The Importance of Play: It's More Than Just Fun and Games | The Huffington Post

I'm not by nature a nature guy; give me air conditioning and room service any day. But when my significant other and I lucked into the spectacle of dozens of momma elephant seals -- exhausted from giving birth and lolling on the beach in various popular problem solving editor service canada of repose -- I was transfixed The ones who weren't sound asleep snuggled in groups or splashed languorously in the ebb tide.

Most fascinating, a few played together effortlessly -- sleep deficits be damned. Since communing with those joyful beings, I've noticed a greater ease -- one might say "beginner's mind" -- in my meditation practice.

Moments of pleasure tend to stand source, while more painful thoughts and essays uk websites cheap writers recede a bit more readily.

In my case, at least, beginner's mind also makes me more aware of coincidences, if not synchronicities. When I returned to L. Teacher Stacy Barrows of Century City Physical Therapy said: Play may seem purposeless, but neuroscience research reveals that play is our introduction to exploratory learning. Our adaptive behavior stems from problem-solving in play and in our imaginary world. Chronic pain reduces our movement choices and we become less aware of how to create new, non-painful movement patterns.

Moishe Feldenkrais had the insight that excessive striving impedes the goal, and recommended slow, improvisational motions. The biological need for the "altered state" of play is the focus popular problem solving editor service canada psychiatrist Stuart Brown 's books, articles and this remarkable TED lecture.

Demonstrating the transformative power of play, Brown offers a scene of a polar bear and a husky -- normally mortal enemies -- cavorting together without a trace of hostility. Modern technology reveals that play lights up the brain in such desired areas as clarity and memory.

Common sense tells us that if we've been encouraged to play as a child, beginner's mind comes more naturally as an adult. Conversely, Brown's research suggests, the absence of play in early life can have dire consequences. In fact, he claims, most serial killers were deprived of childhood play. Play, of course, isn't all fun and games; it can also combine with sophisticated training to produce works of improvisational genius.

Charles Limb found that for jazz musicians, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex -- the area linked to planned popular problem solving editor service canada and self-censoring -- shows a slowdown in activity during improvisation.

Limb says this indicates the musician is ''shutting down impulses that might impede the flow of novel ideas," leaving a clear field for spontaneity underpinned by years of practice. Novel ideas were called for when pianist Keith Jarrett found out popular problem solving editor service canada before a concert in Koln, Germany in that instead of playing on a world-class Bosendorferhe'd have to make the popular problem solving editor service canada of a poorly-conditioned baby grand.

He considered cancelling, but instead went out and created, out of nothingness, a pure improvisation for the ages, the critically-acclaimed recording of which became the most popular solo album in jazz history. Last week, a member of my meditation group pointed out that play often comes into play in marriage counseling.

When the daily grind of jobs, kids and routine dulls that initial burst of passion, couples are encouraged to "get silly" with each other to rekindle that early state of romantic beginner's mind. Uniquely among all beings, Stuart Brown argues, we humans possess the creativity and flexibility to play throughout our lives. Of course, we also have the most ingenious neuroses to thwart playfulness. This week, before each sit, I've gently summoned the intention to play.

It may seem paradoxical to note that the very purposelessness of playful meditation can yield rewards. But I'm having too much fun to worry about paradoxes. Follow Michael Sigman on Twitter:. Stuart-brown Moshe Feldenkrais Charles Limb Dorsolateral Prefronatal Cortex Stacy Barrows. The Importance of Play: It's More Than Just Fun and Games. Beginner's mind -- that state in which one experiences each moment for just what it is, unmediated by storylines, habits, or judgments -- has been on my non-beginner's mind since returning from a recent vacation at the charming coastal town of Cambria, Calif.

But when my significant other and I lucked into the spectacle of dozens of momma elephant seals -- exhausted from giving birth and lolling on the popular problem solving editor service canada in various stages of repose -- I just click for source transfixed. The ones who weren't sound asleep snuggled in groups or popular problem solving editor service canada languorously in the ebb tide.

Teacher Stacy Barrows of Century City Physical Therapy said:. Play may seem purposeless, but neuroscience research reveals that play is our introduction to exploratory learning. Movement with beginner's mind, if you will.


Andrew Markel is the editor of Underhood Service magazine. He has been with Babcox Media for 15 years. He is a technician and former service writer and holds several.

Wide range of fun and challenging games. Good set of metrics for seeing your progress. You have to register for a free trial to get pricing info.

Assessments section could be better documented. Actual efficacy of the training is in dispute. Lumosity provides a suite of fun and challenging games that operate near-flawlessly as part of a personalized brain-training program. The games, developed by neuroscientists, are challenging and—for the most part—fun. Lumosity offers a personalized training program that focuses on subscriber-defined areas that need improvement.

The games work very smoothly; the worst problem I encountered was occasional loading delays. The site is well designed, with a pleasing color scheme and graphics. View All 11 Popular problem solving editor service canada in Gallery.

Lumosity's games are based around 5 general cognitive areas: speed, memory, attention, flexibility, and problem solving. For instance, under Attention, the choices include improving productivity and precision at work or at home, avoiding distractions, concentrating while learning something new, and maintaining focus on important tasks all day. From your popular problem solving editor service canada well as your age—Lumosity builds a personalized training program for you.

All except the monthly rate are currently on promotion for slightly less. You have to register on the site before you even see the pricing structure. Once you register and login, you land on a home with top tabs that read Courses, Games, Assessments, and Brain Profile.

The basic training lasts 40 sessions, while most of the others are for 20 sessions. Each training session consists of 5 games popular problem solving editor service canada to the skill area in question. The specific games presented in a session vary popular problem solving editor service canada from day to day. It usually takes me 15 to 20 minutes to complete a session. All are challenging, often frustrating, and usually popular problem solving editor service canada. Apart from occasionally being slow to load, the games ran smoothly and without problems in my testing in both Google Chrome and IE8 and 9.

Everyone has their favorite games; among mine are Word Bubbles and Penguin Pursuit. I figured as a writer, this would be a piece of cake, but some letter combinations proved quite difficult. Penguin Pursuit focuses on speed and spatial skills. You play the role of a penguin, racing through a maze on an iceberg to get to a fish before another penguin beats you to it.

I found the math exercises hardest to warm up to I guess there goes my geek cred…but now I look at them as old friends. After the third one hits, the game is over. As the game progresses, they fall faster. The Assessments section Iisted as Beta consists of a set of 16 quick brain tests designed to evaluate cognitive ability.

Each test is focused on a different area. For example, Digit Span focuses on short-term memory, Grammatical Reasoning on flexibility and speed, popular problem solving editor service canada Memory Span on spatial memory.

The rightmost tab lets you access your Brain Profile, which shows how your training scores—overall, and in each of the 5 main cognitive areas—compare with other Lumosity users. Through a History sub-tab, you can access graphs, showing how your brain performance index BPI —overall, in each of the 5 categories, or for individual games, has changed, either over the past 10 games, 50 games, or showing weekly average.

The BPI is a single-number score derived by how ghostwriter essay professional sites united states creative score compares with the entire pool of Lumosity users.

One section accessible through the home page is called The Science behind Lumosity. I personally found the tests both rewarding and fun, but, as I am popular problem solving editor service canada a neuroscientist, my evaluation of the site is based almost exclusively on how much fun it was to use and my own just click for source evaluation of its usefulness.

Anybody considering using Lumosity or a similar cognitive training site in hopes of improving their minds would do well to do some research and draw their own conclusions. It came as no surprise that in my first Brain Profile, my score for Attention was the lowest of the five main cognitive areas, while Flexibility was the highest.

That is still the case, though my BPI in these and the cheap service presentation ghostwriters 3 main areas have progressively improved. I feel more focused and more able to stick to tasks, as well as switch quickly between tasks if need be.

I couldn't say, however, if any of this is due to Lumosity or if other lifestyle changes have contributed, too. Lumosity is well worth the subscription price, and well deserving of our Editors' Choice purely from a perspective of engagement and fun—any cognitive improvements are a fringe benefit. These commissions do not affect how we test, rate or review products.

Click the following article find out more, read our complete terms of use. As Analyst for printers, scanners, and projectors, Tony Hoffman tests and reviews these products and provides news coverage for these popular problem solving editor service canada. Tony has worked at PC Magazine sincefirst as a Staff Editor, then as Reviews Editor, and more recently as Managing Editor for the printers, scanners, and projectors team.

In addition to editing, Tony has written articles on digital photography popular problem solving editor service canada reviews of digital cameras, PCs, and iPhone apps.

Prior to joining the PCMag team, Tony worked for 17 popular problem solving editor service canada in magazine and journal The XYZprinting da Vinci Jr.

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