Monday, October 10, 2016

Summary of Findings: Diet and Cognition (3 out of 5 Stars)

Note: This post represents the synthesis of the thoughts, procedures and experiences of others as represented in the articles read in advance (see previous posts) and the discussion among the students and instructor during the Advanced Analytic Techniques class at Mercyhurst University in October 2016 regarding Diet and Cognition as an Analytic Technique specifically. This technique was evaluated based on its overall validity, simplicity, flexibility and its ability to effectively use on structured data.


Diet and Cognition is an analytic modifier that focuses on mineral and nutrient intake and its relationship with decision making. The dietary needs can be met via a plan that could potentially consist of daily meals rich antioxidant fruits and vegetables, omega-3 fats, and low glycemic index carbohydrates.


  • Relatively easy to control (for self)
  • Good diet can increase overall health rather than just cognition for forecasting use
  • It is low hanging fruit to apply toward its application with analysts and cognition in a given study.


  • Results are inconclusive due to a small sample size
  • May vary from individual to individual
  • Difficult to conduct studies in diet at institutions due to review boards


  1. Consult with your physician before beginning any new diets.
  2. Identify foods that you know make you feel more alert and active and eat more of them.
  3. Identify foods that make you feel drowsy, lazy, or cloud your ability to concentrate and remove them from your diet.
  4. Incorporate foods high in antioxidants such as fruits and vegetables, nuts and other high protein foods, and omega 3s. Try to stay away from foods high in cholesterol and carbohydrates.

Application of Technique:

To test this modifier participants were broken up into a test group and control group. Both groups were asked to fast from 10 PM the evening prior to the experiment consuming only water. The test group was given a prepackaged meal 10 minutes prior the experiment while the control group was left to further starvation.

Both groups were presented with a standardized test consisting of questions including US electoral rules and practices, arithmetic questions, and spatial recognition questions. The test were graded and results were compared between the test group and control group.

Due to a limited test population, results were inconclusive.

For Further Information:

Snake Oil Two:

The Black Vault - Intelligence Community (IC) Agency Cafeterias:

Food Pyramid:

The Food Pyramid Guide:

12 Superfoods To Boost Your Brainpower:

Food for Thought -  Diet Does Boost Your Intelligence:

The Evolution of Diet:

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