You Can’t Teach an Old Brain … or Can You?

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Image from BlatantNews.com

In her New York Times article “How to Train the Aging Brain,” Barbara Strauch discusses ways in which people in middle age and beyond can keep their brains strong and nimble. Although there is no lack of evidence that certain brain functions, such as memory, tend to weaken in aging people, scientists now agree that brains not only continue to develop but actually become more capable of discovering big-picture patterns instrumental in problem solving. However, it is essential that aging people practice their brains’ functionality by maintaining and fostering connections between acquired knowledge and today’s changing perceptions of almost every subject. Continue reading

Back by Popular Demand

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Image by Daneil Huggard*

Just a month ago, on April 19, Connecticut hosted an Imagination Conversation, and, to our delight, it will host a second Conversation this Monday, May 24. Steven Dahlberg, director of the International Centre for Creativity and Imagination, was inspired by the lively debate of the first event, which he hosted, so he proposed another one. This Conversation will take place 7:00–9:00 pm at The Studio @ Billings Forge in Hartford. The theme is “Unleashing and Harnessing the Imagination in Learning and Work,” which certainly sounds provocative. The citizens eager to delve into the importance and potential of the imagination are asked to bring their own “imagination story.”

But no promotion is needed from us; let us just quote Mr. Dahlberg’s blog:

“Connecticut has a long tradition of creativity, invention and innovation, but the current economic downturn and increased worldwide competition mean that we cannot take our position for granted. Now more than ever, we must nurture imagination in our schools, create environments for innovation in workplaces, and build cultures for creativity in our communities.”

Decidedly food for thought. Equally inspiring is the fact that Connecticut isn’t the only state that has decided to organize not just one but a whole series of Conversations: Massachusetts and Ohio have already done so. Here’s hoping the trend will continue.

If you wish to attend the May 24 Imagination Conversation, visit http://www.eventbrite.com/event/665180573 for detailed information.

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LCI Announces Contest–Play Now!

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If you’ve read Imagination First, you know that imagination can be practiced until it becomes your number one helper in daily life, in the office, in the classroom, in the kitchen—everywhere you need it. To prove the point, the book focuses on many successful professionals, from a Disney Imagineer to a Whole Foods exec, who set some time aside every day to actively practice imagination. Their practices are fascinating and range from “Why didn’t I think of that?” to “OMG, I never would have thought of that.”

So what’s your practice? Describe it for us and tell us how it serves you. It doesn’t matter whether you use it to teach, to learn, to expand your horizons through books or travel, or to communicate with your teenager. We want to know about it, and we’ll even reward you for it. Lincoln Center Institute is conducting a friendly contest: every three months we’ll choose the practice that most captures our own imagination and the winner will get an iPod, a gift from publishers Jossey-Bass, and other “merchandise”—meaning fun stuff from different companies. And don’t worry if you don’t send us your practice by the first deadline: you’ll have another chance, and a third! So play!

For deadlines and specific rules click here. Good luck!

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