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The Embodied Brain

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Studies have already proven the link between the body and mind. What is surprising is how powerful that link is. Embodied cognition, or how the body affects our brain, has gained more recognition in science in the last five years. Our awareness of this phenomenon will have a profound impact on our day-to-day behavior: From stroke patients regaining movement in paralyzed limbs through thoughts alone, to studies that have shown children are more successful in math if they use their hands to guide themselves through arithmetic problems. In fact, a new study suggests that the number one thing we can do to preserve our brain function is to be physically active—it doesn't matter how intellectually enriched our environment may be. Perhaps most amazing in the mind-body connection is the power of placebos—inactive medicines that have alleviated depression, Parkinson’s disease, and even cancer. This connection between our beliefs and our bodies can inform our innovation, learning and motivation.


Christie Nicholson Science Journalist Scientific American/SmartPlanet