Brain Health,

#073: Fish Oil: A Cognitive Lubricant?

April 25, 2015

Jesse is joined by Dr. Andrew Pipingas and Professor David Crewther of Swinburne University for a conversation about fish oil and its effects on neural efficiency. The two explain how fish oil supplementation could improve mental performance by  allowing us to carry out cognitive tasks with ease, introducing the idea that “smart brains work less hard.”

We’ll also hear about how it might be possible to “reset” your circadian rhythm, and learn how we are able to accurately manipulate objects without having conscious knowledge of their location or size.

Show Notes
  • 00:00:31

    How our newest fish oil episode came to be

  • 00:01:33

    This Week in Neuroscience: “Reset” Button Discovered for Circadian Clock

  • 00:04:30

    iTunes review thank-yous

  • 00:05:32

    Introduction to Dr. Andrew Pipingas and Professor David Crewther

  • 00:06:59

    What is neural efficiency?

  • 00:09:16

    What are the cognitive effects of Omega-3s? (study)

  • 00:11:03

    The Omega-3/Omega-6 balance

  • 00:12:55

    The level of consistency in studies on Omega-3s in relation to cognitive function

  • 00:14:34

    How Omega-3s work in the body once they're consumed

  • 00:15:57

    Can EPA and DHA work acutely in the brain?

  • 00:17:09

    The difference in behaviour and levels of brain activation when measuring neural efficiency in working memory tasks

  • 00:19:19

    Is there a defecit for brains that work harder to achieve the same results as those working less hard?

  • 00:20:05

    Measuring "years recovered" by brains that work more efficently

  • 00:21:29

    What is the ideal Omega-3/Omega-6 intake ratio and how should we be meeting those dietary requirements?

  • 00:22:34

    A look at the future of Omega-3 research

  • 00:26:23

    Ruthless Listener-Retention Gimmick: Ability To Grasp What Can't Be Seen


  1. Gabriel says:

    Hi. Interesting as usual.
    I find you speak like in a hurry, it makes me nervous. A more paced voice will make listening more relaxed, especially while doing other tasks.

    1. Jesse Lawler says:

      Hi Gabriel — Thanks for pointing this out. My dad says the same thing. Despite not being a used-car-salesman, I’m a fast-talker. I’ll try to damper myself down a bit going forward. 🙂

      1. Gabriel says:

        Thanks a lot!

  2. ben says:

    One thing I’ve never understood, is that omega-3s are always said to be very delicate, and that they can go rancid easily with heat/time. So unless people are eating sushi, wouldn’t eating cooked fish be destroying the omega-3s?

    Also, there’s an interesting paper by Dr. Kevin L. Fritsche, about the notion of omega-3 is good (anti-inflammatory) and omega-6 is bad (pro-inflammatory) is a bit of an over-simplification. The tissue is the issue, and getting enough (in absolute quantities) of each may be more important. A good talk on this was with Chris Masterjohn at the 14min mark:

    Regarding the Ruthless Listener Retention Gimmick, in the documentary “Tim’s Vermeer”, there’s a great segment around the 42min mark that talks about how the retina is an outgrowth of the brain. Due to the limited bandwidth of the optic nerve, visual data is pre-preprocessed before going to the brain.. which may help explain the many strange optical illusions and phenomena!

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