The Science Behind MyBrainSolutions

MyBrainSolutions is powered by Brain Resource® and its strong scientific base in Integrative Neuroscience.

The Brain Resource® Integrative Neuroscience base includes:

Integrative evidence base

MyBrainSolutions is unique in its 360-degree integration of scientific evidence with ongoing personalized brain insights and training solutions. The evidence base brings together scientific theory, objective assessments and a database for ongoing insights.

Personalized and Integrative Brain Training

The suite of training programs is designed to optimize integrative training across Emotion, Thinking, Feeling and Self-Regulation processes. This approach uses the latest knowledge about the interconnected nature of the brain.  Most other brain training sites focus on only one area – such as Thinking processes of memory.

Training is personalized so that training is matched to each person's Brain Profile and individual goals.

Read more about the history of this Integrative Neuroscience base and exactly how Integrative Insights are supplied in MyBrainSolutions below.

Integrative Neuroscience

Integrative Neuroscience Platform

An integrative platform has been used to identify the best way to measure your brain, and use it to optimize yourself. Integrative Neuroscience has been established as the way forward in personalizing brain health and its applications [1-4]. This approach draws on the move to large-scale science for brain health [5]. Using 'Integrative Neuroscience' we have brought together essential insights across the spectrum of brain health disciplines - spanning psychology, psychiatry, neurology and neuroscience. From these insights, we identify four essential processes for brain health; Emotion, Thinking, Feeling and Self-Regulation.

The Brain Resource® International Database

The largest available international library of information on human brain health in 1000s of people, both healthy and who are experiencing a range of health conditions. Data are acquired using standardized measures of behavior, self-reported experiences, brain-body function, brain anatomy and genetics [2,3]. This makes it possible to integrate information to achieve an Integrative Neuroscience for understanding how the brain works, and the best way to measure and monitor it.

A network of scientists

BRAINnet: An international science network

An independently functioning network of over 200 scientists around the world are using an Integrative Neuroscience approach, with the database and its standardized methods to uncover brain health insights. These insights have been published in over 250 scientific journals (see http://www.brainnet.net/publications/latest-publications/ for complete listing). This network is overseen by the BRAINnet Foundation.

Integrative Neuroscience insights

The INTEGRATE Model

BRAINnet scientists have distilled existing knowledge with insights from the Brain Resource® International Database into an integrative model of how the human brain functions as an integrated and dynamical system [4,6]. The INTEGRATE Model is illustrated below:

INTEGRATE Model

Key findings that underpin this model and the MyBrain Assessment measures include:

Minimize Danger-Maximize Reward

The core motivation to 'minimize danger-maximize reward' is the principle that underlies the essential organization of the brain. It drives our Emotion, Thinking, Feeling and Self-Regulation processes [4,6]. At the most basic level we have a drive to first keep safe, and then seek rewards and pleasures. This principle is reflected at more abstract levels, in the type of job we strive for, and the relationships we nurture.

Underlying genetic disposition, and brain-body functioning, each contribute to how our behavior is shaped to avoid danger and maximize rewards.

Emotion

Emotion processing can occur very rapidly in a fifth of a second. Rapid emotion processing occurs via lower-level brain networks that can pick up signals of potential danger or reward without you being aware of them. These networks trigger automatic emotional reactions without needing communicate with the higher levels of your brain. [7,8]. The emotion signals we rely on most are the facial expressions of emotions shown by others [9]. We read and react to these constantly in our communication with others.

Thinking

Thinking processes are mostly about 'facts'. They incorporate key elements of attention (focus, selective attention), memory (working memory and recall) and executive functions (planning, flexibility) [9-12]. These elements are needed to reflect on the consequences of our actions and to plan ahead. Brain systems involved in Thinking include feedback between higher and lower-level networks. This feedback also gives us awareness of what we are attending to, remembering and acting on. Thinking processes typically show a U-shaped change over the lifespan that is related to brain changes [10-13]. Yet, they are also impacted by training and experience throughout our life.

Feeling

Feelings about how we experience our Emotions and the influence on our Thinking [4,6]. Changes in the activation of our brain and body functioning are the biological basis of our Feelings, and how we interpret and label those Feelings [4,6]. For instance, increases in your heart rate go along with an experience of stress, while reductions in heart rate are associated with relaxation. The degree of experienced stress tends to be similar across countries [14]. But, all of us also have the capacity to use training to enhance our positive feelings, and reduce the negative.

Self-Regulation

Self-Regulation is about how we manage our Emotion, Thinking and Feeling and the associated brain processes. If we align these four processes we may optimize our brain health and how we adapt to our world [4,6]. We have a natural bias to expect more negative than positive outcomes. Enhancing our positivity bias is associated with a greater capacity for resilience, effective communication and productivity. People with a Positivity Bias tend to be more optimistic, If the negativity bias becomes exaggerated, it may increase risk for stress and poor brain health. It is associated with a more pessimistic outlook. Key elements of Self-Regulation include the regulation of emotion processes, goal setting and emotional intelligence [15].The regulation of emotion tends to improve with age [4,16], highlighting how experience and practice is an important contributor to how we manage our wellbeing.

Integrative Neuroscience insights in MyBrainSolutions

Insights from Integrative Neuroscience have been built into MyBrainSolutions to enable the development of an accessible and interactive brain training website for individuals to know, train and optimize their whole brain performance. These include:

Evidence that you can optimize your brain

One of the fundamental findings to emerge across the research is that the brain is dynamic - it has 'brain plasticity'. Our genetic inheritance contributes usually no more than 40% to our brain and behavior. There is a lot of room to actively shape the trajectory of your Emotion, Feeling, Thinking and Self-Regulation processes [6]. There is also increasing evidence that training and experience can shape the way our individual genes are expressed.

This means that understanding your own brain is the essential step to shaping it to best the best possible brain for you and your future.

Personalized and integrative brain training

The principles of the Integrative Model and the insights across disciplines of psychological and brain health have been applied to link MyBrain Assessment and Brain Profiles to the brain training programs. These include:

  • Each program is based on established principles for what aspects of Emotion, Thinking, Feeling or Self-Regulation can be changed, and what factors most influence them. Read about the research on these principles underneath each Brain Exercises.
  • Each program is designed to optimize training in the context of our highly interconnected and integrative brain. Not only are the programs structured to target the core elements that make up Emotion, Thinking, Feeling and Self-Regulation, but they are also designed to make the most of how training one area will have a flow-on benefit to another area
  • Training is personalized, based on objective information. MyBrain Profile informs which balance of programs is best suited to each person.  Your specific Brain Profile and scores match you to the training programs that are best for you. 
  • There is an ongoing cycle of validation demonstrating the effect of training on each of these processes in different groups of people.  This cycle draws on the power of the ongoing insights from the Brain Resource® International Database

While a number of brain training products provide solutions for cognitive (Thinking) training, MyBrainSolutions is unique in providing personalized training for the spectrum of Emotion, Feeling and Self-Regulation, as well as Thinking. It also focuses on your own personalized goals, with video 'insights' and goal setting tools to optimize the way you achieve your goals.

These features allow MyBrainSolutions to provide an integrated suite of solutions for the whole brain.

Example references

  1. Gordon E (Ed) (2000). Integrative Neuroscience: Bring together biological, psychological and clinical models of the human. Harwood
  2. Gordon E Cooper N, Rennie C, Hermens D & Williams (2005). Integrative neuroscience: the role of a standardized database. Clinical EEG and Neuroscience, 36, 64 – 75
  3. Gordon E (2003). Integrative Neuroscience. Neuropsychopharmacology, 28, 2 - 8.
  4. Gordon E, Barnett KJ, Cooper NJ, Tran N, Williams LM (2008). An 'Integrative Neuroscience' platform: Application to profiles of negativity and positivity bias. Journal of Integrative Neuroscience, 7, 345-366.
  5. Insel TR, Volkow ND, Landis SC, Li TK, Battey JF, Sieving P. (2004). Limits to growth: Why neuroscience needs large-scale science. Nature Neuroscience, 7,426-7.
  6. Williams LM et al. (2008). The INTEGRATE Model of Emotion, Thinking and Self-Regulation: An application to the 'paradox of aging'. Journal of Integrative Neuroscience, 7, 367-404.
  7. Williams LM, Das P, Liddell BJ, Kemp AH, Rennie CJ, Gordon E. (2006). Mode of functional connectivity in amygdala pathways dissociates level of awareness for signals of fear. Journal of Neuroscience, 26, 9264-9271.
  8. Liddell BJ, Brown KJ, Kemp AH, Barton MJ, Das P, Peduto A, Gordon E, Williams LM (2004). A direct brainstem-amygdala-cortical 'alarm' system for subliminal signals of fear.  Neuroimage, 24, 245-243.
  9. Williams LM, Mathersul D, Palmer DM, Gur RC, Gur RE, Gordon E. (2009). Explicit identification and implicit recognition of facial emotions: I. Age effects in males and females across 10 decades. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology xx 31, 257-277
  10. Mathersul D, Palmer DM, Gur RC, Gur RE, Cooper N, Gordon E, Williams LM (2009). Explicit identification and implicit recognition of facial emotions: II. Core domains and relationships with general cognition. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 31, 278-291
  11. Clark CR, Paul RH, Williams LM, Arns M, Fallahpour K, Handmer C, Gordon E, (2006). Standardized assessment of cognitive functioning during development and aging using an automated touchscreen battery. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 21, 449-467
  12. Gunstad J Paul R, Brickman A, Cohen R, Arns M, Rowe DL, Lawrence JJ & Gordon E. (2006). Patterns of cognitive performance in middle-aged and older adults: a cluster analytic examination. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology, 19, 59 - 64.
  13. Brickman AM, Zimmerman ME, Paul RH, Grieve SM, Tate DF, Cohen RA, Williams LM, Clark CR, Gordon E (2006). Regional white matter and neuropsychological functioning across the adult lifespan. Biological Psychiatry,  60,  444-453
  14. Cohen RA Paul RH, Stroud L, McCaffrey J, Sweet L, Hitsman B, Gunstad J, Niaura R, McFarlane A, Bryant RA, Gordon E. (2006). Early life stress and adult emotional experience: an International Perspective. The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 36, 35 - 52.
  15. Craig AR, Tran Y, Hermens G, Williams LM, Kemp A, Morris C, Gordon E (2009). Psychological and neural correlates of emotional intelligence in a large sample of adult males and females. Personality and Individual Differences, 46, 111-115
  16. Williams LM, Brown KJ, Palmer D, Liddell BJ, Kemp AH, Olivieri G, Peduto A, Gordon E (2006). Mellow Years: Neural basis of improving emotional stability over age. Journal of Neuroscience, 26, 6422-6430. 






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