Monday, February 16, 2009

The Effects of Caffeine on the Brain

What's the latest about the effects of caffeine on the brain? You may recall a report in the newsletter a while back about studies which show an increase in academic test scores for students who have a cup of coffee. I have probably also mentioned that too much caffeine, especially once a person is addicted to it, tends to make clear thinking less likely. So is that tea or coffee good for your brainpower or bad for it? Let's take a closer look.

Caffeine is a stimulant, meaning it accelerates physiological activity. Specifically, it speeds up the action of your brain and makes you more alert. It does this by binding to adenosine receptors in the brain. Normally the chemical adenosine binds to these, causing drowsiness by slowing down nerve cell activity. The caffeine doesn't have this effect, but does get in the way of the adenosine.

Because the caffeine is blocking the adenosine receptors, your neurons become...

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

7 Habits For More Creative Ideas

The 7 habits that follow will make you a creative problem solver. These actions and thought patterns can be used to generate dozens of good creative ideas at a time. But they will only make you an effective problem solver if you use them habitually, so how do you make a habit of them? Just repeat the following daily for few weeks.

1. Relax And Take A Deep Breath

Breathe deeply through your nose for a few minutes and let the tension release from your neck and shoulders. There is some evidence that tensed-up shoulders and neck can reduce blood flow to the brain. There is a lot of evidence that creativity increases when we are relaxed.

2. Examine Your Assumptions

Anytime you approach a problem, take a look at the assumptions you and others are making. Challenge them, to see what you might learn. For example, if you are trying to design a new pet store, you might challenge the idea people have to...

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