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Category: Human Potential

  • Language switchers are brain trainers

    Language switchers are brain trainers

    Olga Boer | | 0
    If you can read this while English is not your mother tongue, then you are part of the increasing amount of bilinguals in the world. But did you know that speaking multiple languages can improve your executive functioning skills?
  • Work out while resting

    Work out while resting

    Marc Werner, Jan Rabeneck | | 0
    Relaxing on the couch and playing video games, or just using the smartphone, is far more enjoyable after a hard working day than doing fitness activities. But there may be a new trend: Exergames, can this help you get rid of motivational problems?
  • Tint your performance

    Tint your performance

    Fabienne Reher | | 0
    White walls, grey desks, black monitors and dark blue carpets - If that’s the description of your workplace you should prick up your ears - and open your eyes! How about tinting your room and equally “tint” your working performance to reach higher levels?
  • Brain for breakfast

    Brain for breakfast

    Lisa Marie Kraushaar | | 0
    Glucose is known as a type of sugar which functions for the brain as fuel. You can deliver glucose with a rich breakfast. But how can eating breakfast possibly help us to boost our brain?
  • In praise of uncertainty

    In praise of uncertainty

    Research suggests we should embrace uncertainty and seek challenges wherever possible in order to improve mental capabilities and prevent cognitive decline. That does not fit with the zeitgeist: uncertainty makes nervous and anxious. Here's the plan.
  • Brains? Consider the gut!

    Brains? Consider the gut!

    Hippocrates once said “All disease begins in the gut”. Recent studies suggest even disorders seen as psychological or neurological may actually be related to your gut. Here’s why we should pay more attention to the link between the gut and the brain.
  • The beats that help you multitasking

    The beats that help you multitasking

    Many people say that listening to binaural beats (auditory illusions) help them to concentrate and be more focused. A new study tested whether binaural beats makes you better in multitasking. What is the mechanism behind this phenomenon?
  • But first, coffee.

    But first, coffee.

    Pauline van der Wel | | 1
    Although findings on the cognitive enhancing properties of caffeine are mixed, under certain conditions consuming caffeine may be beneficial on the short- and long-term. I here provide you with 3 good reasons to drink coffee from a cognitive perspective.
  • A food supplement to influence social behavior?!

    A food supplement to influence social behavior?!

    Tryptophan (TRP) is one of the most investigated amino-acids and can increase serotonin levels in the brain. For this, numerous studies have investigated the influence of TRP administration on social behavior, which we review in our recent publication.
  • Eat nuts to not go nuts!

    Eat nuts to not go nuts!

    Janna Kullmann | | 0
    Nuts are well known for its healthy fats, nutrients and vitamins but how can eating nuts possibly help us to boost our memory functions and recover memory ability in case of dementia?
  • They might be giants

    They might be giants

    Christian Funke | | 0
    A vast number of high protein foods, which promise to support the muscle growth, are very common among bodybuilders. But could those dietary supplements even have the potential to influence the brain function?
  • How a staring contest with your dog can improve your human-dog-bond

    How a staring contest with your dog can improve your human-dog-bond

    Miriam Wild | | 1
    Human-dog-bonds sometimes seem to be comparable to human relationships. A reason for this could be that dogs copy our human communication style, which makes us even love them more. So what exactly do they do and how can you improve your bond with your dog?
  • Why do we conform?

    Why do we conform?

    Conformity is commonly explained in terms of social pressure. But social factors may not be necessary to produce conformity: people may simply confuse memories of own behavior with the behavior of others, and then reproduce mental “averages" thereof.
  • Running makes you smart, period.

    Running makes you smart, period.

    Saskia Heijnen | | 0
    Several mechanisms make sure the right substances in your brain are released when you are running, synergizing to improve for instance memory performance. But how does this work?
  • Beat your way to better concentration

    Beat your way to better concentration

    Hayley Barone | | 0
    Some people swear listening to music while studying or working helps them focus better; others say music just serves as a distraction. What if there were a special type of music that would increase everyone’s productivity? Enter binaural beats.
  • The fountain of Youth: Videogames!

    The fountain of Youth: Videogames!

    Vera Williams | | 0
    Our brain’s cognitive capacity deteriorates from the onset of 20 years of age. But no fear, this decline can be countered. The cure possibly lies within an unexpected field: videogames.
  • Eating your way out to longevity and well-being

    Eating your way out to longevity and well-being

    Within twenty years Europe will face a situation where the largest population cohort will be those over the age of 65. Can food supplementations slow down, and (partially) compensate for the negative consequences associated with getting older?
  • Improved learning without extra effort?

    Improved learning without extra effort?

    Mattanja Pauw, Maxim Allaart | | 3
    The popularity of online lectures increases daily but is it as effective as we think? Students easily lose track when there is no interaction. Frequent testing of students has shown to improve retention of information.
  • Better food – better prisoners?

    Better food – better prisoners?

    Kim Nolte | | 0
    How enhanced nutrition influences behavior. By enhancing the diet of prisoners, a more sociable behavior may be implemented.
  • How to not be anthropomorphized

    How to not be anthropomorphized

    Saskia Heijnen | | 0
    If I anthropomorphize an avatar after a simple chat, how far does this anthropomorphism stretch? And, how can you avoid being victimized by my anthropomophisation-beam, if at all?
  • Prenatal music as neurogenesis enhancer

    Prenatal music as neurogenesis enhancer

    Elisabetta Orsini | | 0
    The ability to respond and to enjoy music seems to be innate. Could music have an impact on the cognitive development and consequently on the cognitive functions in developing infants?
  • How to run away from your problems

    How to run away from your problems

    Saskia Heijnen | | 1
    The runner finds his exercise fun and relaxing, yet the body’s stress response is activated.This makes sense from an evolutionary perspective: running after your meal or running to not become one is stressful. How can it be that the runner isn't stressed?
  • Do you want to improve your brain? Become a hipster.

    Do you want to improve your brain? Become a hipster.

    Batsheva Mannheim | | 0
    We know that food influences our health and cognitive functioning. But what is surprising, is that the compound with the worst reputation, fat, might actually be able to improve your cognitive functions!
  • Smells like memory

    Smells like memory

    Daniel Hauber | | 0
    Sleep is essential for saving new memories. Scientists found a natural way to enhance declarative memory consolidation during sleep using odor cues. But how is it working?
  • Spice up your cognition with curcumin

    Spice up your cognition with curcumin

    Iliana Samara | | 0
    Being able to stay focused and having a strong memory is what mostly all students wish for. So, is there a way to fulfill that wish easily with just a few tweaks to our culinary habits?
  • Can a mouse use a joystick?

    Can a mouse use a joystick?

    Emine Gurbuz | | 0
    Researchers in New Zealand designed a paradigm in which a mouse used a joystick to get reward. Surprisingly, mice were just as good as humans. How can this give insight in psychiatric disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?
  • Do you see what you do?

    Do you see what you do?

    Evert Boonstra | | 0
    The distinction between action and perception is not as sharp as you might think, which does not bode well for explanatory power of mirror neurons.
  • Combat exam anxiety and stress with Yoga

    Combat exam anxiety and stress with Yoga

    Valerie Junk | | 1
    Exam anxiety and stress can influence performance negatively. Yoga may be a solution to lower stress and improve the general and mental wellbeing.
  • Food for switching

    Food for switching

    Doing multiple things at the same time is difficult, even if you have a little more time to switch between two tasks - as some conflict arises. We recently discovered that in this case, tyrosine helps you overcome this conflict and switch faster.
  • Mediterranean diet can reduce risk on Alzheimer’s Disease

    Mediterranean diet can reduce risk on Alzheimer’s Disease

    Tamara van Donge | | 0
    Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disorder in the world. It is a progressive disease which is characterized by the loss of synapses and dendrites in the cortex and hippocampus.
  • The Good Of Chocolate Cognition

    The Good Of Chocolate Cognition

    Jorinde Gerrmann | | 2
    “Anything is good if it’s made of chocolate” stated comedian Jo Brand. The popularity of chocolate is undeniable but what effect does the consumption of chocolate have on our cognition?
  • Meditation makes you more creative!

    Meditation makes you more creative!

    Certain meditation techniques can promote creative thinking even if you are not a practitioner. Hence, it is not the amount of practice, but the state that mediation puts you in that makes you more creative.
  • The Fragrant Brain

    The Fragrant Brain

    Many people say that nothing is more memorable than a smell. However, is it really true that aromas influence the way we are seeing things?
  • Getting creative through food

    Getting creative through food

    Annelies de Haan | | 2
    We tend to think that ‘being creative’ is completely beyond our control, maybe even an inborn talent – you either are or aren’t a creative person. New research indicates that eating the right kinds of food can enhance our creative abilities.
  • Hotspot Human Potential

    Hotspot Human Potential

    People aim at optimizing their health and well-being, for example by changing the way how to manage their lifestyle, and they try to maximize their current mental and physical health.
  • Eating and running your way to the right decision

    Eating and running your way to the right decision

    Frank Hezemans | | 0
    Do you ever wonder why sometimes a decision seems straightforward, but at other times takes hours of deliberation? Some simple lifestyle choices might help you solve your everyday dilemmas!
  • Khat, a “natural” amphetamine?

    Khat, a “natural” amphetamine?

    Khat consumption has become a worldwide phenomenon broadening from Eastern Africa and the south west of the Arabian Peninsula to ethnic communities in the rest of the world. Why people are using khat? Is it self-medication?
  • Cocaine use enhances distraction

    Cocaine use enhances distraction

    Studies suggest that recreational use of cocaine is associated with significant impairments in the same cognitive control functions affected by chronic use. Are up to 4 grams monthly enough to damage the ability of suppressing irrelevant information?
  • Life, love, ... and robots

    Life, love, ... and robots

    Robots are becoming more and more human-like. Physically, robots have been produced that are almost indistinguishable from humans. Will we ever be able to fall in love with a robot, and if so, how long will that take?
  • Eating to stop

    Eating to stop

    A famous statement of the German philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach is "Der Mensch ist, was er iβt" (you are what you eat), but is it really true that the food we eat modulates the way we think and perceive the world?
  • Refueling your mental engine, cheap and easy!

    Refueling your mental engine, cheap and easy!

    Ever feel like your brain is running out of fuel? Our study shows that eating the right food can give you back that edge needed to keep up your great performance. In fact, food is found to be an efficient and easy way to enhance your cognition!
  • Active bodies think more deeply

    Active bodies think more deeply

    Active bodies think more deeply. This is the outcome of a study by cognitive psychologist Lorenza Colzato and her fellow researchers at Leiden University, published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
  • Don’t go to sleep!

    Don’t go to sleep!

    Feeling down? Perhaps experiencing some winter blues? Sleep deprivation might be the answer. Neuroscientists at Tufts University have revealed an interesting mechanism behind this puzzling solution, by investigating the role of astrocytes.
  • Learning is a series of sprints, not a marathon

    Learning is a series of sprints, not a marathon

    Many students (and people in general) like to mass their efforts to boost short-term performance when an important exam or deadline is approaching. Scientific research points to a more functional and efficient long-term strategy to raise performance.
  • Eating to trust

    Eating to trust

    The administration of the amino acid tryptophan (TRP), contained in food such as fish, soy, eggs, and spinach, promotes interpersonal trust. This is the outcome of a study that we published in Psychological Science.
  • Why aren’t robots doing my laundry yet?

    Why aren’t robots doing my laundry yet?

    We are still waiting for robots that make our everyday life easier by doing the dishes and cleaning our homes. Of course, we have machines such as Roombas that can vacuum, sort of, but why do we still have to bother doing all those boring things ourselves?
  • Decision making in the game of life

    Decision making in the game of life

    Jonathan Barnhoorn | | 1
    Recent research has revealed a causal link between serotonin levels and people’s ‘sense of fairness’. A fascinating discovery because serotonin levels are in part dependent on what we eat. So, can you eat yourself toward a fairer world?
  • The compensatory effects of food

    The compensatory effects of food

    The economic crisis has resulted in many budget cuts in health care and general care programs. The population as a whole is aging, and yet we desire to stay independent as long as possible. How can we retain the cognitive abilities supporting independence?
  • Can you ‘pose’ your way to success?

    Can you ‘pose’ your way to success?

    Tina van Dam | | 3
    Have you ever wondered why is it that sometimes you perform extremely well at presentations or job interviews while at other times your brain seems to freeze? Your performance in such tasks depends on the levels of two hormones: testosterone and cortisol.
  • Running for happiness

    Running for happiness

    Hans Revers | | 1
    Why do some people run marathons? And why do they often appear to be so happy, even exhilarated after hours of running? There must be something wrong with them, or do they know something that we don't?
  • Cannabis use: doorway to creativity or to delusions?

    Cannabis use: doorway to creativity or to delusions?

    Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in the world and it has been used for centuries. Many acclaimed artists from a variety of disciplines, maintain its usefulness in the enhancement of creativity. However, is there any truth in their claims?