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TED TALK: Microbiome, Brain and Behavior - Ted Dinan

This talk seems a little dry at first, but the first 10 minutes present so much detailed information that address behavior, sociability, infection:depression, antibiotics, endocrine:microbiota, and more.  You'll want to watch the whole thing. And it's worth it. 

Microbiome and Mental Health in the Modern Environment; Journal of Physiological Anthropology

From Abstract:  A revolution in the understanding of the pathophysiology of mental illness combined with new knowledge about host/microbiome interactions and psychoneuroimmunology has opened an entirely new field of study, the “psychobiotics”.​

Emily Deans:  Evolutionary Psychiatry

A collection of articles published on Psychology Today by Emily Deans, MD, Harvard professor and practicing psychiatrist. 


Lipton, Bruce H., PhD. (2007). Biology of Belief. Hay House.

The Biology of Belief is a short book that explains how your environment directly and constantly impacts your health (physical, mental and emotional) through a process called "epigenetics".  Epigenetics describes how your DNA is expressed in very different ways depending on your environment.  This begins in-utero, and continues throughout life.  I believe this is a critically important book for everyone to read.  It is written for a non-scientist audience, and the audio version of the book, read by the author, makes it even easier to digest and understand. 

Eagleman, David. (2011).  Incognito:  The Secret Lives of the Brain. New York: Random House, Inc.

"Neuroscientist and polymath David Eagleman argues that the actions of the unconscious are so powerful and pervasive that they "dethrone" the conscious mind." - The Wall Street Journal

Chopra, Deepak, MD. (2010). How To Know God. New York: Harmony Books.

For those who have a difficult time understanding spirituality, this book can be immensely helpful.  Dr. Chopra uses a seamless blend of philosophy, anthropology and quantum physics to present the many aspects of spirit and source ("God") from a variety of perspectives.  The goal of this book is not to convince or suggest blind faith; rather, it offers a path for meaningful, personal discovery, making it more comfortable to open the door to discovery.  This book does not promote or demote specific religious traditions. 

Richo, David. (2002). How To Be An Adult In Relationships. Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc. 

This is an excellent book for anyone in any type of relationship.  It is both practical and philosophical, and encourages individual maturity and growth through relationship.  

Siegel, Daniel J. (2013). Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain. New York: Penguin Group. 

"Brainstorm is eye-opening and inspiring, a great gift to us all - teens, parents of teens, and anyone who wants a full and rich life on this planet.  Daniel Siegel shows how the supposed downsides of the teen years all have upsides, and that the lessons for living that await teens are lessons any of us, at any age, can learn from.  Teens and their parents stand to benefit immensely from reading this book, separately or together." - Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence.


Brene' Brown, The Power of Vulnerability

Jill Bolte Taylor.  My Stroke of Insight

Andrew Solomon.  How The Worst Moments In Our Lives Make Us Who We Are

MISCELLANEOUS helps match volunteers with opportunities in Austin and surrounding areas.


Sixty and Me - Senior Volunteering


Fresh Air Podcast - How to Fall Asleep 

The National Sleep Foundation recommends an average of eight hours of sleep per night for adults, but sleep scientist Matthew Walker says that too many people are falling short of the mark.  "Human beings are the only species that deliberately deprive themselves of sleep for no apparent gain," Walker says. "Many people walk through their lives in an underslept state, not realizing it."  Walker is the director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He points out that lack of sleep — defined as six hours or fewer — can have serious consequences. Sleep deficiency is associated with problems in concentration, memory and the immune system, and may even shorten life span.... click the link above to listen!

Ted Radio Hour:  The Hero's Journey

From the Odyssey, to Robinson Crusoe, to Star Wars — why are we drawn to stories about heroes? And what do they tell us about ourselves? This hour, TED speakers explore what makes a hero's journey.  Your Body's Amazing Reaction to Water

"...Scholander found that a person need submerge only his face in water to activate these life-lengthening (and lifesaving) reflexes. Other researchers tried sticking a hand or a leg in the water in an attempt to trigger the reflex, but to no avail. One researcher even put volunteers into a compression chamber to see if pressure alone would trigger a similar diving reflex. No dice. Only water could trigger these reflexes, and the water had to be cooler than the surrounding air.  As it turns out, the tradition of splashing cold water on your face to refresh yourself isn’t just an empty ritual; it provokes a physical change within us.  Scholander had documented one of the most extreme transformations ever discovered in the human body, a change that occurred only in water. He called it the Master Switch of Life."

Navy Seal Admiral:  Reasons To Make Your Bed Everyday

Admiral McRaven explains at a University of Texas, Austin commencement speech why making your bed may be the best way to start off every day.

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