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Mentalrobics™

You exercise your body to stay physically in shape, so why shouldn't you exercise your brain to stay mentally fit? With these daily exercises you will learn how to flex your mind, improve your creativity and boost your memory. As with any exercise, repetition is necessary for you to see improvement, so pick your favorite exercises from our daily suggestions and repeat them as desired. Try to do some mentalrobics every single day!

vi-tu-per-ate

verb :: To find fault with; to scold; to overwhelm with wordy abuse; to censure severely or abusively; to rate.

"It is not my design, therefore, to vituperate my deceased friend, Toby Dammit." --Poe, Edgar Allan

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The next time you are stuck on a project ask yourself this question, "If the goals of this project were completely opposite of the actual goals, what would I do differently?" When we think about a project in one particular way we can get into a mental rut which is hard to escape. A question like this gets you thinking about opposites, which will in turn get you out of the rut and get your mind thinking about new ideas. Sometimes solutions that are completely opposite of the solutions you seek can be very fruitful.

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In the middle of the brain, connected to the cortex, is the hippocampus. Actually there are two hippocampi, one on each side of the brain. The hippocampus helps to form new memories about experienced events. It interprets incoming sensory inputs and turns them into memories. If the hippocampus is damaged, it becomes incredibly difficult to form new memories and recall old memories. In fact, it is one of the first parts of the brain that succumbs to Alzheimer's disease.

The hippocampus also stores and processes spatial information. This is how you remember locations and know how to get from place to place. The types of people who never get lost and are good at finding shortcuts have a very active hippocampus. Taxi cab drivers tend to have a large hippocampus, indicating that if you use your spatial skills, your hippocampus can actually grow.

To prevent information overload, your hippocampus is constantly sifting through incoming sensory inputs and deciding what to save and what to discard. For a memory to get into long-term storage, it must be selected by the hippocampus. Information with emotional significance or information that relates to something we already know tends to get preferential treatment. This is why meaningfulness is important for information you want to learn.

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