog post Memorization Is Not a Dirty Word, he reminds us that, “In ancient times, people took great pains and pride in memorizing huge quantities of information,” and that, “the advent of printing greatly reduced the need to memorize history and cultural mores. In modern times, we have the Internet, where you can just Google what you need to know. So who needs to get brain-strain trying to remember things?” (We have also written on how Google cannot replace studying when learning a language.)
We loved this post and have shared it below for you to read. There’s plenty more to his argument than ancient vs. modern times. Read on! (more…)

Placebo Effect to Better Grades

By , 5/17/2013 at 7:43 am

Guest Post by Robert Blakey:

Take a sugar capsule which is labelled and marketed as a proven treatment and you may recover from an illness – that’s the traditional placebo effect. Take on the belief that a test’s answers are being displayed subliminally and your test score may improve – that’s the new drug-free placebo effect demonstrated by Ulrich Weger and Stephen Loughnan in a paper published this March. (more…)

How to Control Your Dreams [Infographic]

By , 1/23/2013 at 11:05 am

Sleep and dreaming are two topics we love to discuss on the Brainscape blog. We know that sleep is important for consolidating learning, and, in particular, dreaming’s role in learning in memory is huge. I also know that a great dream is sometimes the most fun I can have all day. So, why not learn how to control our dreams? This phenomenon is known as lucid dreaming, and we’d love to learn how to do it.

Some folks put together a little infographic with tips for learning how to control your dreams. (more…)

Take a Break; Save Your Life

By , 11/27/2012 at 2:41 pm

Guest post from

If you think working overtime, skipping your lunch hour and staying chained to your desk will make you more productive, you need to cut yourself some slack and take a break.

Working non-stop without taking a break can increase your chances of weight gain, heart disease and worse. Staring at a computer screen for more than 2 hours per day can cause Computer Vision Syndrome, a real affliction, which causes blurry vision, headaches, dry eyes and can lead to long-term nearsightedness. However, getting up and away from your desk for just 5 minutes can alleviate eye strain and reduce fatigue in addition to making you feel better. The mere act of standing at your desk instead of sitting at it can help you burn up to 2500 calories per week. Not bad for just standing around.

Work hard and break hard; doing so will make you a healthier, happier and more productive employee. (more…)

Learn To Focus And Improve Your Memory

By , 11/5/2012 at 7:01 am

Guest Post by Julie Bismuth:

As a kid, I wanted superpowers. I wanted them to make life easier, convenient, exciting, and well… “cool”. I remember going to bed hoping I’d wake up with super powers the next day: extra strength, speed, flying, anything. I thought I’d do anything for a superpower. Obviously, that dream faded away once reality kicked in. Yet, ten years later during the high school years, I started dreaming of a new superpower: super memory. Ten years later, that dream hasn’t faded away for one bit. Now the good news is that’s a super power I can create. That’s actually something we can all create. While we’ve already given you an infographic on how memory works and tips on how to improve long-term memory, we share today an article from The Education Blog, teaching us how to train our brains into becoming the “super memory” we all crave for.


In One Ear and Out the Other

By , 10/29/2012 at 7:44 am

I was baby-sitting this week when the boy asked me “Can you tell a joke?”. After focusing for 3 straight minutes, I was able to remember two of the least funny jokes I’ve probably ever heard. That’s when I started wondering: why dont’t we remember the jokes we heard a month ago, a week ago, or that really funny one a co-worker told at lunch today? We remember complicated lyrics, movie scenes, funny SNL skits, stories, but jokes (and more specifically the good ones) always seem to disappear like information our brains will no longer grant us access to. We’ve already discussed how looking back can help improve one’s memory and suggested apps that could strengthen your cognitive abilities. Today we share a fascinating article by Natalie Angier from The New York Times, explaining how our brains will process jokes differently than any other types of information, tremendously impacting our cognitive abilities.


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