Practice makes perfect, York U brain study confirms

BalletIn this study, Faculty of Health researchers were looking at fMRI brain scans of professional ballet dancers to measure the long-term effects of learning.

‘Practice makes perfect’ may be a cliché but a new brain study out of York U affirms this age old theory.

In this study, Faculty of Health researchers were looking at fMRI brain scans of professional ballet dancers to measure the long-term effects of learning.

“We wanted to study how the brain gets activated with long-term rehearsal of complex dance motor sequences,” says Professor Joseph DeSouza, who studies and supports people with Parkinson’s disease. “The study outcome will help with understanding motor learning and developing effective treatments to rehabilitate the damaged or diseased brain.”

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Clean kitchens cut calories

Cluttered and chaotic environments can cause stress, which can lead us to grab more of the indulgent snacks -- twice as many cookies according to this new study! CREDIT: Daniel Miller

Cluttered and chaotic environments can cause stress, which can lead us to grab more of the indulgent snacks — twice as many cookies according to this new study! CREDIT: Daniel Miller

Cluttered kitchens cause over-snacking.

Cluttered and chaotic environments can cause stress, which can lead us to grab more of the indulgent snacks– twice as many cookies according to this new study!

Conducted at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab and published in Environment and Behavior, the study shows that cluttered kitchens are caloric kitchens. When stressed out females were asked to wait for another person in a messy kitchen — with newspapers on the table, dishes in the sink, and the phone ringing – they ate twice as many cookies compared to women in the same kitchen when it was organized and quiet. In total they ate 65 more calories more in 10 minutes time.

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Omega 3 levels affect whether B vitamins can slow brain’s decline

fish oilWhile research has already established that B vitamin supplements can help slow mental decline in older people with memory problems, an international team have now found that having higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in your body could boost the B vitamins’ effect.

The team, from the Universities of Cape Town, Oslo, Oxford and the UAE, studied more than 250 people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in Oxford. MCI is when brain function is below what is normally expected for a person’s age but is not significant enough to interfere with daily life. While it is not as serious as dementia, if untreated it often progresses to become dementia.

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