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How Does the Brain Affect Our Lives? (Part 12)

A Book Review: Younger Brains, Sharper Brains by Eric R. Braverman, M.D.

by Maggie Dail, M.A., Learning Specialist

Braverman concludes his discussion on Attention:

Signs of Impulsive Behaviors (p. 68-69)

  • Agree to complete something before thinking about if it is possible

  • Interrupt a conversation

  • Make rash / quick decisions

  • Not checking details

  • Reckless spending habits

Tips to Stay on Task (p. 69-70)

  • Make a list of tasks that you can do in a day

  • Use sticky notes

  • Keep an appointment calendar

  • Keep a notebook (or smartphone feature) to record ideas

  • Organize your work and living space

  • Break down larger tasks into easier to manage smaller tasks

  • Follow a consistent routine

  • Reward yourself for completion of tasks

  • Be realistic and don’t expect perfection

Addictions affect Brain Power –as does excessive use of technology.

“Disturbances in the dopamine ‘reward system’ are associated with addictive behaviors. Anything you enjoy doing, but can’t seem to rein in can cause a release of dopamine. “ Initially, you feel a rush, but that wears off. You are driven to repeat the rush and the brain can’t keep up. p. 71

Regarding technology: “It’s the information overload, not the multitasking, that’s the culprit. I find that too much information, even when you are completing only one task at a time, causes distractions.” P. 73

Simple Science Behind This –

  • Prefrontal cortex – same location for decision making and emotions; almost always intertwined.

  • Location of working memory – 7 pieces of information at a time

  • Brain has to decide what to send to long-term memory and what to throw out.

Braverman continues by discussing the Types of IQ – we will see that next time.


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