Brain Enhancement Paper

Brain Enhancement Paper - Most people know that most...

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Most people know that most college students put in countless hours of study and preparation for tests in order to become the best in the class and to get that six or seven figure job. If you are, or have been, a college student at one point in time, you also know that there is an extreme amount of distraction that around you at any given time. Many times it is impossible to ignore, but what if there was a way? What if there was a cognitive enhancement that made you focus, tune out surroundings, or even increased your productivity? This, without a doubt, would be appealing to all. Fortunately, research is finding that there are many options for cognitive enhancement including: Many have altered their grocery lists to include blueberries and almonds to improve memory. In her Newsweek article, “Can You Build a Better Brain?,” states that taking up new demanding activities such as ballroom dancing or foreign language will boost brain processing speed, strengthen synapses, and expand neurological networks. REFERENCE #1 In recent years, millions of people have followed the dream of “brain fitness” software, such as Nintendo’s ‘ Brain Age’ game. REFERENCE #5 Exercise is good for both the body and the brain, as exercise is known to encourage the growth of new brain cells. Most controversial of the options, Sandberg and Bostrom of Oxford University report that “Today there exist a broad range of drugs that can affect cognition. Stimulants enhance either by increasing the amount of neuron activity or by releasing neuromodulators, both factors which make the synaptic change underlying learning more likely. The growing understanding of memory allowed the development of more specific drugs.” Numerous research studies covering these many options result in different findings. For example, studies show that both Adderall and Ritalin enhance the recall of memorized words as well as working memory. However another case study of volunteers who were given a placebo instead and encouraged to believe they would do well experienced the same cognitive improvement. REFERENCE 1# A recent study on the use of Brain Age game documented greater brain enhancement among youth than the average adult. REFERENCE #5 And of course, the effectiveness of exercise on brain enhancement varies by the type and duration of exercise as well as by individual person. These mixed findings only add fuel to the growing disputes over the growing use of brain enhancers. Before getting into the detail of the arguments, take a step back and look at exactly what makes the brain work. Countless studies have been performed to delve the mysteries within the brain. Many have fallen short but others have been successful in giving insightful information.
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This note was uploaded on 10/17/2011 for the course ENGLISH 250 taught by Professor Langenberg during the Fall '08 term at Iowa State.

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Brain Enhancement Paper - Most people know that most...

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