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Author Archives: Sarah McKay

Seven common-sense building blocks for your child’s brain.

Seven common-sense building blocks for your child’s brain.

  All children differ in their biological susceptibility to life experiences in a ‘for better and for worse’ manner. Some kids are particularly sensitive to both highly stressful and highly nurturing environments. Like orchids, such children bloom if lovingly cultivated, but wilt and wither if neglected. In contrast, adaptable resilient children who don’t get easily… Continue Reading

Where is all the women’s brain health research?

Where is all the women’s brain health research?

This is an excerpt from the Introduction to The Women’s Brain Book. The neuroscience of health, hormones and happiness. Over the last decade writing about brain science, I’ve developed a tried and tested method for researching an unfamiliar topic. First, I’ll read the appropriate chapter in Principles of Neural Science, the neuro-bible beloved by brain… Continue Reading

The emerging field of psychobiotics (Part 3)

The emerging field of psychobiotics (Part 3)

  Today in Part 3 of our series on the gut-brain axis, Drs Amy Reichelt and Sarah McKay discuss mind-altering microbes and the emerging field of psychobiotics. The gut microbiome is a key node in the gut-brain axis. Scientists are only just uncovering how microbes in the gut influence physical, brain and even mental health. In 2004, a pivotal… Continue Reading

How does the microbiome influence our health? (Part 2)

How does the microbiome influence our health? (Part 2)

  This is the second post in a series exploring the neurobiology of the gut-brain connection published in partnership with neuroscientist Dr Amy Reichelt. Our intestines are home to an ecosystem of trillions of microbes including bacteria, viruses, phages, fungi, protists, and nematodes. Dominant are bacteria from the families Firmicutes and Bacteriodetes. As I talked about in… Continue Reading

The neuroscience of the gut-brain connection (Part 1)

The neuroscience of the gut-brain connection (Part 1)

  This is the first post in a series exploring the neurobiology of the gut-brain connection published in partnership with neuroscientist Dr Amy Reichelt. Our brain and gut are intrinsically connected. We have ‘gut feelings’ about a person or event, and feel ‘butterflies’ in our stomach when something exciting happens. Neuroscientists have become increasingly aware… Continue Reading

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