Cognition is the set of all mental abilities and processes related to knowledge and decision making. There are many aspects of cognition that can be independently measured and studied. We deep dive into different areas of cognition such as Attention and Creativity, how they're rigorously defined, and how to modulate them.
What is optimal cognition? It depends on your state and goals, and to some degree, it is a highly personalized choice that may be most affected by your personal situation. For example, insufficient sleep, or a suboptimal diet can also interfere with peak cognitive performance. Read on, to see our biohacker protocol for optimizing cognition. (Learn more)
Attention refers to the ability to focus your mind on one specific thought or task. Psychologist William James mentioned that attention means "taking possession by the mind, in clear and vivid form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought. Focalization, concentration, of consciousness are of its essence. It implies withdrawal from some things to deal effectively with others".
Attention is the feeling of being awake and alert, being able to focus on one particular aspect while ignoring distractors. Sometimes, it is necessary to focus for a sustained period -- this is known as sustained attention. (Learn more)
Creativity generally refers to one's ability to recognize ideas, or strategies or concepts that may be useful for solving problems, enriching our lives, or communicating with others.
Creativity is essential for progress in society. It's a driving force that advances the human race forward.
There may be different reasons for individuals to perform creative activities. Alfred Maslow noted that creativity may arise innately or from external motivations (compensatory, ameliorative or purely economic) back in 1943. (Learn more)
Memory can be broken up into two broad categories: explicit or declarative memory, and implicit or nondeclarative memory. Multiple subcategories exist within these two broad umbrellas, and all of these types of memory are crucial components of everyday life. (Learn more)
Motivation generally refers to the constellation of extrinsic and intrinsic factors that guide one's ongoing behavior. Motivation has been studied in the contexts of behavior as well as genetics, in studies on the normal population as well as medical studies, in particular in the ADHD and dementia populations. (Learn more)
This is a person's patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. It is what makes a person different from other people. Some people are outgoing, other people are more reserved. Some people are anxious and fearful, while others are courageous and brazen. Some people have wild imaginations, while others are realistic. Some people are conscientious and focused, while others are indifferent. Some people are sympathetic and cooperative, while others are more cold and avoid others. (Learn more)
Stress is the body's natural adaptative response to environmental challenges. From the perception of a stressor, to the brain's processing of the threat, to the physiological response, stress is designed to allow you to cope with challenges in your life; however, stress can also be maladaptive. (Learn more)
Sleep is integral for cognitive processes, and indeed life itself.1However, there is not yet scientific consensus as to the mechanism of why sleep is so crucial. Sleep appears to be a fundamental property of neuronal assemblies, and recent evidence has shown that rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, is crucial for memory consolidation.2Nonetheless, high quality sleep is incredibly important to daily life and cognitive functioning. (Learn more)
Veterans may be able to benefit from supplementation from nootropics. The benefits delivered to healthy individuals through biohacking, may be realized in veterans as well. While there have been very few studies looking at nootropic compounds in specific veteran populations, the science on the effects of nootropics on conditions relevant to military veterans is promising. In this article we cover important neuropsyhiatric conditions, such as PTSD and depression, that are prevalent in the veteran population, and describe the influence of nootropics on these conditions. (Learn more)
One of the big challenges in cognitive psychology is understanding what is happening at a neural circuit level in humans during cognitive processes. EEG, by quantifying activity in the brain, gives us an understanding of the regions of the brain involved in various cognitive processes, what sorts of processes might be active, and also provides different endpoints for evaluating the effectiveness of cognitive modulating compounds. (Learn more)
Meditation is an age-old practice, that dates back to as early as 1500 BC in India. It's been estimated that 8% of American adults engage in some form of meditation. While most of the interest in meditation has centered around control of stress, it's worth exploring the effects of other cognitive effects of meditation as well, such as intelligence. (Learn more)
There is a great deal of conflicting advice in the media about multi-tasking, some advocate for it; others denounce it. But most popular sources do not reference definitive scientific studies. Herein we present evidence that multi-tasking for specific activities can be trained, and when used appropriately, multi-tasking will enhance productivity in certain contexts. (Learn more)
Krueger, J. M., Rector, D. M., Roy, S., Van Dongen, H. P., Belenky, G., & Panksepp, J. (2008). Sleep as a fundamental property of neuronal assemblies. Nat Rev Neurosci, 9(12), 910-919. doi:10.1038/nrn2521
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