Tag: cognition

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Paul LaFontaine: Heart Rate Variability and Flow

January 26, 2015

Paul LaFontaine is on an incredible journey to understand himself, his stress, and how he works through consistent examination of his heart rate variability (HRV). We’ve featured a few of his talks here on the Quantified Self website, and we were happy to have him present at a Bay Area QS meetup this past December….

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Cliff Atkinson: Storyboarding the Psyche

October 10, 2014

Cliff Atkinson is a consultant who helps people tell their stories and showcase their data in clear and understandable ways. It’s no surprise that when he became interested in understanding himself he turned to his experiences with visual storytelling. In 2012, at a New York QS meetup, Cliff spoke about how he’s embarked on a…

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Mark Drangsholt: Deciphering My Brain Fog

August 21, 2014

One of the benefits of long-term self-tracking is that one builds up a toolbox of investigatory methods that can be drawn upon when medical adversity hits. One year ago, when Mark Drangsholt experienced brain fog during a research retreat while on Orcas Island in the Pacific Northwest, he had to draw upon the self-tracking tools…

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Peter Lewis on Meditation and Brain Function

July 18, 2014

As a long-time meditator, Peter Lewis had a suspicion that meditation could improve brain function, so he conducted a self-experiment and enlisted a few other individuals to help test his hypothesis. By using an arithmetic testing application, a timed meditation app, and an ABA research design he was find out that there was some support…

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Ari Berwaldt on Sleep, Cognition and Fasting

February 21, 2013

Ari Berwaldt wanted to better understand how his sleep affected his mental performance. In this great talk Ari explains his insights from tracking his cognitive skills using Quantified Mind and some surprising results about the lack of correlation between his Zeo data and his mental performance. Make sure to keep watching as Ari also explains…

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Ryota Kanai on Quantifying his Brain

November 18, 2012

Ryota Kanai does brain scans for a living. He can assess a person’s intelligence level, personality traits, and social proclivity from these scans. He even did a study correlating number of friends on Facebook with brain structure. In the video below, Ryota shows a 3-D scan of his brain, highlighted with colors to show where he…

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Nick Winter: The Lazy Man Approach to Cognitive Testing

July 30, 2012

Nick Winter has done some dedicated testing of the effect of different interventions on his cognitive function. He discovered that butter had an unexpected impact on his mental performance, while things like cutting out gluten had no effect. In the video below, Nick gives an entertaining and informative talk about his experimental design and what he…

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QS Primer: Spaced Repetition and Learning

June 22, 2012

Many people think the Quantified Self mostly involves physical metrics: heart rate, sleep, diet, etc. but what about what goes on in our brains? Can we quantify that? There have been several inspiring Quantified Self talks about tracking learning and memory. This post will collect all of them into one place, along with good resources…

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Nicholas Manolakos on Twenty Years of Self-Experiments

April 8, 2012

Nicholas Manolakos is a programmer and avid reader who has been self-tracking for twenty years. He’s recently been improving his left-right body balance, and can write proficiently with both hands now. In the video below, he talks about many of his experiments, including optimizing cognitive performance, managing anxiety, introducing complexity, dietary experiments and fasting –…

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Fenn Lipkowitz and his Amazing Lifelog

December 9, 2011

Self-described hacker Fenn Lipkowitz gives a rich update to his lifelogging activities in the video below. Fenn created a detailed diary with start and stop times as a simple text file, generating a color-coded chart of daily activities. During his experimentation, Fenn began to read about the Life Extension Foundation and visited a site known as Longecity, a community of…

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Butter and Arithmetic: How Much Butter?

December 2, 2011

I measure my arithmetic speed  (how fast I do simple arithmetic problems, such as 3+ 4) daily. I assume it reflects overall brain function. I assume something that improves brain function will make me faster at arithmetic. Two years ago I discovered that butter — more precisely, substitution of butter for pork fat — made me…

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Ernesto Ramirez on Memories and Reflections

September 5, 2011

Ernesto Ramirez strikes again! His recent talk at QS San Diego called Quantified Self on a Budget is one of our most viewed videos. We were lucky enough to have Ernesto come up to San Francisco to share his thoughts on how self-tracking can enhance your memories and help you reflect on your life. He…

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Results of The Buttermind Experiment

January 30, 2011

In August, at a Quantified Self meeting in San Jose, I told how butter apparently improved my brain function. When I started eating a half-stick of butter every day, I suddenly got faster at arithmetic. During the question period, Greg Biggers of genomera.com proposed a study to see if what I’d found was true for other people….

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Another Mysterious Mental Improvement

January 24, 2011

A month ago I posted this graph, which shows how long I needed to type the answer to simple arithmetic problems (7-5, 4*1, 9+0). I tested myself with about 40 problems once or twice per day. Because I’d been doing this for a long time, I no longer improved due to practice. Then, at the…

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Does Shower Temperature Affect Brain Speed?

January 8, 2011

In November I learned about benefits of cold showers. So I tried them. I took cold showers that lasted about 5 minutes. I liked the most obvious effect (less sensitivity to cold). Maybe a bigger “dose” would produce a bigger effect. Maybe the mood improvement cold showers were said to cause would be clearer. So I…

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Will Butter Make You Smarter? Introducing Butter Mind…and Coconut Mind

October 13, 2010

Update: 10/19/10 – Study is now open to users at http://genomera.com/studies/butter-mind Will eating one of these fats improve your math performance?  Based on Seth Roberts’ butter and math study, recently presented at a Bay Area Quantified Self Show & Tell, during which Seth ate half a stick of butter each day and performed better in…