It’s all about your memory!

Hi again,

We at concentrate have found yet another great game from Lumosity.com. The Memory Matrix game is excellent for developing and exercising your Spatial Recall awareness.

Challenge yourself to remember patterns that grow bigger and more complex as you improve.

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A pattern will appear on the screen and what you need to do is repeat the pattern order on the correct tiles. All you need now is to concentrate. A piece of cake! Or is it…See how much you can challenge yourself.

Just follow the link Lumosity to play now!

Have fun!

Hmmm interesting…

Hello all,

Did you know that when you become an expert in a specific domain, the areas in your brain that deal with this type of skill will grow? There are even parts of your brain that relate to particular professions.

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For instance, London taxi drivers have a larger hippocapus (in the posterior region of their brains) than London bus drivers (Maguire, Wool lett, & Spiers, 2006)…. Why is that? It is because this region of the hippocampus is specialized in acquiring and using complex spatial information in order to navigate efficiently. Taxi dri­vers have to navigate around London whereas bus drivers follow a limited set of routes. Taxi drivers also have a highly tuned ability to remember jokes, and exaggerate about who they have had in the back of their cab, but scientists have yet to track down the Joke/Exaggeration centres of our brains.

Brain “plasticity” can also be observed in the brains of bilinguals (Mechelli et al., 2004). It looks like learning a second language is possible through functional changes in the brain: the left inferior parietal cortex is larger in bilingual brains than in monolingual brains. Sacre Bleu!!

As we have mentioned in one of our earlier newsletters, plastic changes also occur in musicians brains com pared to non-musicians. Gaser and Schlaug (2003) compared professional musicians (who practice at least 1hour per day) to amateur musicians and non-musicians. He found that they were better. ALSO, He found that gray matter (cortex) volume was highest in professional musicians, intermedi­ate in amateur musicians, and lowest in non-musicians.

So for bigger brains, jump in a taxi with a violin and ask to go to the Eiffel tower.

More good ways to improve your concentration

Here are some more tips for you

Make sure you are getting proper sleep: Sleep deprivation can adversely affect the brain and cognitive function. A 2000 study, by the UCSD School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System in San Diego, used MRI technology to monitor activity in the brains of sleep-deprived subjects performing simple verbal learning tasks. The study showed that regions of the brain’s prefrontal cortex displayed more activity in sleepier subjects. Depending on the task at hand, the brain would sometimes attempt to compensate for the adverse effects caused by lack of sleep.

Adjust your environment: Create a study spot where all you do is study, for instance a secluded desk of some kind. Remove distractions by turning off the ringer on your phone.

Colour: A study from the journal ‘Science’ provided some intriguing results about how colours affect concentration. The study suggested that green lights improve concentration, and also claim that that the colour blue can wreck your concentration!

Play brain games: If possible, for at least 10 minutes each day play some brain games. They will prove a good habit that helps you have fun and get the benefits of staying alert too.

Set a time limit: Be honest with yourself, you know best what your limitations are and establish a time limit for activities.  This strategy will really help you stay focused on the material.

Motivate yourself with rewards: If concentration is a hard thing to achieve, it may be due to a lack of interest or dislike towards the task you have. It may help you to set up a reward system, be it your favourite show or something nice as soon as you complete your task,  like a lovely orange to gobble down from your lunchbox.

Enjoy! :)

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The “Food for Thought” Lunchbox also comes with two pots, so you can put other treats in there…maybe some grapes, nuts, seeds or yogurt.

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It’s Q & A Time!

It’s that Q & A time you have been waiting for…so are you ready? Then let’s go…

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Q1. If you put a coin in an empty bottle and insert a cork into the neck of the bottle, how could you remove the coin without taking the cork out or breaking the bottle? Hmmmm?

Q2.I have holes in my top and bottom, my left and right, and in the middle. But I still hold water. What am I?

Q3.What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries?

Confused? Well try one more…

Q4. I have a four legs but no toes. I sometimes have two arms but never any hands. I have a back but no chest. I sometimes have a head but never a face. What am i?

Answers will be revealed in the next newsletter! Until then keep guessing :)

If your not already a subscriber, sign up now for your Newsletter.

5 Quick ways to get YOUR 5 a day

1. Start your day with fruit & veggies: Try to include a serving of two of fruits. A handful of berries on your cereal, an apple or half a grapefruit, make good breakfast choices. Berries contain phytochemicals and flavonoids that may help to prevent some forms of cancer, some also contain lutein, which is important for healthy vision and can affect concentration levels.

2. Instead of more unhealthy snacks, try fruit or vegetable snacks. You don’t have to have them by themselves, why not combine them with some proteins (like a piece of cheese, a cup of yogurt, or a tablespoon of peanut butter), you will benefit from the energy of the carbohydrates from natural sources. Research show when children’s blood-sugar levels go down, stress hormones kick in to raise it up again, which can cause behavioral problems and diminished concentration. We even have a cool Lunchbox to put your snacks in!

3. Try something new. A trip to your local greengrocer may uncover seasonal or undiscovered fruit and veg that break up your routine choice. Why not try out something new!

4. Double up your portion. When preparing your meal, try beefing up the quantities of fruit and veg you use.

5. Get creative and introduce more fruit and veg into new areas of your cooking. For example, bread can be made with vegetables like zucchini or olives. After all, homemade recipes usually taste best, and you may even be able to rival Heston Blumenthal with your wacky and mouth watering creations.

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Design heroe – Jonathan Ive

Hello again everyone,

You may remember us looking at some of our design heroes, including Philippe Starck and Marc Newson, this week we concentrate on the design brains behind Apple Computers.

Jonathan (Jony) Ive is an English designer who’s been the head of the design department at Apple inc. since 1997 and is responsible for the iMac, MacBook, unibody MacBook Pro, iPod, iPhone, and the current iPad.

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Before joining the Apple Jonathan studied Industrial Design studies at Northumbria University (Newcastle Polytechnic at the time) and then went on to co-found design company Tangerine.

He describes his style as offering  “fanatical care beyond the obvious stuff”

His story with Apple began when they approached Tangerine to help redesign some of their computers. After a frustrating few years, the man who claims to have had real problems with existing computers began to innovate Apple products. At the time, Apple was in decline, but both Jony and the company itself began to see success with the return of Steve Jobs as CEO.

Jony Ives is notoriously camera shy and generally tries to avoid public speaking.  On the rare occasion that he is interviewed he appears genuinely humble about his achievements. He expresses concern that his designs have to be as well considered as possible, as he feels responsible for all the effort that the rest of the company have to expend to realise the products that he has envisaged. What a hero!

It would be great if you can tell us some of the design heroes that you think have made a difference to your lives. You can even tell us about some good ideas you have seen or thought of yourself on our Product Ideas page.

It’s our Special Science Edition Quiz!

1. Pick the only part of your body that does not contain fat:
a. Arm
b. Thigh
c. Brain
d. None

2. Chronic Stress cannot:
a. Prevent you from being creative
b. Kill brain cells
c. Prevent you from sleeping
d. Kill liver cells

3. What type of phys i cal exercise is the best for your brain health?
a. Weight lifting
b. Aerobic exercises
c. Flexibility exercises

4. Pick the ability, if any, that can not be improved as we age:
a. Con centration
b. Memory
c. Language
d. None

5. Which of these does NOT affect your risks of developing Alzheimer’s?
a. Your family history
b. Your education
c. Your head size

6. What type of brain training has been shown to help people who are afraid of spiders?
a. NovaVision
b. Cognitive Therapy
c. EmWave Stress Relief

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Answers will be revealed in the next newsletter!

If your not already a subscriber, sign up now for your Newsletter.

You can also take the entire Brain quiz by Dr. Pascale Michelon on www.sharpbrains.com

More top tips for razor sharp concentration

Concentration is a big thing that depends on many so-called “small things”.

Here are some suggestions that we have collected from our customers about how to enhance concentration:-

A quiet environment prevents unwanted noises from distracting your attention. Also, to avoid distractions, try to position yourself away from doors and windows, phones, TV’s or other sources of noise. Maybe get yourself a set of earplugs (we’re actually working on the design for some rather natty ones)

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A structured environment provides the conditions to avoid distractions.  Working in an organised space, where you can readily find what you need, helps focus your attention on what you are doing. Thats one of the reasons that we worked on designing the Supercase!!

Clear objectives will help you define the main focus, prioritize the sections of the project and concentrate on the most important parts.

Divide up tasks - begin with breaking the project into smaller activities and establishing a clear sequence of actions. It will be an investment to save hours of your working time.

Set a deadline in order to focus on the essential and speed up your working time.

The last but not the least is to maintain a healthy body that can support optimal brain functions. And of course, get hold of some concentrate goodies!!

bottle all 5 red closeThe Bottlecoolerpenholder – will remind you to drink plenty of water.

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Obey the Mug of Authority! And stay focused with your work!

Check out our product range on the Concentrate website

Cheerybye!

Exercise your ability to Focus

Howdy folks,

We at concentrate have found an excellent game from Lumosity.com to improve your ability in avoiding distractions and increase your work productivity and concentration.

Research shows attention training has a meaningful impact on your ability to improve performance on tests and on other visually demanding activities

If you get distracted too easily then this is the game for you!

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What you need to do is focus on the centre bird without letting the other birds distract you. Just follow the link Lumosity to play now!

Have fun!

Brainy food for a Brainy me :)

Hi,

There is a plethora of food that purport to enhance brain function. Here is some advice we stumbled upon.

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Most people are familiar with the fact that oily fish are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are essential for brain function. Incorporating fish into your diet, especially at breakfast, is a good move.

Your “ Power” breakfast could also incorporate with a cup of green tea. Studies have shown that polyphenols – the potent antioxidants green tea is rich in – help fights the free-radical damage to brain nerves that can be seen in both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Studies in the US have shown that fruits like avocados (that contain monounsaturated fat) can fire up brain cells by enhancing blood flow.

Like green tea, blueberries are said to be able to protect the brain form oxidative stress and may even reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Studies have also shown that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning capacity and motor skills of aging rats, making them mentally equivalent to much younger rats.

Whole grains, like popcorn and whole wheat, are also labelled as “smart” foods, providing rich dietary fibre and vitamin, and have been proven to promote cardiovascular health, so you will be promoting blood flow to the organ system, which includes the brain.

Very tasty!

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Hello... and welcome to Concentrate's blog. This is where we'll keep you up to date with the lates news, and post up anything interesting we see. Lovely!

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