Tag Archives: Health

Why Dreaming About The Future Makes You Less Likely To Achieve Your Goals


Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation, Author: Gabriele Oettingen.

By Lindsay LaVine – “Dreaming is important.”

“Dreaming is a way we can mentally explore future possibilities. For that, dreaming is very good.” Where we run into trouble, Oettingen says, is when we forget about the obstacles and temptations that arise along the way.

The process can be broken down into four steps, known as “WOOP” (Wish, Outcome, Obstacle and Plan). more> http://tinyurl.com/o6dfesm


By Adam Gopnik – It turns out that it’s very rare for any mental activity to be situated tidily in one network of neurons, much less one bit of the brain.

When you think you’ve located a function in one part of the brain, you will soon find that it has skipped town, like a bail jumper. And all of the neuro-skeptics argue for the plasticity of our neural networks.

We learn and shape our neurology as much as we inherit it. Our selves shape our brains at least as much as our brains our selves. more> http://tinyurl.com/mwfxlt3

Strategic or random? How the brain chooses

Howard Hughes Medical Institute – The brain excels at integrating information from past experiences to guide decision-making in new situations. But in certain circumstances, random behavior may be preferable. An animal might have the best chance of avoiding a predator if it moves unpredictably, for example.

When faced with a weak competitor, the animals made strategic choices based on the outcomes of previous trials. But when a sophisticated competitor made strong predictions, the rats ignored past experience and made random selections in search of a reward. more> http://tinyurl.com/knpaxcw

How To Trick Your Brain To Hold On To Positive Habit Changes


Making Habits, Breaking Habits, Author: Jeremy Dean.

By Jane Porter – The notion that a habit takes 21 days to form if you stick to it every day is a myth.

On average, a habit takes more like 66 days to form, with more intensive habits like doing 50 sit-ups every morning taking around 84 days to form. But these figures will often vary greatly from person to person.

Forming habits that stick isn’t about finding a magic number. It’s about being aware of your behaviors and environment and their effects on your brain. more> http://tinyurl.com/orahkqu

The Global Problem With Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment

By Alexandra Sifferlin – Current screening guidelines lead to an overdiagnosis of diseases like cancer, which results in overtreatment for ailments that might never seriously impact a person’s health.

Instead of recommending lifestyle modifications proven to work, like cutting back on alcohol and exercising more, many doctors opt for drugs because they want to do something right away without having to rely on the often-unhealthy environment beyond their office walls. more> http://tinyurl.com/ptb85gs


Fast-food workers and a new form of labor activism

By By William Finnegan – The fast-food chains insist that if they were to pay their employees more they would have to raise menu prices. Their wages are “competitive.”

But in Denmark McDonald’s workers over the age of eighteen earn more than twenty dollars an hour—they are also unionized—and the price of a Big Mac is only thirty-five cents more than it is in the United States.

The differential between C.E.O. and worker pay in fast food is higher than in any other domestic economic sector—twelve hundred to one. In construction, by comparison, the differential is ninety-three to one. more> http://tinyurl.com/lw5se9t

Updates from GE

A Secret to Laser Brain Surgery? Slice the MRI Machine in Half

GE –  In the early 1990s, Harvard radiologist Dr. Ferenc Jolesz devised a clever way for killing brain tumors with a laser. But he ran into a hard obstacle: the skull.

Jolesz wanted to send a laser beam along a fiber optic strand inserted through a hole in the patient’s cranium. The beam’s intense heat would destroy the target. But he couldn’t see where the beam was going. “It was like trying to evaporate an apple seed inside a whole apple without cutting it.”

Jolesz thought magnetic resonance imaging could help. The right MRI machine would allow doctors to see inside the body, monitor temperature changes inside the skull, and perform surgery at the same time.

One problem: a machine like this did not exist. Then as now, most MRI machines enclosed the patient in a tunnel at the center of the magnet. This design made brain surgery impossible.

But a GE executive who knew about Jolesz’s project introduced him to Trifon Laskaris, a medical imaging pioneer working at GE’s research labs in upstate New York. Laskaris listened to Jolesz and came back with a design that sliced the multi-ton MRI magnet in half. The redesigned machine looked like a double donut with enough space between the two rings to give the surgeon access to the patient. “We could image the patient and operate at the same time,” Jolesz says. “Not only laser procedures could be done, but all types of open surgeries.” more> http://tinyurl.com/l2expyb