John Medina is a molecular biologist who's just published BRAIN RULES, a book about how our brains work and how we can keep 'em working. The good news? Some parts of the adult brain are just as malleable as infants' brains, and can continue to create neurons! That is SO great. I can create new ones to replace all those the cabernet sauvignon took away.
His twelve principles include exercise as a way to improve brain function, which is right up my alley. Any time I've felt stymied by some plot issue or other (it's always plot issues, never the other stuff) I've done something physical, and found my way through. So, if you're blocked, hustle yourself AROUND the block! Or walk the dog, or vacuum, or something that ups your circulation.
Dr. Medina also recommends afternoon naps (my Scottie loves those), repeating learned information within two hours of first acquiring it, and respecting the way each individual brain is wired. And--for me, this is a big one, since I've been trying to address the too-much-input issue--he says that "multitasking robs focus, promotes inefficiency and causes mistakes." I'll bet it weakens plot development, too.
The website is http://www.brainrules.net