Brain Power 2020

Researchers bring us two perspectives on enhancing intelligence. Neuroplasticity can be influenced in a positive direction to improve brain power!”


In animal research Marian Diamond described what rats did to enhance their brain power by being active in an enriched environment. Watching from a neighboring cage did not give rats better brain power. Activity was essential.”


Then when they held and talked to her rats, their lifespan increased 50% to the equivalent of 90 years of human age. Throughout this period of enrichment with added positive psychology, her rats continued to show improvements in brain chemistry, architecture and performance. Thus, Marian Diamond found that, even to the equivalent of 90 years of human age, her rats enjoyed vigorous longevity while they were “Enriching Heredity.” She believed that humans could earn these same benefits of increasing brain power, of “enriching heredity.” Watch Marian Diamond’s YouTube video, “Older Brains, New Connections” for her brilliant presentation on this topic.


In human research James Flynn found that we are making massive IQ gains from one generation to another. This has been documented in over thirty countries around the world. Flynn is not saying we’re born with better brains but that we are developing brain power that makes it possible for us to deal with an increasingly complex modern world that includes working with problems of economic development.


Taken together, the research of Diamond and Flynn suggests:
That taking an active role in solving environmental challenges can help build better brain power AND
That tender touch and talk could significantly increase the probability that you can “enrich heredity” for a brain-span that exceeds your lifespan.


Brain Power 2020 blogs will explore ways we can influence neuroplasticity to build better brain power.

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3rd World Congress on Positive Psychology

Combining Neuroplasticity and Positive Psychology in Clinical Practice to Increase Positive Development across the Lifespan, was the title of my Conversation Hour and Poster presentations at the 3rd World Congress on Positive Psychology. This focus on personal empowerment at any age was greatly appreciated by this group of more than 1200 attendees from 54 countries!

As I emphasized there, we need a science-based discussion by informed scientists to increase awareness of benefits of integrating brain-plasticity based strategies into positive psychology to add dignity to aging, emphasize science-based ways to maximize human potential, and enhance evolving human intelligence with vigorous longevity.


We can afford people unprecedented hope for Positive Development across the Lifespan when including neuroplastic-based interventions. Neuroplastic gains with 50% increased lifespan were demonstrated when rats were held and spoken to in the research lab of Marian Diamond. These lab rats were “enriching heredity” throughout the human equivalent of 90 years. Marian Diamond is one of several researchers who believe humans can achieve similar gains at any age.


Increasingly studies in humans find improvements in brain chemistry, architecture and performance associated with lifestyle choices. Using touch, talk, education and other positive psychology techniques clinicians can enhance this trend toward better functioning, greater well-being and heightened motivation to make healthy lifestyle choices that can drive brain plasticity in a positive direction.


The gains of this integrative approach can exceed the sum of the component parts when interventions target brain sites considered most vulnerable to the so-called “normal decline of aging”. Thomas Insel’s call to facilitate the profound shift in how we promote mental health is urgent with the global trend of humans living longer.

Stay tuned for further details on Brain Power 2020 and contemplating how we could enhance it.

Dr. Joyce

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Thomas Jefferson University Nurses Enjoyed News about Cocoa & Other Brain Foods.

Today I had the privilege of sharing some of the exciting new neuroscience with a crowd of wonderful nurses at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. They asked brilliant questions AND gave learned answers. In the brief hour over lunch we explored some of the latest research on Cocoa & Other Brain Foods. I send a special “Thank YOU” to that erudite audience for being excited about Ideal Aging and how you can increase brain power.


Since the latest neuroscience is too exciting to rush through, this will only be the beginning of a series on that topic. My latest eBook on Kindle with this same name addresses Cocoa and Other Brain Foods in greater depth.


Before we proceed, let me explore the issue of bias. First, as a speaker and a writer my requirement is to give you science or give you silence. Second, it has never been possible for anyone to read the entire library; with the ever-increasing explosion of information available online, it’s no longer possible to read the entire database on a niche. Thus, no matter the length of a writing, there’s more that can be said AND I welcome additions/corrections to what is written here.


That being said, let’s make a modest beginning. At the end of this series you will have information on 1) Basic nutritional needs for ideal brain chemistry, architecture and performance; 2) Medical issues that can compromise brain fitness; and 3) Foods that can address these issues.


Basic nutritional needs for ideal brain chemistry, architecture and performance are many and varied. This writing will only address the first of those.


Carbohydrates (CHO) are essential as the major energy source for your brain because they most readily metabolize into the kind of fuel you need to carry on. And your brain accounts for ~20% of your total metabolic activity even at rest. Also, carbohydrates are the cleanest source of fuel. However, the normal metabolic process creates reactive oxygen species (ROS) which can cause oxidative damage; it also creates advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Both are associated with unhealthy aging. The greatest damage caused by AGES is cross-linking of proteins which does damage within cells as well as causing apoptosis. The various diseases that AGEs contribute to include chronic inflammatory diseases such as periodontitis, neurodegenerative diseases, retinopathy, arthritis, cardiovascular disease and others. Although AGEs accumulate in tissues through normal metabolism, certain factors increase their accumulation.


Scientists are exploring methods of clearing the AGEs from the human body. Research has not yet found a way to undo the damage of cross-linking which results in less flexible tissues in your body. This is only one of the many reasons for avoiding refined sugars such as fructose.


Stay tuned for additional new neuroscience on CHO, ROS, AGEs and Cocoa & Other Brain Foods. Thank you for your interest in Ideal Aging, enhancing brain power, and vigorous longevity!


Dr. Joyce

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What Is Brain Power 2020?

axons-smWhat is Brain Power 2020?


Brain power 2020 is seeing clearly; remembering more; having better judgment; making the best decisions; thinking quickly; continually enjoying increasingly complicated new learning; being so happy in your mission and purpose that time evaporates; celebrating progress; and using your knowledge with such efficiency that your personal best keeps evolving to be even better across time. It’s thinking fast on the go so you simply get more out of life. It’s the laughter, real, shared or simulated (Mora-Ripoll, 2011) that promotes and celebrates health.

It’s mastering the balance between independence and interdependence so that the bulk of your time is enjoyed in the midst of a supportive crowd that thrives on being the wind beneath each other’s wings.

It is juice! It results in you feeling better about yourself; having better energy; and looking forward with confidence to the next bend in your life’s highway.

It is enjoying enhancing your personal best.

Dr. Joyce


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Brain Power 2020

Increasing human intelligence is referred to as the Flynn effect (Flynn, 1984; 1987). It has been documented in several countries.

At the very least that can be considered evidence of environmental influence on how our brains perform. It raises many questions.

Is there a limit to how much we can increase our brain power? Will you join me in exploring how far we can take this human intellectual growth?

A recent article in the New York Times suggests that anthropologists studying human evolution across the last million or so years believe they have a handle on why and how we’ve come a long way, Baby! These anthropologists are quick to point out that their hypothesis is both based on science AND essentially impossible to prove.

The most empowering use of this perspective is to integrate it with evolving human neuroscience. Many recent studies tend to shed light on some of the ways humans could evolve intellectually. Neuroplasticity refers to changes in brain cells. Neuroplasticity CAN be influenced in positive ways!

I’m writing an eBook series with several goals. It is my mission and my passion to share evolving neuroscience that addresses the topic of enhancing human intelligence. I thrive on integrating cutting edge science with groundbreaking science that gave us a foundation to build on.

I am inviting you to use this science along with wise counsel from your healthcare provider AND your own best judgment about how to set your unique strategic plan to increase your brain power.

Don’t do as I do. Don’t do as I say. Use science and your healthcare professional to determine YOUR best way.

Stay tuned. This could be fun AND empowering. And thanks for your interest in Ideal Aging with increasing brain power.

Dr. Joyce


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