Idea Learning Group

"memory" Posts

How Hard is it to Count to Five?

Pretty darn hard. Play this fun, one-minute game from Posit Science Corp and test your brain age.

“Our R&D team has come up with a pretty quick and fun way to measure certain cognitive abilities. It just involves counting from 1 to 5 numbers, so it’s hard to imagine how that could be made so challenging. The 60-second brain game is a type of Stroop test, which measures auditory and visual processing, attention, cognitive control and other aspects of executive function. You can try it as often as you’d like and please do challenge your friends with your best score. For a little fun, click here.”

The Science of Scent II

Although scents have highly personal associations, there are some generalizations we can make about scents that work for everyone. The following chart shows some scents and their psychological effects. Using these scents in conjunction with other stimulus can help us properly use our brain and achieve better results.

Reduce frustration, anxiety, fatigue – Peppermint, Cinnamon, Lavender

Refreshing – Peppermint, Rosemary, Juniper Berry, Lemon

Stimulating – Ginger, Spearmint, Lemongrass, Lemon Verbena, Cinnamon Leaf, Clove, Vanilla

Calming – Rosewood, Sandalwood

Energizing – Grapefruit, Orange, Lemon, Lime, Green Tea, Cinnamon, Marines/Aquatics

The Science of Scent

The scent of wine, oh how much more agreeable, laughing, praying, celestial and delicious it is than that of oil!
Francois Rabelais

Rabelais had it right when he described wine as laughing and agreeable- many personal experiences with the spirited drink cause those emotions. Our personal experiences with scents are what form our attraction to them. Our brain stores smells and emotion in the same system of brain structures (the limbic system). Coincidentally, scents are also connected with our hippocampus, which forms new memories! No wonder scents so easily recall memories. In addition, a decline in smell can cause serious issues elsewhere- or can be a signal of other problems, such as depression, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s disease.

How can we use our scent capacity to help our brain? To retain information and recall that same information later, use aromatherapy while you study and bring something to the test that smells the same. The same method can be used to elicit a relaxed state of being- choose a distinct aroma and meditate. Use the same aroma repeatedly, and your scent memory will harken your zen mood.

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