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A huge number of scientific papers contributed to the facts and ideas contained within Sort Your Brain Out, far too many to keep track of given that they were read over the span of almost two decades!


Consequently, these references comprises a selection of key papers - merely tips of icebergs that represent the highlights of the scientific evidence that has accumulated over the years relating to the topics outlined in the book.


Wherever access to a specific research paper has been made available for free, a clickable link has been provided - indicated where author name and publication dates are BOLD and underlined - should you be curious to explore in greater depth.


This list has been updated ahead of publication of the second edition.


Anderson S et al (2013) Reversal of age-related neural timing delays with training. PNAS 110(11):4357-4362.

Angevaren M et al (2008) Physical activity and enhanced fitness to improve cognitive function in older people without known cognitive impairment. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 3:CD005381.

Arendash GW and Cao C (2010) Caffeine and coffee as therapeutics against Alzheimer's disease. J Alz Dis 20 Suppl 1:S117-126.

Baddeley B et al (2016) Sitting is the new smoking: where do we stand? Br J Gen Pract 66(646):258.

Ball K et al (2002) Effects of cognitive training interventions with older adults: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA 288:2271-2281.

Basak C et al (2008) Can training in real-time strategy video game attenuate cognitive decline in older adults? Psychol Aging 23: 765-777.

Benedetti F et al (2007) When words are painful: unraveling the mechanisms of the nocebo effect. Neuroscience 147(2):260-271.

Benedetti F et al (2011) How placebos change the patient's brain Neuropsychopharmacology 36(1):339-354.

Bergman NS et al (2011) Gains in fluid intelligence after training non-verbal reasoning in 4-year-old children: A controlled, randomized study. Dev Sci 14: 591-601.

Borella E et al (2010) Working memory training in older adults: Evidence of transfer and maintenance effects. Psychol Aging 25:767-778.

Boyke J et al (2008) Training-induced brain structure changes in the elderly. J Neurosci 28:7031–7035.

Blundell JE et al (2001) Regulation of appetite: role of leptin in signalling systems for drive and satiety. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 25 Suppl 1:S29-34.

Broadhouse KM et al (2020) Hippocampal plasticity underpins long-term cognitive gains from resistance exercise in MCI Neuroimage Clin 25:102182.

Burgess N et al (2002) The human hippocampus and spatial and episodic memory. Neuron 35:625–641.

Caccioppo et al (2009) Alone in the Crowd: The Structure and Spread of Loneliness in a Large Social Network. J Pers Soc Psychol 97(6): 977–991

Cain MS and Mitroff SR (2011) Distractor filtering in media multitaskers. Perception 40:1183-1192.

Carhart-Harris RL et al (2019) Psilocybin with psychological support for treatment-resistant depression: six-month follow-up. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 235(2):399-408.

Carretti B et al (2013) Gains in language comprehension relating to working memory training in healthy older adults. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 28: 539-546.

Ceccarelli A et al (2009) Cognitive learning is associated with gray matter changes in healthy human individuals: a tensor-based morphometry study Neuroimage 48:585–589.

Cone RD et al (2001) The arcuate nucleus as a conduit for diverse signals relevant to energy homeostasis. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord Suppl 5:S63-67.

Cryan JF, Dinan TG (2012) Mind-altering microorganisms: the impact of the gut microbiota on brain and behaviour. Nat Rev Neurosci 13:701-712.

De Araujo IE et al (2005) Cognitive modulation of olfactory processing. Neuron 46: 671-679.

De Graaf C et al (2004) Biomarkers of satiation and satiety. Am J Clin Nutr 79:946-961.

Di Francesco V et al (2006) Unbalanced serum leptin and ghrelin dynamics prolong postprandial satiety and inhibit hunger in healthy elderly: another reason for the "anorexia of aging" Am J Clin Nutr 83:1149-1152.

Draganski B et al (2004) Neuroplasticity: changes in grey matter induced by training. Nature 427:311–312.

Driemeyer J et al (2008) Changes in gray matter induced by learning - revisited. PLoS One. 3:e2669.

Eckelinen M et al (2009) Midlife coffee and tea drinking and the risk of late-life dementia: A population-based CAIDE study. J Alz Dis 16:85-91.

Elliott R et al (2008) Medial orbitofrontal cortex codes relative rather than absolute value of financial rewards in humans. Eur J Neurosci 27:2213-2218.

Erickson KI et al (2003) Exercise training increases size of hippocampus and improves memory. PNAS 108:3017–3022.

Forsythe P et al (2012) On communication between gut microbes and the brain. Curr Opin Gastroenterol 28:557-562.

Fredholm et al (1999) Actions of caffeine in the brain with special reference to factors that contribute to its widespread use. Pharmacol Rev 51:83-133.

Gaser C and Schlaug G (2003) Gray matter differences between musicians and nonmusicians. Ann NY Acad Sci 999:514–517.

Gentili R et al (2010) Motor learning without doing: trial-by-trial improvement in motor performance during mental training. J Neurophysiol 104:774-783.

Gottfried JA et al (2003) Encoding predictive reward value in human amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex. Science 301:1104-1107.

Grahn JA (2009) The role of the basal ganglia in beat perception: neuroimaging and neuropsychological investigations. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1169:35-45.

Grahn JA and Rowe JB (2009) Feeling the beat: premotor and striatal interactions in musicians and nonmusicians during beat perception. J Neurosci 29:7540-7548.

Greenberg JA and Geliebter A (2012) Coffee, hunger, and peptide Y. J Am Coll Nutr 31:160-166.

Grodstein F et al (2007) A randomized trial of beta-carotene supplementation and cognitive function in men: the Physicians’ Health Study II. Arch Intern Med 167:2184–2190.

Havel PJ (2004) Update on adipocyte hormones: regulation of energy balance and carbohydrate/lipid metabolism Diabetes 53(suppl):S143–151.

Hawkins HL et al (1992) Aging, exercise, and attention. Psychol Aging 7:643-653.

Holmes J et al (2009) Adaptive training leads to sustained enhancement of poor working memory in children. Dev Sci 12:F9-15.

Hüfner K (2011) Structural and functional plasticity of the hippocampal formation in professional dancers and slackliners. Hippocampus 21:855–865.

Hyde KL et al (2009) Musical training shapes structural brain development. J Neurosci 29:3019–3025.

Jackson PL et al (2003) Functional cerebral reorganization following motor sequence learning through mental practice with motor imagery. Neuroimage 20:1171-1180.

Jaeggi SM et al (2008) Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory. PNAS 105: 6829-6833.

Jaeggi SM et al (2010) The relationship between n-back performance and matrix reasoning – implications for training and transfer. Intelligence 38:625-635.

Janusovec N and Janusovec K (2012) Working memory training: Improving intelligence – changing brain activity. Brain Cogn 79:96-106.

Kanai et al (2011) Political orientations are correlated with brain structure in young adults. Curr Biol 21:677–680.

Kanai et al (2012) Online social network size is reflected in human brain structure. Proc Biol Sci. 279:1327-34.

Kanwisher N et al (1997) The fusiform face area: a module in human extrastriate cortex specialized for face perception. J Neurosci 17:4302-4311.

Karback J, Kray J (2009) How useful is executive control training? Age differences in near and far transfer of task-switching activity. Dev Sci 12: 978-980.

Keen-Rhinehart E et al (2013) Neuroendocrine regulation of appetitive ingestive behaviour. Front Neurosci 7:213.

Klingberg T et al (2002) Training of working memory in children with ADHD. J Clin Exp Neuropsych 24:781-791.

Klusmann V et al (2010) Complex mental and physical activity in older women and cognitive performance: A 6-month randomised controlled trial. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 65:680-688.

Köhnke R et al (2009) Thylakoids promote release of the satiety hormone cholecystokinin while reducing insulin in healthy humans. Scand J Gastroenterol 44:712-719.

Kox M et al (2014) Voluntary activation of the sympathetic nervous system and attenuation of the innate immune response in humans. PNAS 111(20):7379-84.

Kundu B et al (2013) Strengthened effective connectivity underlies transfer of working memory training to tests of short-term memory and attention. J Neurosci 33:8705-8715.

Kuypers KP et al (2019) Microdosing psychedelics: More questions than answers? An overview and suggestions for future research. J Psychopharmacol 33(9):1039-1057

Lacourse MG et al (2004) Cerebral and cerebellar sensorimotor plasticity following motor imagery-based mental practice of a sequential movement. J Rehabil Res Dev 41:505-24.

Lazarus et al (2011) Arousal effect of caffeine depends on adenosine A2A receptors in the shell of the nucleus accumbens. J Neurosci 31:10067-10075.

Lee IM et al (2005) Vitamin E in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer: the Women’s Health Study: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 294:56–65.

Li SC et al (2008) Working memory plasticity in old age: Practice gain, transfer, and maintenance. Psychol Aging 23:731-742.

Lieberman MD (2007) Social cognitive neuroscience: a review of core processes. Ann Rev Psychol 58:259-229.

Lilienthal L et al (2013) Dual n-back training increases the capacity of the focus of attention. Psychon Bull Rev 20:135-141.

Liu J et al (2014) Seeing Jesus in toast: Neural and behavioral correlates of face pareidolia. Cortex 53C:60-77.

London A et al (2013) The retina as a window to the brain-from eye research to CNS disorders. Nat Rev Neurol 9(1):44-53.

Loosli SV et al (2012) Working memory training improves reading processes in typically developing children. Child Neuropsychol 18:62-78.

Lyubomirsky S et al (2005) Pursuing happiness: the architecture of sustainable change. Review of General Psychology 9(2):111-131.

Maguire EA et al (2000) Navigation-related structural change in the hippocampi of taxi drivers. PNAS 97:4398–4403

Maguire EA et al (2006) London taxi drivers and bus drivers: a structural MRI and neuropsychological analysis. Hippocampus 16:1091–1101.

Maia L and de Mendonça A (2002) Does caffeine intake protect from Alzheimer’s disease? Eur J Neurol 9: 377-382.

Manganas LN et al (2007) Magnetic resonance spectroscopy identifies neural progenitor cells in the live human brain. Science. 318:980–985.

McEwen BS (1999) Stress and hippocampal plasticity. Ann Rev Neurosci 22:105–122.

Mechelli A et al (2004) Neurolinguistics: structural plasticity in the bilingual brain. Nature 431:757.

Miller GA (1956) The magical number sever, plus or minus two: Some limits on our capacity for processing information. Psychol Rev 63:81-97.

Minear M, Shah P (2008) Training and transfer effects in task switching. Mem Cognit 36: 1470-1483.

Minear M et al (2013) Working memory, fluid intelligence, and impulsiveness in heavy media multitaskers. Psychon Bull Rev 20:1274-1281.

Moreno S et al (2011) Short-term music training enhances verbal intelligence and executive function. Psychol Sci 22:1425-1433.

Nagamatsu LS et al (2013) Physical activity improves verbal and spatial memory in older adults with probable mild cognitive impairment. Arch Intern Med 172: 666-668.

Nehlig A et al (1992) Caffeine and the central nervous system: mechanisms of action, biochemical, metabolic and psychostimulant effects Brain Res Brain Res Rev 17:139–170.

O'Doherty J et al (2000) Sensory-specific satiety-related olfactory activation of the human orbitofrontal cortex. Neuroreport 11:893-897.

O'Keefe J and Dostrovsky J (1971) The hippocampus as a spatial map. Preliminary evidence from unit activity in the freely-moving rat. Brain Res 34:171–175.

Oh J et al (2013) Auditory imagery modulates frequency-specific areas in the human auditory cortex. J Cogn Neurosci 25:175-187.

Olesen PJ et al (2004) Increased prefrontal and parietal activity after training of working memory. Nat Neurosci 7:75-79.

Ophir E et al (2009) Cognitive control in media multitaskers. PNAS 106:15583-15587.

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Rakic P (2002) Neurogenesis in adult primate neocortex: an evaluation of the evidence. Nat Rev Neurosci 3:65–71.

Richmond LL et al (2011) Working memory training and transfer in older adults. Psychol Aging 26:813-822.

Roure R et al (1999) Imagery quality estimated by autonomic response is correlated to sporting performance enhancement. Physiol Behav 66:63-72.

Rudebeck SR et al (2012) A potential spatial working memory training task to improve both episodic memory and fluid intelligence. Plos One 7: e50431.

Rueda MR et al (2012) Enhanced efficiency of the executive attention network after training in preschool children: Immediate and after two months effects. Dev Cogn Neurosci 2 Suppl 1:S192-204.

Salminen T et al (2012) On the impacts of working memory training on executive funcitioning. Front Hum Neurosci 6:166.

Scholz J et al (2009) Training induces changes in white-matter architecture. Nat Neurosci 12:1370–1371.

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Schwartz MW and Porte D Jr (2005) Diabetes, obesity, and the brain. Science 307:375-379.

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Smith GE et al (2009) A cognitive training program based on principles of brain plasticity: Results from the Improvement in Memory with Plasticity-based Adaptive Cognitive Training (IMPACT) study. J Am Geriatr Soc 57: 594-603.

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Spicer J et al (2007) Sensitivity of the nucleus accumbens to violations in expectation of reward. Neuroimage 34:455–461.

Stenberg R (2008) Increasing fluid intelligence is possible after all. PNAS 105(19): 6791-6792.

Stephenson CL and Halpern DF (2013) Improved matrix reasoning is limited to training on tasks with a visuospatial component. Intelligence 41:341-357.

Tang Y-Y et al (2007) Short-term meditation training improves attention and self-regulation. PNAS 104: 17152-17156.

Tang R et al (2020) Brief mindfulness meditation induces gray matter changes in a brain hub. Neural Plasticity 2020:8830005.

Van der Molen MJ et al (2010) Effectiveness of a computerized working memory training in adolescents with mild to borderline intellectual disabilities. J Intellect Disabil Res 54: 433-447.

Vartaniana O and Jobidona ME (2010) Working memory training is associated with lower prefrontal cortex activation in a divergent thinking task. Neuroscience 236:186-194.

Verghese J et al (2003) Leisure activities and the risk of dementia in the elderly. N Engl J Med. 348:2508-2516.

Von Bastian CC and Oberauer K (2013) Distinct transfer effects of training different facets of working memory capacity. J Mem Lang 69:36-58.

Von Bastian CC et al (2013) Effects of working memory training in young and old adults. Mem Cognit 41:611-624.

Walsh JJ and Tschakovsky ME (2018) Exercise and circulating BDNF: mechanisms of release and implications for the design of exercise interventions. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 43(11):1095-1104.

Wolinsky FD et al (2013) A randomized controlled trial of cognitive training using a visual speed of processing intervention in middle aged and older adults. PLoS One 8:e61624.

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Wren AM et al (2001) Ghrelin enhances appetite and increases food intake in humans. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 86:5992.10.1210/jc.86.12.5992

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