Advanced Mental Training to Maximise your Success

What happens in an actor’s brain?

This is a fascinating article from the BBC.  It looks at what an actor’s brain is doing during a performance.


By Nick Higham
Today programme

Original article here with additional video and images.

For an actor, the performance conditions weren’t exactly ideal: flat on her back in a large machine, under strict instructions to lie as still as possible, speaking in short bursts interspersed with the shrill sound of a magnetic resonance imaging scanner.

But last week Fiona Shaw, one of Britain’s leading actresses – who has in her time played everything from the tragic heroine Medea to Shakespeare’s Richard II – volunteered in the cause of science to spend an hour having her brain scanned while “acting”.

Professor Sophie Scott of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London wanted to know what happens physically in an actor’s head when they pretend to be someone else.

She hoped that scanning Fiona’s brain in action would be able to tell us.

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Interview with World Memory Champion

The current World Memory Champion, Ben Pridmore, is interviewed as he attempts to retain his title at the 2009 World Memory Championships.


To follow all of the posts related to the 2009 World Memory Championships, please click on this tag link link I have created to group all the posts together:

If you would like to train your memory, then the Mind Maximizer course is for you.

Memory World Record: Speed Cards

As the 2009 World Memory Championships are currently underway, I thought it would be fun to see just how good the competitors are…

Memorising a single deck of cards in the fastest time:

In July 2009, Ben Pridmore became the first person to memorise a deck of cards in under 30 seconds (26.28 seconds).  In August 2009 he broke that record again to set an astounding time of 24.97 seconds.

To put that into context, here is a brief explanation…

  1. You are giving a single deck of shuffled cards.
  2. Against the clock, you look through the cards, with the clock stopping when you put the cards face down (that establishes your time)
  3. To test that you memorised the order of the cards, you are then given a new deck of cards.  You have to place these cards in the order of the deck you just memorised.
  4. The judge / arbiter then checks your original, memorised deck, against the pack you have just placed in the memorised order
  5. If you get this correct, your original memorisation time (step 2) is approved.

Makes sense?

Well with that in mind (no pun intended) have a look at this video of Ben Pridmore setting the World Record.  And no, it is not speeded up in any way.  Yes, he is scanning the cards that quickly!


Would you like to learn how to improve your memory?  Then take a look at the Mind Maximiser course.

World Memory Championships 2009

The World Memory Championships for 2009 have started today. It is being held in London and has the largest prize purse in the history of the event – $92,000.  It us running from Thursday 12th November through to Saturday 14th November.

My friend and business associate, Dominic O’Brien, is at the event as one of the event organisers.  Dominic has been World Memory Champion eight times and now dedicates himself to helping others improve their memory.  Dominic will be giving me news during the event, which I will post here.

The official website for the event is here:  World Memory Championships

To follow all of the posts related to the 2009 World Memory Championships, please click on this tag link link I have created to group all the posts together:

If you would like to train your memory, then the Mind Maximizer course is for you.

Speed Reading for Radovan Karadzic

Someone needs to learn some serious speed reading techniques.  Let’s have a tongue in cheek look at what could be achieved…

From BBC News:

“Ex-Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has insisted he needs more time to prepare his defence, during his first appearance at his war crimes trial.

He told a procedural hearing in The Hague he could not join the proceedings until he had gone through more than 1.3m pages of court documents.”

Let’s work though a few calculations here of what he is requesting…

1,300,000 pages to read
@ 500 words per page (wpp)
= 650,000,000 words to be read

If, like most untrained readers, these documents are read at 250 words per minute (wpm) it will take:

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Brain training the military

The future of military might may not just be in bigger and better hardware of warfare, but in fitter and faster brains of military personnel.

The Brain Training Company is at the cutting edge of mental fitness training.  What was seen ten years ago as kooky executive training or fringe athletic training to achieve the mental edge, may now become a mainstream component of military training.

It is demonstrably possible to improve someone’s mental fitness; be that to increase IQ, manage stress better, enhance levels of focus and concentration when under pressure, or learning information at a greatly increased speed.  The foundation of this at The Brain Training Company is brainwave training.  Developing the ability to consciously control brainwave activity.  From this there are knock on benefits, such as greater neural connectivity and increased blood flow to the brain.

For military personnel this is a critical step in improving personal performancefaster and better decision making when under pressure.

This article from looks at this topic:

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Synchronized Brain Waves Focus Our Attention

For many years now, the courses of The Brain Training Company have promoted the importance of cerebral balance and synchrony between the two hemispheres.  Clients have gone on to show enhanced personal performance; be that in the classroom, boardroom or in sport.  This is an interesting article looking at the significance of synchronized brainwave activity and its role in mental focus and attention.

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USA National Sporting Clays Champion: Gebben Miles

Hot off the Press:

Congratulations to Gebben Miles, who has just become the 2009 USA National Sporting Clays Champion.  It was a tight finish going to a shoot-off.  However Gebben maintained his mental focus and concentration to take the title.

Apart from being such a talented shooter, Gebben will be a wonderful ambassador for shotgun sports as the 2009 National Champion.

“Henry, I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me and the level of care you have. You are an awesome person and thank you for being a part of my National Championship!!”

“Henry helped me develop a powerful pre-shot mental routine. He has been like a dependable friend looking after my mental game. I learnt how to control my mental states for strong focus and concentration, regardless of the pressure.”

– Gebben Miles. USA National Champion 2009

Effect of brainwaves on movement and peak performance

This scientific study proves and reinforces one of the training objectives in our Peak Performance for Sport training course:- the importance of being able to control beta brainwave production.  Note especially the sentence I have highlighted and put in bold text.


Study highlights effect of brain waves on human behaviour

Boosting a certain type of brain wave can slow people’s movements, UK researchers have discovered. The findings, published online by the journal Current Biology, offer the first direct evidence that brain waves can influence behaviour in otherwise healthy individuals. They could also lead to the development of new drugs for medical conditions characterised by either uncontrolled or slowed movements.

Different types of brain wave have different frequencies and different locations. In this study, the researchers investigated beta waves, which have a frequency of around 20 Hertz (Hz). Earlier studies have shown that beta waves are linked to sustained muscle activity, such as that employed when holding a book. Beta activity drops just before people initiate movement.

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