Tina Kandelaki & Wendy Suzuki

Wendy Suzuki

Exclusive Interview at Synergy Global Forum

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Tina Kandelaki & Wendy Suzuki | Exclusive Interview at Synergy Global Forum

What’s the most transformative thing that you can do for your brain today? Exercise! says neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki. Get inspired to go to the gym as Suzuki discusses the science of how working out boosts your mood and memory — and protects your brain against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Enjoy watching!


​​​​​​​while [waɪl] промежуток времени
moreover [mɔː(r)’əuvə] более того
deception [dɪ’sepʃ(ə)n] обман
tool [tuːl] инструмент
take [teɪk] back — вернуть обратно
clue [kluː] ключ (к разгадке чего-л.)
detect [dɪ’tekt] обнаруживать
recognize [‘rekəgnaɪz] распознать
value [‘væljuː] ценность
worth (V-ing) [wɜːθ] стоящий
preserve [prɪ’zɜːv] сохранить


1.transformative [træn(t)s’fɔːmətɪv] трансформирующий
2. neuroscientist [ˈnjʊərəʊˌsʌɪəntɪst] нейробиолог
3. gym [ʤɪm] спортзал
4. boost [buːst] (higher up) mood — повышать настроение
5. degenerative [dɪ’ʤen(ə)rətɪv] disease — дегенеративное заболевание


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Good day, I’m Tina Kandelaki and here is the book I was talking a lot to you: Wendy Suzuki. A strange girl that fell in love with her brain. (Healthy Brain, Happy Life: A Personal Program to Activate Your Brain and Do Everything Better
https://www.amazon.com/Healthy-Brain-Happy-Life-Everything-ebook/dp/B00L7X6ZLM )
You see how many bookmarks I have, you see how I re-read this book attentively. And it’s a unique opportunity to meet the professor of neurobiology, Wendy Suzuki, who is in Moscow right now. — Hello, Wendy! — Hello!
— 00:31 Examination and the analysis of people doing sports, out of sports, you’re a proponent (защитник) of the theory that people doing sports live longer (I hope so, guys) — they have less diseases, they are less commonly subject to cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s diseases and even those who even suffer Alzheimer’s (disease) feel much better….
— 00:54 Is this true? Tell me about this, please, because I wrote a lot of things about your book
Yes, yeah, yeah.
— 01:04 Are these people I mean, are they safe from these diseases who are doing a lot of sport?
— 01:08 Yeah, I mean the first thing to say is that physical activity will not cure Alzheimer’s or dementia or any other kind of dementia. What it does is it helps protect your brain because it strengthens to keep brain areas that we know are first attacked in Alzheimer’s and general dementia, the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus. You’re basically strengthening these brain areas. So, even if you do have the disease, it takes longer for the disease to damage enough of these brain areas. So, you start to demonstrate the memory problems, you know, all of the typical problems that you see in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
— 01:47 It depends if the patient’s doing sport since their youngest ages or you can start any time in your life*? and again it helps you and make protection…*?
— 01:57 Yeah, that’s a great question! And the answer is that anytime you start you can benefit1. So, there are studies showing that even people that have early stage dementia benefit from starting exercise even though they’ve never exercised regularly before. But, of course, if you’ve exercised all of your life, you build up that brain strength and particularly2 the strength in these two brain areas that are susceptible3 for aging, for a longer period of time. So, that basically4 will protect you longer.
— 02:27 I wanted to bring up a very recent study that I think really illustrates this beautifully with published in 2018 and it focused on Swedish women. So back in 1969, they interviewed several hundred Swedish women and they characterized them as either low fit, mid fit or high fit. They were middle-aged, they were about 40. Then, they followed up forty four years later, they were in their 80s and they found that the high fit women were 90 percent less likely5 to have developed dementia. And that is so inspiring for me, because it kind of gives the upper bound6. Again, it’s even doesn’t say that it’s a cure, it’s that protection. 03:18 These were middle-aged women, they were high fit at middle-age, we don’t know exactly what happened to them between middle-age and when they were in their 80s, but at their 80s they were 90 percent less likely to have dementia. So, this to me is such inspiring evidence that what you do with your body every day starting at least when you’re middle-aged and you can imagine you’re starting when you’re young. That is a wonderful protection for the rest of your life.
— 03:49 What really works, because I’m in my 40s now, you know, we’re thinking that these dimensions thing, this Alzheimer’s thing — it never happens with us — it’s some stories about other people and we will be always 40 years old, but then it happens one day.
— 04:07 Yeah, then, it happens and it happens to everybody. I mean even if you might not have it in your family, I’m sure you know somebody who has Alzheimer’s in their family. My father had Alzheimer’s disease, I know it’s in my genes which is another motivation to be as active as possible.
— 04:22 You’re doing sport every day (right)?
Yeah, I’m active every day. A little bit.
— 04:26 What exactly are you doing?
— 04:28 So, what I decided to do, I’ve evolved7 my activity and so I realized that I love to do my sport at the beginning of the day. And no matter what I do between 10 minutes, even if I have a little time of 10 minutes all the way up to 45 minutes depending on how much time I have, and I do online physical activities. So, I take the classes online, I can choose the class that I want: 10 minute course, 30 minute course, 45 minute course. And if I do it every day and force myself even for 10 minutes, I feel like I’ve really gotten much much more. It’s much stronger habit no even than before I had a great habit.
— 05:09 Like a  neurobiologist, you exactly know that it’s important to build the habit and it’s very difficult thing to build it…. You know, it’s always like “I’m lazy”…
Yeah, not today, maybe tomorrow…
— 05:23 But these 10 minutes course, because they are curious8 about this and everybody interesting. When showing my Instagram everyday people saying, “Oh, come on, you are doing this since 20 years and you can do it because it’s part of your routine. I can’t do it, I can’t stand this 30 minutes — 1 hour, more than one hour, but 10 minutes — I think that everybody can do 10 minutes. What our Russian audience have to do in these 10 minutes?This is meditation, aerobics..?
— 05:48 Yeah, I mean my favorite one and this is just because this is what I like is “Dance is always fun”. So, the first thing in the morning, I’m trying to think of something that’s fun for people that don’t necessarily like to move. Find your song that you love, that makes you want to dance. I don’t know… Bruno Mars — I love Bruno Mars. So, a song is about 4 minutes, so to take two songs you’re two of your favorite songs to Bruno Mars songs and just dance to them in the morning. And that is a great about 10-minute workout, it’s fun you’ve chosen the songs that make you move and make it fun, make it spontaneous9, dance with somebody else, dance with your kids, dance with your husband.
— 06:32 You’re an unbelievable person, you’re so optimistic, you have so much energy that inspires people. If we weren’t having this interview, I should get up and doing my exercises. I read you book so carefully, this course of yours that you created…
— 06:55 No, I did not create it. It’s a fantastic fitness instructor in New York City. Her name is Patricia Moreno and she’s the one of the genius that came up with combining physical activity with positive spoken affirmations10, and this was the form of activity that I did that can’t be coming back to the gym. I might not have continued, but I loved that workout — it made me feel so great and because, I know, that Tony Robbins was here recently11.  Well, I know that Patricia Moreno came up with this workout after going to a Tony Robbins workshop.
— 07:34 — Are you serious? Everybody was asking me, “What it means when he shakes his hands?” As his performance, since it was 4 or 5 hours, I don’t remember, but it was long long time and in his performance12, in every maybe 15 — 30 minutes, depending on the part of performance, he stopped and was shaking his hands like this. I was curious, “What it means? Why is he shaking his hands?”
— 07:57 I don’t know about that, but the development of intensity13 came from one of those workouts, where he’s so inspiring, and you don’t know what new piece of creativity will come from all these beautiful people coming to his workshops and getting inspired by movement. He has a lot of movement as everybody at Synergy experienced it, and she put it together in this amazing way that I found so inspiring. And so, I became an intensity instructor and now I get to share it with people all over the world, including with the audience out there and I love it. I really love it.
— 08:46 For a long time, before mid 90s, scientists believed that “after human being reaches adulthood new neurons are no longer generated in our brain. Several, maybe two, Boston University scientists published some research providing that these cells are generated in the brain of an adult rat. What’s your opinion about this? How it happens? Is this true? Can you build a new neurons in our brain? Because everybody’s trying to be young in a modern world using everything — injection, plastic surgery, but nothing helps if you don’t have your own new neurons. What about this experiment? Are you believing in this? And can humans believe that neurons can form after adulthood?
— 09:40 I think it’s absolutely clear that in rats there’s definitely brand new neurons born in adulthood and there’s strong evidence that physical activity in rats and for rats in the running wheels14 that stimulates the birth. It makes more neurons grow and be born and it also allows more of those newly born neurons to survive, because many of them die. But when those rats are running in the running wheel, more of them survive and integrate into the hippocampus, they become functional brain cells15.
— 10:18 Wendy, explain me, you mean that these neurons born and then they die. They die very quickly, but if you’re doing sport, the speed of the death is going down, right? That’s a point or how it happens?* (inf. How does it happen?)
— 10:31 A lot of new neurons, in fact neurons die all the time, but, certainly16, a lot of these brand new neurons born in the hippocampus are dying. So, why don’t they die? If you exercise, they don’t die. Because exercise is stimulating what’s called a growth factor. That stimulates the brain, it is basically babing in the hippocampus in this growth factor, that allows these brand-new neurons, the nourishment17 to live and integrate, and become part of the circuit, that we need to form new long-term memories. And that’s why the rat’s hippocampus works better and, for humans, it’s absolutely clear, that older people absolutely have brand new neurons being born in their hippocampus. So, there was an evidence by a colleague of mine, of Fred Gage (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Gage) ,who was at the Salk Institute, showing that definitively18. We’re still working on the direct evidence that exercise can stimulate brand new more neurons to be born. But what we absolutely know is, as I mentioned in that previous19 study, long term exercise, is protecting your brain from dementia. Dementia damages cells in the hippocampus. It’s it’s not the only brain area, but it’s…
— 12:30 Okay, everybody is interested in their 40s how they can become stronger in that case. Can physical training change our brain? Everybody wants to be more effective in this world. How it works? Explain me it, please.
— 12:48 That’s a great question! The way it works is that one of the magical things that physical activity does is it stimulates basically a wonderful growing environment for the brain, including those growth factors that I just mentioned. There’s a whole bunch20 of them, one of them that’s really important is called brain derived neurotrophic factor — you are providing more of those factors for the entire brain. You’re also stimulating new blood vessels to be born. Now that is very important as well because the brain is the number one user of oxygen, of the entire body and so, the more blood vessels21 you have, the more efficiently your circulatory system22 can get oxygenated blood to your brain, basically making your brain work better as well — you get that core kind of nutrient that the brain needs which is oxygen. So, what you’re doing is creating an environment with exercise in your 40s. Everybody wants a better brain. You are creating, I call it a neurochemical bath. You are creating the neurochemical bath, that really nourishes brain growth and brain performance every single time you are working out, and, in the long term, if you do this for a long time, you’re basically continuously having the most positive growth centered bath of your brain.
— 14:16 Tell me about this. Because, we know in our 40s, we starting to feel some depression. Everywomen in the world. I’m seeing you and you’re same like in this book, you’re incredibly optimistic and that’s why you start to do physical exercises and change your brain, you become so optimistic…
— 14:35 I was very pessimistic before I started exercise. (You kidding me?) I mean I think naturally I am optimistic, but, as I say, I was in a very bad period of my life when I started physical activity. I’d gained 25 pounds, I was doing well in lab, but it was very intense and I was not very happy. I didn’t have any friends outside the lab, because I was focused so much on being successful and that’s part of what drew me so much to even that first exercise class that I went to. I could immediately23 feel my mood lift I felt better. Finally, I could not focus on work. I felt good in my own body after a long time of ignoring my body and I was very sensitive24 to that. It turns out I move towards that. I kept going to the classes over and over to get that immediate height that you get and I think it has made me even more optimistic than I am, because I saw how much it could change my brain. It changed my life, it made me happier, it made me more productive.
— 15:45 But you were always productive. You know the languages, you were so successful and in your case, in personal your case… What improved, explain me?
— 15:57 What improved is that I can guarantee you that I am so much happier now. I was successful before, because all I did was follow the rules. What do you have to do to become a tenured professor? Well, you just work a hundred percent of the time, work more than anybody else and you’ll probably make it. I tried that and I became completely unbalanced, because I didn’t leave any other time to do anything else to nourish any other parts of my brain, besides the part that was a scientist. So, today — yes, I work hard, I’m successful there, but I enjoy it even more, because I balance with other things, including coming to Russia and being able to enjoy some of the things here and all the other trips that I get to give, but I am I also have many more good friends. And you have to have time to establish those friendships.
— 16:57 I have to ask you, because everybody who read this book they know that till you start to change your brain, start to do a physical exercises, you started to meet with some persons. In the book, finally, you didn’t say how it finished? Are you getting married or what happens? Because it was so interesting. You’re a last story about this French guy was unbelievable. It was so sweet, but it wasn’t optimistic, because, finally, you guys, split off25*. And I’m not going to ask you this private question — are you married or something like this, but actually it makes some influence26 on your private life, finally? These changes?
— 17:37 I’m gonna tell you a story that I’ve never told anybody before. It’s a continuation of this story with Francois*, and so, we left it, than I called him to thank him for all of the beautiful time that I had, when I was a junior in college, but what I wasn’t able to say in the book is that my book was sold in France and they flew me to Paris to be able to interview and promote the book, and, of course…
— 18:12 You met him?
— 18:13 I went to Baurdoux about thirty years later. I went to Bordeaux to see Francois again and we had a lovely day and a half before I had to go to Paris and do all the things, but it was lovely meeting him. We didn’t go off into the sunset and didn’t get married, but it was lovely to see somebody that I really cared for so many years ago and check in with him, and I feel like it was a very lovely healthy way to just say “thank you” and “how are you?” in person.
— 18:53 It’s like a movie. That’s so wonderful story! You didn’t think that it was the wrong decision to split off with him?
— 19:03 No, I thought it was the right decision to split off with him and I think that we were absolutely going in different directions as we did. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t have a wonderful time, and it was a wonderful experience, and that I love seeing him again 30 years later. How many people get to go together and visit their first love 30 years later. So, that was great and I enjoy lots of wonderful relationships like that in my life right now.
— 19:34 Thank you, it’s a very good example for the women who are watching us, because it’s always difficult to come back to your love, to your first love, but you have to do it — I mean like fix the past.
— 19:46 Yes, Exactly!
— 19:54 Tell me, please. There are some couple of serious questions that important to everybody to understand like, for example, primacy effect. This primacy27 effect, I mean, a human brain memorizes primacy effects like the very first date, kiss, as we talk now, and this phenomenon is very interesting by its details. Can you explain it? Because these fresh memories like, you know, scientists are always saying that they fixed in the brain and become somewhat kind of, I don’t know, place where we always come back to feel ourselves happy. It’s important to be happy every day, but this first kiss — it’s always happiest, this first date is always happiest. Why does it happen like this?
— 20:42 So, let me just start by defining the primacy effect is that “if you have a list of things to remember, you tend to remember the very first thing on the list. So, why is that and we can go back to the first principles of how memory works. Memory is enhanced by things that seem they make sense — repetition. If you repeat things over and over and over, you remember it, but novelty28 always is something that helps your memory become stronger. Why is that? It’s an evolutionary strategy. We need to pay attention to the novel, because it could be dangerous. So, our whole brain is focused on something novel — a new person that you’ve never met before. You ignore all the people that you’ve seen before, but you’re immediately your eye always focuses on the new person.
— 21:34 But excitement? Why it always comes more from the first kiss again, from the first date?* Excitement is completely different and if we compare with the second kiss and the second date. Why?
— 21:46 Absolutely. That comes to yet another principle of what makes things memorable. Emotional resonance. Emotional resonance can be a very positive emotional resonance like that first kiss, that first romantic kiss or it could be a very negative resonance death in the family, all these negative things. Those emotional contents, if they’re strong in any direction, really help memories form better, because we know that there is an area of the brain, that processes those positive-negative emotions is called the amygdala29. The amygdala is very strongly interconnected with the hippocampus, so that when the amygdala senses it’s best known for its threat30 processing, fearful threatening situations and it immediately puts that into a very very long-term memory, because we need to remember those dangerous threatening situations. But it turns out that a beautiful situation — the first kiss, the first time your baby is put into your arms very positive, also can stimulate the hippocampus to remember those events. So, we always do, you’ll agree with this, we remember the happiest and the saddest moments in our lives and that’s because of this emotional resonance.
— 23:57 Another thing. Do physical exercises affect31 symptoms evidence of autism? Autism?
— 24:02 That is a great question. There is, I would say, handful of studies32 that have suggested33 that exercise could be beneficial for some aspects of autism. But it’s frustrating, because the studies are small,there’s not very many autistic subjects in these studies. So, it’s very hard to make a definitive conclusion34 like “yes, your child suffers from autism, get him into sports”. I am not confident35, enough to say that, I know that it’s one of the many patient population groups, that I’m very interested in exploring more deeply.
— 24:42 But there is hope*?
— 24:44 There is hope, absolutely. I mean exercise is beneficial for… Autism has motor difficulties and coordination difficulties, so even for that it could be helpful. Stimulating movement, that is more coordinated can help with one of these problems, but there’s many other issues, um…
That you have to discover it.
Yes, exactly.
— 25:08 Because it’s important. I heard that maybe if your kid has an autism is better to push him to go to some kind of sport, but actually now I get it that it’s important, too. I mean to learn what the scientists finally will say, because we are still discovering.
— 25:25 And there’s also many many different kinds and levels of autism and so that’s the problem with the small studies what kind of autism did these six subjects in this study actually have. So, it makes it even more difficult to interpret. Again I think there is an interesting question there, but we don’t have the answer to give to the general public yet.
— 25:50 Tell me about this again — experiment of the rat neurogenesis, rat running in a wheel as we talked for a muscle loading, research of memory improvement with the physical active animals. You said that experiment… You not said, you mean experimented a lot on the effect of the physical activity on various areas of human brain. We are interested of details of this research — you did this research only with rats or other kind of animals? And what’s I mean final, maybe three, most important point that you get?
— 26:26 So, all the studies that I have done in my lab have been with people, not with rodents36. I know the rodent literature very very well, I have many friends and colleagues in that area, I find it fascinating37, but all of my studies have been in people. So, the three take-home messages from my lab are that exercise can have an immediate positive effect on mood, on reaction time, on focus and attention as well as decreasing stress. That’s amazing! One thing that you can do — you don’t have to have a gym membership to increase your exercise. This is a free thing — immediate effects. They last between 10 minutes and at least two hours, depending on what you do. Second, take-home message that if you do this long term, not just a single workout, but change and do regular physical activity, so that you feel like you’re pushing yourself, this is going to literally change the anatomy, physiology and function of your brain. This is not a quick thing, of course, it takes time for new cells to grow for new synapses to grow, but with physical activity you are getting strengthening of your prefrontal cortex38and hippocampus minimally. And then, the third thing is that with long-term exercise, exercise will protect your brain from aging and incurable neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
— 27:54 I have to ask you, Wendy, how old are you?
I’m 53.
— 27:59 You are 53? It’s incredible! I think that people everywhere are telling you the same things. You know, we can say that there is a real connection between activity and how we will look like.
— 28:25 I think the best evidence comes more from how much you exercise and how your brain works. Of course, I think there’s a very strong connection between the body and the brain. You have a beautiful healthy brain — it’s gonna be radiated out for the outside. The physical activity is also going to make your body look good as well and that’s gonna help your brain as well. So, yes, there is an absolutely strong connection there.
— 28:50 Another interesting thing: the story of the Dr. Fluxx (there is such game https://www.looneylabs.com/games/doctor-who-fluxx ) . Do you remember it from the book? How it happens? How our memories and how our visual activities work?
— 24:09 Let me quickly tell the story. This is one of the teaching moments in my life that I’m most proud of .There was a course where I was trying to demonstrate the importance of memory. How memory works?  Why it’s important, so I started out in a traditional way. I gave some history, but then unbeknownst39 to my students I had a burlesque star, who was also a graduate student in our program and he danced under the name dr. Fluxx and I knew that he was a great makeup artist, because I had seen his makeup and I knew he was a burlesque artist, so I said, “Could you come in and just burst into the classroom and do a dance and make it really memorable and then, go out and then, I’m gonna ask people what they remember”.  So, he said  “yes”, but I didn’t see a dress rehearsal40. I didn’t know what he was going to do exactly. I told him, “Surprise me”. I told him, “Somewhere in the first 10 minutes just burst41 in so I wouldn’t know, so I could pretend42 like I’m surprised”. So, he bursts in and firstly, his head’s shaved and one side of his head has gold glitter all over his head and one side of his mustache is also shaved, his whole face is full of glitter. He has a white lab coat on and he comes in and then, a graduate student turns on music. So, we have music for him. The students are like, “Oh my God, what’s going on!?” So, he comes in and he does like a silent play43, where he comes in and he takes a fire extinguisher44 and he takes his lab coat off and then, he strips down to gold beauty booty shorts and he’s dancing right in front of me with gold booty shorts. And you should have seen the expression on these students’ faces! They could not believe it and I just stood there until he left and the music turns out and then, I turned back to the students and I said, “What makes things memorable?”And as you said, I had a student there way in the back, this is 120 students, who raised his hand for the very first time in that whole semester, so, of course, I called on him and I said, “Okay, what makes things memorable?” And he said, “Gold booty shorts”. And I said, “Yes, that’s right. It’s novelty”. The core concept — there is something novel, something emotionally is like made people feel uncomfortable, because they didn’t know how much he was going to take off and it actually looked like he might go all the way, but he left it with these gold booty shorts. So, it was a wonderful way to demonstrate what becomes memorable in a novel situation, what attracts their attention. And, of course, I got the students to say the main point, and not me, which was also memorable.
— 32:00 And what the lesson is?* To be more active? To be more proactive? To be provoked?
— 32:11 The message was to understand how memory works. Novelty attracts your attention. If something is done in class… For example, if your professor has a fist fight with one of the students are you gonna remember that? Yes, you are. Because it’s novel and we know this a little bit, but to actually demonstrate that is a wonderful way to introduce45 the concept of memory, which was the start of this little section that we’re starting.
— 32:41 Can sports affect human brain and what exact exercises are most effective? I asked you in the beginning and I am going to repeat this question. Is this something more effective that you can address to our audience and advise us?
— 32:59 So let me tell you what we know right now and then I’ll tell you my aspirations46 for what I want to know and the questions that we’re asking in my lab. So, here’s what we know right now. The largest number of studies that have been done have supported the idea that aerobic exercise, exercise that increases your heart rate is the best way to improve your brain. And when people say, “Oh, well, I do resistance training47. How come that’s not good?” And the answer is there are some studies that suggest that resistance training is good, and others that say that there was no effect and it’s unclear whether we just haven’t found the right level of resistance training. We need more work there. So, what we really need to do is compare different kinds of physical activity directly. Literally, no studies have done that. One of the studies in my lab compares sitting with walking slowly, with kind of moderate level aerobic exercise, running on a treadmill with shorter intervals of high-intensity interval training where you’re really getting your heart rate up. And we’re just starting to gather the data there to ask what are the different effects of those different levels of activity immediately, but then, what about six hours later. And this is a key question and, of course, everybody wants to add in their own favorite activity. What about kickboxing? What about intensity? What about soccer? And that’s going to come with more studies, but this is a critical question and we don’t know the answer to that level of detail, but what I can tell you is that anything that you do that get your heart rate up is good. Stick with that for now and I’ll get back to you on the details later.
— 34:38 Okay, then, I think maybe two last questions. How long does the effect of the cognitive development last?
You mean the cognitive development associated with the exercise?
— 34:53 Okay, great. That is a great question, and here I can tell you for sure, we have very little idea exactly how long it lasts. We’re trying to… first all the studies are about let’s have them work out for eight weeks. What about 12 weeks? What about 15 weeks? Do we get an effect? And the answer is it’s easiest to see these effects after three months (12 weeks) of physical activity, but nobody has asked, “Okay, now you’re not gonna work out anymore. How long does that last? My strong intuition is that if you stop working out after that twelve weeks, it’s gonna gonna back down at some point. Unclear. Probably, in the next month or so, you’ll start seeing a diminution48 if you stop exercising at all, but that you’ve highlighted yet another scientific question that we haven’t been able to answer yet. There are broad things that we can say, but we’re still working very hard to answer these details. It’s a critical detail that you’ve just asked me about, but I can tell you that we do not know the answer to that.
— 36:00 Okay. And the last question. What are the brain functions that need minimal exercise? Because in our ages,  what we want? to learn languages, but we are saying to ourselves, “Oh, I can’t learn French anymore, because now I’m in my 40s. I can’t learn skiing in my 40s, because I am 40 and maybe it’s some cliches in our brain and how we should push our brain to exercise, to change these cliches in our mind and to change ourselves, our bodies, our functions in real life?
Yeah, so it’s absolutely clear that there is a critical period for language when we are young. Five to seven years old is easier to learn. That does not mean that it’s impossible to learn language later, it just takes a little bit longer. So, languages are absolutely learnable49, no matter what age. And we know the things that help. Immersion50 into that culture. Don’t let yourself go back to with a Russian or English, whatever your native language is. And the principle here is that the human brain at any age has a capacity51 to learn. So, it is completely a myth that, “Oh, I’m 40 now, I can’t do this, I can’t learn that”. Everybody can learn. The brain is an amazing organ. And you give it enough time and the right environment and it will learn.
— 37:28 Wendy, and let me say thank you and tell me what are you going to learn in next 10 years? Do you have your plan?
— 37:36 I do. I am going to reinvent myself as an entrepreneur. So, I’m starting a new company right now to actually help people, individuals figure out what is the optimum level of activity for you. Not for people your age or your gender, but you. To maximize your brain function today and maximally protect your brain for the future. That is the company that I’m developing right now. So, I hope in five years that I’ll be able to come back and maybe speak at the business forum. 


1. to benefit |ˈbɛnɪfɪt| извлекать пользу
2. particularly |pəˈtɪkjʊləli| особенно
3. susceptible |səˈsɛptɪb(ə)l| подверженный, поддающийся
4. basically |ˈbeɪsɪkli| в основном
5. less likely |les ˈlʌɪkli| менее вероятно
6. an upper bound |ˈʌpə baʊnd| верхняя граница
7. to evolve |ɪˈvɒlv| развиваться
8. curious |ˈkjʊərɪəs| любопытный
9. spontaneous |spɒnˈteɪnɪəs| спонтанно
10. an affirmation |afəˈmeɪʃ(ə)n| утверждение
11. recently |ˈriːsntli| недавно
12. a performance |pəˈfɔːm(ə)ns| выступление
13. intensity |ɪnˈtɛnsɪti| интенсивность
14. a wheel |wiːl| колесо
15. a brain cell |breɪn sel| клетка мозга
16. certainly |ˈsəːt(ə)nli| конечно, безусловно
17. a nourishment |ˈnʌrɪʃm(ə)nt| питание
18. definitively |dɪˈfɪnɪtɪvli| окончательно
19. previous |ˈpriːvɪəs| предыдущий
20. a bunch |bʌn(t)ʃ| куча
21. a blood vessel |blʌd ˈvɛs(ə)l| кровеносный сосуд
22. a circulatory system |ˈsəːkjʊlət(ə)ri ˈsɪstəm| система кровообращения, кровеносная система
23. immediately |ɪˈmiːdɪətli| сразу же
24. sensitive |ˈsɛnsɪtɪv| чувствительный
25. to split off |splɪt ɒf| расстаться
26. an influence |ˈɪnflʊəns| влияние
27. primacy |ˈprʌɪməsi| первичный
28. a novelty |ˈnɒv(ə)lti| новизна
29. an amygdala |əˈmɪɡdələ| мозжечковая миндалина
30. a threat |θrɛt| угроза
31. to affect |əˈfɛkt| влиять
32. a handful of studies |ˈhan(d)fʊl ɒv ˈstʌdɪz| несколько исследований
33. to suggest |səˈdʒɛst| предлагать
34. a conclusion |kənˈkluːʒ(ə)n| заключение, вывод
35. confident |ˈkɒnfɪd(ə)nt| уверенный
36. a rodent |ˈrəʊd(ə)nt| грызун
37. fascinating ˈfasɪneɪtɪŋ| увлекательный, интересный
38. a prefrontal cortex [prɪˈfrʌntl ˈkɔːteks] префронтальная кора, предлобная кора
39. unbeknownst |ˌʌnbɪˈnəʊnst| без ведома
40. a dress rehearsal.[ˈdres rɪˈhɜːsəl] генеральная репетиция
41. to burst |bəːst| ворваться
42. to pretend |prɪˈtɛnd| притворяться
43. a silent play |ˈsʌɪlənt ˈpleɪ| немая сцена
44. a fire extinguisher |ˈfaɪə ɪkˈstɪŋɡwɪʃə| огнетушитель
45. to introduce |ɪntrəˈdjuːs| представить
46. an aspiration |aspəˈreɪʃ(ə)n| стремление
47. a resistance training |rɪˈzɪst(ə)ns ˈtreɪnɪŋ| силовая тренировка
48. a diminution |ˌdɪmɪˈnjuːʃ(ə)n| уменьшение, ослабление
49. learnable [ˈlɜːnəb(ə)l] поддающийся изучению
50. a imersion |ɪˈməːʃ(ə)n| погружение
51. a capacity |kəˈpasɪti| способность

— 38:10 No, no, you have to come back much more sooner. I think here you have to be with us, because you have a lot of fans in Russia. And thank you again for you coming, for your time.
— Thank you, Wendy.
— Thank you very much. 

Prepared by Lyubov Potapova
(edited by Karina Darbinyan and Vlad Tishchenko)

Watch it how it was happening


Фото: Антон Глазман и Анастасия Гаврилова (Synergy)

Wendi Suzuki — combination of sport and science

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