Spending just 10 minutes talking to another person can help improve your memory and your performance on tests, according to a University of Michigan study."In our study, socializing was just as effective as more traditional kinds of mental exercise in boosting memory and intellectual performance," said Oscar Ybarra, a psychologist at the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR) and a lead author of the study with ISR psychologist Eugene Burnstein and psychologist Piotr Winkielman from the University of California, San Diego.
This experiment shows that social interaction directly affects memory and mental performance in a positive way and it suggests that social isolation may have a negative effect on intellectual abilities as well as emotional well-being.

About the research



Discourse processing certainly represents an aspect of verbal communication that will allow bridge between more classically language-related aspects of cognition and other aspects of cognition that are not exclusive to language but nonetheless allow optimal interpersonal communication abilities. Studying discourse together with other disciplines could help us to understand different aspects which take part in communication processes and could be impaired in Alzheimer communication: how we perceive the world, remember things, comprehend social and linguistic events, and act effectively to satisfy one's needs.

Studies in discourse impairments in brain-damaged individuals should systematically incorporate an appreciation of all cognitive abilities that are necessary in order to achieve normal interpersonal communication (working memory, semantic memory, attention, inferential abilities, visual skills...) Also these studies should propose approaches that enable capturing inter and intra subject variability.

The major issue between persons living with AD and the people who interact with them is communication. We need to really listen, to make sure that we understand and are understood.
How people acquire and represent knowledge about their world, how they organize and use that knowledge, how they use language in speaking. This is a complex cognitive skill. So that, the management of knowledge is a complex cognitive skill and I suggest to focus the study of Alzheimer discourse on that issue: Which is the rol of knowledge in dicourse production and comprehension?


One of the most frightening and devastating of all neurological disorders is the dementia that occurs in the elderly. The most common cause of this illness is Alzheimer’s disease (AD). World over it is estimated that 26 million people are living with Alzheimer's and by 2050 the number is expected to quadruple.

The earliest symptoms of AD include forgetfulness; disorientation to time or place; and difficulty with concentration, calculation, language, and judgment. As the disease progresses, some patients have severe behavioral disturbances and may even become psychotic. The diagnosis depends on medical history, physical and neurological examinations, psychological testing, laboratory tests, and brain imaging studies. At present, however, final confirmation of the diagnosis requires examination of brain tissue, usually obtained at autopsy. ate caution must be taken.

The causes and mechanisms of the brain abnormalities underlying AD are not yet fully understood. Reductions occur in levels of markers for many neurotransmitters, including acetylcholine, somatostatin, monoamines, and glutamate, that allow cells to communicate with one another. Damage to these neural systems, which are critical for attention, memory, language, learning, and higher cognitive abilities, is believed to cause the clinical symptoms. Currently approved treatments do not modify the course of the disease and offer only temporary mitigation of some symptoms of AD, such as agitation, anxiety, unpredictable behavior, sleep disturbances, and depression.

Within the past three to five years, greater appreciation has developed for the surprisingly important roles that diet and lifestyle play in determining risk for AD. Cognitive activity, physical activity, and heart-healthy diets lower the risk for AD, while obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes raise the risk. Some evidence indicates that successful management of these cardiovascular risks can delay the onset or
slow the progression of dementia.

Society for Neuroscience


2nd International Clinical Linguistic Conference

Madrid 2009
November 11,12,13

Main topics

* Clinical phonetics and phonology
* Clinical grammar
* Clinical linguistics and lexical-semantical aspects
* Clinical linguistics and pragmatics
* Clinical sociolinguistics
* Language acquisition and development, and Clinical Linguistics: L1 and L2
* New technologies for language acquisition and development in clinical situations
* Assessment, treatment, description of language disorders
* Brain and language

Abstract submission (oral presentations and posters): From October 1st. to April, 15th. 2009

Acceptance confirmation: April, 30th. 2009
Full text submission: June, 15th. 2009

Link: more information