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Archive for November, 2012

Upcoming Course on the Social Brain and Communication

November 17th, 2012 Kevin No comments

Does being more socially active improve my brain?

Absolutely. Being social increases your cognitive reserve so things like memory and the ability to process concepts will decline more slowly. Being social builds brain mass.

Do you have research that proves being social helps my brain as I age?

This article, titled “Late-Life Social Activity and Cognitive Decline in Old Age,” summarizes research to conclude: “…more socially active older adults experience less cognitive¬†decline in old age.”

Article link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3206295/

If I maintain social contacts and socialize more often that helps my brain?

You bet.

You are offering a course on the social brain and communication?

Yes, through UT Austin’s Informal Classes program. I raise awareness about areas of the brain associated with social interactions and offer communication tactics to help you navigate your social interactions better.

Do you have a link for the course?

Here is the link for the course: http://cie.austin.utexas.edu/informalclasses/index.php/Communicating_with_Others_with_Your_and_Their_Brains_in_Mind/?num=IC13089

What will I learn about communicating with the social brain in mind?

We consider the following:

1) Being social reduces cognitive decline as we age

2) Some researchers have modified Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to place social needs at the base

3) Being social is critical for finding meaning and relevance in most of our lives

4) Social skills and large social networks depend on deep meaningful conversation

5) Deep meaningful communication requires intention, wonder, and good questions

6) Specific regions in the brain like the insula and temporoparietal junction are key to socializing well

7) When we use those regions skillfully the brain functions at its best

8) Evidence suggests that our ancestors succeeded because they were highly social

9) Our genes and environment wire our brains to require high quality social contact and we do poorly without it

10) Why people say what they say becomes more clear as we learn about the social brain

11) Knowing the social brain clues us in on why we or they say one thing and do another

12) We learn about “cognitive biases,” which are brain patterns with deep social roots

13) We learn communication techniques for dealing with these cognitive baises

14) Knowing how biases work reduces their force so we can connect with others and strengthen our bonds

Can you summarize the benefits of taking a class on the social brain?

We are social creatures. We rely on a vast brain network to socialize at our best. The communication piece is the key to this course’s value: when you know how the social brain works and how to accommodate it best using smart conversation abilities, you increase the depth, value, and amount of your social connections. Communicating with the social brain in mind increases your own personal meaning and also raises your relevance in the communities within which you work and live.

Thank you for the information.

You are welcome. I look forward to sharing this material with you.

Kevin Leahy

Founder and brain trainer, Knowledge Advocate, LLC

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