April 17, 2011

Mindflex Game Reviews

Me and my 7 year old son just finished using Mattel's mindflex game where the obstacle of the game is to move a foam ball using thought control.

The ball is moved higher(vertically) the harder you concentrate and to move the ball to the side(horizontally) you are required to adjust the knob on the base of the game. There are 5 different obstacle challenges to try out and the board is adjustable so you can create your own. What we found was fun was to use it together. One of use would move the dial while the other used the headband. We would also time each other to see who could do it the fastest.

At first I wondered if it really is kid friendly but it took my son about 5-10mins to get a good handle on controlling the ball so its definitely kid worthy. I am constantly amazed by how smart little kids really are.

The only complaint I have is that the headband gets a little irritating after about an hour. And no it doesn't give you a headache which is something else I was concerned about.

All in all an excellent experience. I saw on Mattel's site that they will be releasing a follow up called Mindflex Duel where you go head to head competing to push the ball. Looks even better. Can't wait to try it out. In the stores I found Mindflex usually retails for 80-100$ and the Mindflex Duel will be in the 110-150$ range. I did find a much better deal at amazon however. There are also a lot of reviews there for the product in case you wan to see more.

1Mindflex Game for 55$
2.Mindflex Duel Game for 99$

April 16, 2011

If the Drug NZT was real would you take it?

In the 2011 Movie "Limitless" the main character played by Bradley Cooper stumbles onto a drug called NZT that unlocks the potential of the human mind and in concept allows you to use 100% of it.

After taking NZT he becomes stronger, able to learn languages in a day, conquer wall street and makes his life the potential of his life virtually wait for it.........  LIMITLESS.

Obviously there are side effects of taking  the drug that are serious such as blackouts, loss of chunks time, fits of rage and if he stops taking it death.

I found myself thinking that it might be worth the risk especially if you are down and out for the count in life. If you have nothing left to lose "why not?"

I decided to do some digging around to find some non-drug solutions without the side effects and I wrote a post on it

What I also wondered was how many people would actually take the drug as well knowing full-well the side effects.

If this topic interests you stay tuned as I will be writing a post soon about drug related solutions

April 10, 2011

Boosting neuron growth may lead to drugs that improve cognition and mood

Mice with more adult-born neurons (right) display increased exploratory behavior and decreased anxiety-like behavior in the open field test following a voluntary exercise regimen. (Credit:A Sahay et al./Nature)
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have developed a new way to stimulate neurogenesis (neuron production) in the adult mouse brain, demonstrating that neurons acquired in the brain’s hippocampus during adulthood improve certain cognitive functions.

The researchers boosted the number of neurons in the hippocampus, an area of the brain involved in memory and mood, and tested the mice in both learning and mood-related tasks, looking for changes in behavior.
They found specific effects on learning tasks that involve a process called pattern separation, which is the ability to distinguish between similar places, events, and experiences. Pattern separation is important for learning, since it helps determine whether something is familiar or novel.

Pattern separation may also be important for anxiety disorders, including post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and panic disorder. People with PTSD, say the researchers, have a more generalized fear response, so that when they are placed in a situation that reminds them of even one aspect of their trauma, they frequently have a full fear response.

The researchers say that the genetic strategy used to stimulate neurogenesis in their experiments can be mimicked pharmacologically, potentially leading to the development of new drugs to reverse pattern separation deficits and improve cognition and mood.

Ref.: RenĂ© Hen et al., Increasing adult hippocampal neurogenesis is sufficient to improve pattern separation, April 3 online edition, Nature

April 4, 2011

Two books for Radical Life Extension"The Scientific Conquest of Death" and "Ending Aging"

In "The Scientific Conquest of Death
" written by the Immortality Institute they surmize that immortality will become an eventuality and a reality not some fictional sci-fi fanboy wetdream.

The book is divided into two areas. The first being the Scientific Essays from well-known authors like Ray Kurzweil and Aubrey De Grey which outline potential solutions to the problem of aging, and why it will eventually happen. Also they speculate on when it may occur.

The second half is about the Perspectives or philosophic arguments why becoming immortal is a worthy goal.

Overall its a great introduction to radical life extension ideas and philosophies. My only criticism of the book is that I would have preferred it to be a little more technical and less general but I guess its trying to get the word out to as broad an audience as possible which is definitely a worthy goal.

A second book I would recommend is Aubrey De Grey's "Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime
" which goes a little more into the technical side which I personally love but may put some lay-people to sleep.

First by breaking down exactly what happens to your body when its aging and the processes behind it and then by comparing our body to a machine in which parts can systematically can be repaired piece by piece as damage is accumulated throughout our its and our lives. 

Lastly he goes into his recommendations for how the R&D community could and should go about redirecting its resources by solving the problem of age related diseases.

In all its easily one of my top 3 books I've read over the last few years.

The Scientific Conquest of Death

Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime

Immortality Institutes Homepage

Aubrey De Grey SENS Foundation

April 3, 2011

Movie "Limitless" not that far from reality

Wouldn't it be nice if we could take a pill and instantly gain access to massive intelligence and awareness and creativity that would leave the great thinkers of our time look like high school dropouts.

In Limitless Bradley Cooper's character Eddie Mora starts out as a wannabe writer with writers block. After he takes a pill called NZT he suddenly becomes hyper aware of his environment, has a photographic memory, gets white-hot motivation and deductive reasoning powers that Sherlock Holmes would be jealous of.

Suddenly he finishes his novel, and cleans himself up. There are some problems though. The drug is hard to come by and his former brother in law that he was getting it from is suddenly murdered.

I won't give away the rest of the movie but it basically is about Eddie wrestling with the dark side of the drug and trying to fulfill his dreams.

The movie got me thinking about the latest research being done and advances in science and psychology for consumers that are trying to do the same things as the drug NZT. So I broke it down into a formula while not all in a pill form will definitely help you achieve a much higher level of mental output.

There are lots of self-help books available out there on the market and I literally have read hundreds of them over the last 20 years. There are a couple that are definitely above the rest so I listed them below. These will get you started on creating a burning desire and help you create a road map to full fill every dream you can imagine. You will feel like the sky is the limit and on a personal note has been the strongest guiding force in my life for the last 20 years
1)Anthony Robbins-Unlimited Power (the audio version is best though since Anthony is such a phenomenal speaker) orAwaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!
2)Darren Hardy-The Compound Effect Audio Program shows how small changes every day add up to massive changes over a year.

Creating an amazing Memory
There are some books and courses that are available to help create a photographic memory
The Memory Book: The Classic Guide to Improving Your Memory at Work, at School, and at Play
 by Harry Lorayne is the best I have read so far. 

Develop powers of Deductive reasoning
The bookCritical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Professional and Personal Life is great for problem solving

Unleash your creativity
 Problem solving and creativity can be created and learned. There are numerous studies showing that brain games can help increase the flexibility of your brain allowing problem solving and creativity to come easier. A great service I found was
2)Doing your most difficult thinking at high energy points throughout the day.
Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius

Supercharge your brain health
 This is probably that is mot closely related to the movie in terms of a pill solution. There are lots of studies done on various supplements and drugs aimed at increasing brain functions. In the movie So by now you've probably heard of an antioxidants and their role in reducing aging but did you know  they have been found to increase brain function as well immediately?
1)For supplementation I'd refer to ray kurzweil's book Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever
2)Sleep is essential for mental awareness. An excellent book is the The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman
3)Stress levels
4)Keep properly hydrated. Dehydration creates mental fatigue
5)Brainfit: 10 Minutes a Day for a Sharper Mind and Memory book has tons of tips like these for keeping the brain healthy in 10mins a day

I hope some of these resources I've compiled help you on your path to becoming the next Einstein. I will likely be writing more posts on specifics since the surface has only been scratched.

I know there are lots of supplements that claim to increase brain power but I don't want to recommend anything thats BS.