Neuroscience and Society: The Meditating Brain

Many people who meditate, practice yoga, or pray report a sense of calm and well-being that extends beyond the time spent in each practice. Using modern neuroscience techniques, researchers have sought to quantify effects of these practices. What do we know so far?

“You can think of meditation as a form of attention training,” said Sara Lazar of Harvard during a panel at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) last week. The practice involves sustained attention, awareness of your thoughts and sensations, and holding in mind the intention to stay focused. Showing mainly results from studies investigating mindfulness meditation, she described changes in brain structure seen in new meditators after just eight weeks, including increased volume of gray matter and the left hippocampus, and decrease in size of the amygdala.

Social Media - Lazar

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Resources for Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15th to October 15th is Hispanic Heritage Month, a celebration of contributions from people from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. As part of our global outreach about brain science and health, we have a number of resources for adults and kids available in Spanish, now conveniently available on one page.

You’ll find the Spanish language version of our award-winning PSA video on how to live a brain healthy life, and the four steps to keep your brain working well as you grow older. We also have the Successful Aging & Your Brain booklet available to download for free in Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese. For more on that topic, you can watch a recap of our March 2017 Healthy Brain in a Healthy Body event, where we partnered with Telemundo.

We also offer downloadable materials, such as fact sheets and Q&A pages, for kids in grades K-12. These can all be found on our page dedicated to Spanish publications.

For more on Hispanic Heritage Month, visit https://www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov/.

– Blayne Jeffries

Free Public Event: The Aging Brain

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Image: Shutterstock

What does every congressional district have in common? Baby Boomers – the sizable generation of people now in their 50s to 70s. It is well documented that the collective aging of the Boomers will have public health impacts. This includes the impacts of the aging brain. Come and learn what happens to the brain as we get older, what happens when the process goes wrong, and what we can do to strengthen the brain as we age.

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Successful Aging & Your Brain PSA Available in Spanish!

¿Hablas español? ¿Quieres aprender más sobre el envejecimiento provechoso? Spanish speakers, you’re in luck! Our award-winning Successful Aging & Your Brain video has been translated into Spanish and is now available to view on our YouTube channel. Check it out to learn the four steps you can start taking today to help keep your brain healthy into old age, based on research by the Institute of Medicine. It’s never too late to start living a brain-healthy life!

Looking for more information on the brain in Spanish? Our Successful Aging & Your Brain Spanish page has many resources, including our translated Successful Aging & Your Brain booklet.

– Ali Chunovic

Digital Health Awards Winner

healthawardswinner

The Dana Foundation’s Successful Aging & Your Brain PSA has won a Silver Award in the Digital Health Awards Spring 2017 competition! The video features a 90-second animation with four factors on how to live a brain healthy life. The award was submitted under the Educational Institution section and the Web-based Resource category.

The Digital Health Awards recognizes high-quality health resources for consumers and health professionals. Submissions were judged by a panel of health technology professionals and graded based on content, format, success in reaching the targeted health audience, and overall quality. The awards program is organized by the Health Information Resource Center, a clearinghouse for professionals who work in consumer health fields.

 

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