Category Archives: Brain

Gut Feelings Help to Regulate Fear

“Gut feeling” is more than just a figure of speech. A new study from ETH Zurich investigated how the vagus nerve—a large nerve that extends from the brain to the abdomen, connecting to organs along the way—conveys fear, or gut feelings, to the brain. The study demonstrated that signals from the gut to the brain…

Hobbies Help Maintain Memory in Old Age

What you do in your spare time can help protect you from the effects of aging. A study from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota finds that people who engage in arts and crafts, socialize, and use computers in middle and old age are less likely to develop memory problems and other cognitive impairments in…

Video Games May Increase Capacity for Visual Learning

Video games may have more to offer than simple entertainment. A study from Brown University finds that people who play video games have better gains on certain visual tasks than those who do not play video games. The study also found that gamers were able to learn the visual tasks faster than the non-gamers. The…

Intervention Improves Cognition in Aging Adults

How can older adults stay sharp as they age? A study by a collaboration of researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki, and the University of Eastern Finland finds that it is possible to slow cognitive decline in adults at-risk for dementia. The researchers tested an intensive…

Left Brain, Right Side: Planning Body Movements

How does the brain make the body move? Researchers are just beginning to understand how the brain plans and executes the body’s movements. A new study from Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus investigated a little-understood aspect of movement: planning. Before moving a muscle, the brain is active for a fraction of a second….

Stuttering Linked to Grey Matter Development

Stuttering is not well understood, but a new study from the University of Alberta’s Institute for Stuttering Treatment and Research (ISTAR) is filling in the blanks. The researchers analyzed the brains of adults and children who stutter. They found that Broca’s area, a part of the brain responsible for speech production, develops abnormally in children…

Meditation Associated with Denser Grey Matter

Meditation can be calming and, according to a new study, it can also limit the effects of aging on the brain. A study from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) investigated how meditation can impact the volume of the brain’s grey matter. As people age, brain volume and weight decrease, which can cause the…

Music Training Aids Speech Processing in Later Life

The benefits of music training in childhood are long-lasting, according to new research from Canada’s Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences. The study finds that older adults who had music training in their youth are better able to comprehend speech sounds. The ability to comprehend speech can decay with age. This decay is linked…

“Idiosyncratic” Brain Activity in Autism

Research into autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often focuses on brain connectivity. Various studies have offered conflicting results. Is the brain of a person with ASD over-connected or under-connected? A new study from the Weizmann Institute and Carnegie Mellon University says that these conflicts about brain connectivity in autism are rooted in a deeper principle of…

Adults Get Cognitive Boost from Many Activities

Experts agree that it is important to exercise, especially for older adults. But does the type of exercise make a difference? Research from the University of Montreal’s Institute of Geriatrics finds that older adults can receive the same cognitive benefits from low-impact activities like walking or stretching as from high-intensity aerobic and strength training. The…

What is iLs?

iLs is a complementary approach to brain fitness which can be integrated into a broad variety of educational, therapeutic and self-improvement programs. In the same way we can train our bodies to become stronger and healthier, iLs trains the brain to process sensory, cognitive and emotional information more effectively. With better synaptic connectivity, we perform better. It’s about as simple as that.

We start with music and movement, and then gradually integrate language and cognitive processes. The exercises appear simple but become increasingly difficult as we add new layers for simultaneous processing. The program involves no computers or screens of any type. Someone once referred to iLs as “a boot camp for the brain.” We’d like to think of it more as play, and we all know we work hardest when we play!

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