Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD

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Here are the 5 things we thought were
worth sharing with you this week:
5)  U.S. Economy Does Not Value Caregivers

Throughout its history, America has continued to reinvent itself, each time producing a better society for more of us than the one that preceded it. Reconstruction improved on the pre-Civil War republic. The New Deal created a “new America” that was a great improvement on the Gilded Age. The civil rights movement generated legislation guaranteeing the equality promised in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

This constant reinvention is fueled by what I call “the idea that is America”—the principles of liberty, democracy, equality, justice, tolerance, humility, and faith on which our country was founded. Our history is a continual “process of trying to live up to our ideals, falling short, succeeding in some places, and trying again in others.”

Re-read this insightful Atlantic article from 2014, CLICK HERE

                                                                                                                        (Credit: Leszek Glasner/Shutterstock)

Because this is such a controversial and politically hot subject, it’s been fairly difficult for solid, evidence-based science to participate in the conversation. Some fairly basic questions remain unanswered. But thanks to a big, promising new study, we’re a step closer to knowing these answers.

The study, which is available in preprint form here (meaning it hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed), was co-authored by a team of 18 researchers led by Stuart Ritchie, a postdoctoral researcher in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. The authors sliced and diced data from more than 5,000 people who agreed to have their brains scanned for what’s known as UK Biobank, all of whom were in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s at the time of the scans. According to Ritchie, it is “the biggest ever single study… of sex differences in the human brain.”

Before digging into what they found, it’s worth remembering where we are in this debate. It is, to say the least, a fairly passionate and politicized one. On the one hand are people who claim that hardwired male/female brain differences can explain all sorts of behavioral differences — that women simply are, on average, more nurturing, while men are more aggressive. On the other are those who claim that there’s really no such thing as a “male” or a “female” brain, and that these distinctions have been used to support sexist beliefs and policies.

To read @JesseSingal's article on the study, CLICK HERE

                                                                                                                            Dim Dimich /  Shutterstock
3) Neuroscientists identify brain circuit necessary for memory formation

When we visit a friend or go to the beach, our brain stores a short-term memory of the experience in a part of the brain called the hippocampus. Those memories are later “consolidated” — that is, transferred to another part of the brain for longer-term storage.

A new MIT study of the neural circuits that underlie this process reveals, for the first time, that memories are actually formed simultaneously in the hippocampus and the long-term storage location in the brain’s cortex. However, the long-term memories remain “silent” for about two weeks before reaching a mature state.

“This and other findings in this paper provide a comprehensive circuit mechanism for consolidation of memory,” says Susumu Tonegawa, the Picower Professor of Biology and Neuroscience, the director of the RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, and the study’s senior author.

The findings, which appeared in Science on April 6th, may force some revision of the dominant models of how memory consolidation occurs, the researchers say.

To read more about this study,  CLICK HERE
  2) What We Are Reading That You Might Enjoy...

The author of the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers, The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, tackles the critical question:
How do we change? 

Gretchen Rubin's answer: through  habits . Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life. It takes work to make a habit, but once that habit is set, we can harness the energy of habits to build happier, stronger, more productive lives.
So if habits are a key to change, then what we really need to know is:  How do we change our habits ?
Better than Before  answers that question. It presents a practical, concrete framework to allow readers to understand their habits—and to change them for good. Infused with Rubin’s compelling voice, rigorous research, and easy humor, and packed with vivid stories of lives transformed,  Better than Before  explains the (sometimes counter-intuitive) core principles of habit formation. 

Whether readers want to get more sleep, stop checking their devices, maintain a healthy weight, or finish an important project, habits make change possible. Reading just a few chapters of Better Than Before  will make readers eager to start work on their own habits—even before they’ve finished the book.

For More, CLICK HERE. 

  (If you decide to buy anything mentioned in #5ThoughtsFriday, don't forget to use  Amazon Smile  and select the Brain Injury Association of Maryland as your donation beneficiary.) 
1) Quote We Are Contemplating...

“It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop”                                                                                                                                                                                 - Kong Qui (Confucius)
Looking for a Fun Way to Spend Next Thursday AND Support
The University of Maryland Graduate Schools?
Bring Your Friends and Colleagues
to the
32nd Annual URecFit
Charity Golf Tournament
  • WHEN:  Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 7:30am
  • WHERE: Oakmont Greens Golf Club
  • COST:   Foursome - $400 / Single $108
  • BY WHEN: Online Registration Closes TODAY


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 Want to find a story from a past #5ThoughtsFriday blog posts, visit the archive by clicking HERE.

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 Which bullet above is your favorite? What do you want more or less of? Let us know! Just send a tweet to @biamd1 and put #5ThoughtsFriday in there so we can find it.

 Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful weekend.

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