Friday, December 07, 2007

and all you can do is laugh

"Forget Sudoku, crossword puzzles and computer games. If you really want to train your brain, then eat dark chocolate, have plenty of sex and follow the Scandinavian example of having cold meat for breakfast.

The growing numbers of people who are trying to strengthen their mental ability through ‘brain training’ should also avoid cannabis, watching soap operas, hanging out with serial complainers or pursuing fat-free diets, according to a new book on getting ‘brain-fit’.

Many of the suggestions in Teach Yourself Training Your Brain are surprising, such as cuddling a baby, cheating at school, reading out loud and doing your university degree in business studies. Co-authors Terry Horne and Simon Wootton say their recommendations are based on and backed by the latest research by leading experts around the world.

‘For decades we have thought that the cognitive capacity of our brains is genetically determined, whereas it’s now clear that it’s a lifestyle choice. What we eat and drink, how we learn at school and what type of moods we have are all crucial,’ said Horne, a business lecturer at the University of Central Lancaster and an authority on thinking and learning. […]

The book details the most up-to-date thinking in science about how diet, the environment, stress and other aspects of modern life affect our mental capacity and distils them in the form of chunks of advice as well as exercises.  

‘Mix with people who make you laugh, have a good sense of humour or who share the same interests as you, and avoid people who whinge, whine and complain, as people who are negative will make you depressed, which means you won’t achieve things,’ said Horne. "

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