Search our shop

    Know Yourself Blog

    It’s time again, my adventuring friends, to put on our thinking caps for another round of Ask Dr. B.! Today we’re talking about the brain—what it does for us, and how we can help it do its job even better. If you have a question about how the body works, ask me—Dr. B.—at or on our social media pages. Now, if you have the nerve, let’s dive head-first into your questions!
    Personality can be a fun topic to explore—we take online personality quizzes, predict which traits our friends will score highly on, and scrutinize how accurate we think our results are. Sometimes you really know yourself, and sometimes you learn something from the results! While some of these exercises are truly just for entertainment, there is science supporting our understanding of personality and how it reflects in our values, preferences, and behaviors.
    You’ve probably been told that your personality is unique, and that’s true -- if we all had the same one, we’d all be behaving the same way, and that would get boring really quickly. Also, different personalities fit well with different types of jobs – you can imagine the personality of a computer scientist may not be the same as that of a circus clown (even if they both wear big huge glasses). In the following section, you’ll read the description of an imaginary person’s job and create a five factor model of their personality that you think they’ll need to do their job as best they can. There’s no right or wrong answer here -- but you do have to explain your reasoning!
    Looking for screen free activities to stay busy this winter break? We have compiled a list of activities for your family! Check out these ten simple ideas that beat cabin fever by engaging all the senses as well as young minds and bodies.
    Do you think you feel everything that touches you all day? Of course you feel your pencil in your hand, the warm water of a shower, a high-five with a friend. But what about your clothes—do you feel them on your body? You probably do  now  because I mentioned it. Most of the day, though, we don’t even think about the sensation of our clothes, even though they’re touching a great deal of our skin. The reason for this is sensory gating,  your brain’s ability  to ignore irrelevant signals.
    To get started, check out our blog on interoception, or the ability to sense what’s going on inside our body. There we learned that it is sometimes difficult to keep track of each detail within us, and thereby can be tough to give our bodily systems what they want. How can we be more aware of our inner body so as to meet its needs? One way is with an interoception scan!
    Childhood mealtimes: where grilled cheese and chicken fingers are their own food group, the only vegetables consumed are the ones hiding in other foods, and too many colors on the plate can be a deal-breaker. Kids and picky eating can go hand-in-hand. While it can be reassuring to know that most finicky eating is perfectly normal—and backed by science!—some parents are just trying to get through the day without the dinner table turning into a debate stage (again…).
    Do you know what you’re eating? Of course you do -- we all do, we’re the ones who ate it. Why then, do so many people have trouble with the question, “What did you have for dinner last night?” And if you ask them about two nights ago, that tends to leave them stumped. Forgetting your meal history is pretty normal, but it can make it difficult to know if you’re eating enough of the right things. To see how well-balanced your diet is, it can be useful to keep a log of everything you ate. That’s where food journals come in!
    Bonne journée, adventurers! We spend so much time learning about our bodily machines, it only makes sense to take a look at the fuel they run on -- food! This week, as usual, our young adventurers are hungry for knowledge, and I’m excited as ever to dish it out! In discussing nutrition, the scientific mumbo-jumbo can get dairy complicated, so I’ll try not to milk it and keep the info nice and palatable. Anyway, enough stalk -- let’s get down to the meat and potatoes!
    Good marrow to you, Adventurers! Adventure 10 is already here, and I bet you can tell we’re dying to ex-spleen the lymphatic system to you. The lymphatic system is a network of tubes that does many jobs - catches bacterial invaders, transports nutrients, carries lymph through its tubes and drains it into separate ducts. A system so amazing might seem like a pipe dream, but we’ve got questions this week from some adventurers who’ve found it very real. Read onward, and I’ll enlighten you with some lymphatic node-how.
    We can think of the nervous system almost like an endless game of telephone -its goal is to get the right messages to the right places. But how does that happen? The answer is pretty complex, but a good way to get started with understanding how messages get from your brain to your body (or your body to your brain) is to learn a little about the brain’s chemical messengers -the neurotransmitters.