Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Online Brain Fitness Gym

See our sec­ond press release below, and visit our Press Room for the great press we are start­ing to get about our brain fit­ness gym.

Spe­cial Offer: For a lim­ited time, you can receive a com­pli­men­tary copy of our Brain Fit­ness 101 e-Guide: Answers to your Top 25 Ques­tions, writ­ten by Dr. Elkhonon Gold­berg and Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, by sub­scrib­ing to our monthly newslet­ter. You can sub­scribe Here.

Sharp­Brains intro­duces First Online Brain Fit­ness Center

Unique, Full-Service, Science-Based Fit­ness Cen­ter Ush­ers in the Next Work­out Rev­o­lu­tion: Men­tal Exer­cise

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Thirty years after the emer­gence of the exer­cise boom, the fit­ness rev­o­lu­tion has finally gone to people’s heads: has launched the first online brain fit­ness cen­ter. Com­plete with a vari­ety of science-based men­tal exer­cise equip­ment, per­sonal brain train­ers, and nearly 200 arti­cles, inter­ac­tive blog post­ings and inter­views with indus­try experts, Sharp­Brains is spear­head­ing the evo­lu­tion of the fit­ness indus­try to include a sound mind as well as a healthy body.

The new men­tal exer­cise move­ment is founded on using struc­tured, computer-based brain fit­ness rou­tines tai­lored to each member’s spe­cific needs and level of abil­ity. Just as crunches and kick-boxing tone abs and increase car­dio strength, pro­grams offered at the brain fit­ness cen­ter tar­get and help train essen­tial core men­tal mus­cles to improve mem­ory, con­cen­tra­tion, stress man­age­ment, and decision-making skills. Men­tal exer­cise has also been shown to help delay the onset of age-related decline and even demen­tias such as Alzheimer’s Disease.

Peo­ple are real­iz­ing that cross-training their brains in addi­tion to their bod­ies is essen­tial to over-all health,” said Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, CEO and co-founder of Sharp­Brains. “We pre­dict the same surge in brain exer­cise that occurred with phys­i­cal fit­ness in the 70’s. Every­one from first graders to busi­ness pro­fes­sion­als to retired adults is now focus­ing on the total fit­ness pack­age, and the online brain fit­ness cen­ter offers a com­plete, well-rounded men­tal work­out and sup­port sys­tem for most needs.”


Sim­i­lar to join­ing a phys­i­cal fit­ness gym, vis­i­tors to are encour­aged to com­plete a brief ques­tion­naire to iden­tify what their brain fit­ness goals are. Based on their needs, one or more brain fit­ness pro­grams are sug­gested to help them attain those goals. If an indi­vid­ual seeks help in an area that Sharp­Brains does not presently address, such as audi­tory pro­cess­ing, Sharp­Brains’ non-biased eval­u­a­tion may link the indi­vid­ual with an out­side, science-based resource spe­cific to his or her needs.

Once mem­bers receive a pro­gram either by mail or via down­load from a secure site, they will take one or more assess­ments to deter­mine their start­ing level and in which areas of brain fit­ness they need the most help. The pro­gram then tai­lors the activ­i­ties to the mem­bers’ needs and tracks their progress over time.

Time com­mit­ment varies with each pro­gram, but gen­er­ally only 30 min­utes, three times a week, are needed to achieve a program’s intended results, such as improv­ing focus or reduc­ing stress. And unlike a phys­i­cal work­out, the user’s brain will feel invig­o­rated imme­di­ately after, not drained and tired.


Sharp­Brains has the most com­plete selec­tion of proven science-based brain pro­grams, offer­ing solu­tions for men­tal stim­u­la­tion as well as stress man­age­ment, a key inhibitor of short-term mem­ory and judg­ment. The online fit­ness cen­ter also has the Web’s most exten­sive archive of edu­ca­tional infor­ma­tion with 170 arti­cles on train­ing the brain, plus a com­pre­hen­sive “Brain Fit­ness 101 guide” that takes mem­bers through the sci­ence of men­tal exer­cise and answers their top 25 ques­tions with straight­for­ward, easy-to-understand language.

In addi­tion, the exclu­sive online forum edu­cates mem­bers about the tech­nol­ogy behind the pro­grams and pro­vides access to Sharp­Brains’ brain fit­ness coaches who per­son­ally answer mem­bers’ ques­tions about the exer­cise programs.

The sup­port, infor­ma­tion exchange and one-on-one guid­ance we’re able to pro­vide is unlike any­thing else online,” said Neal Cohen, clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist, and Sharp­Brains’ head coach. “These ser­vices take us far beyond the capa­bil­i­ties of com­pa­nies that just sell prod­ucts and estab­lish us as a com­plete online brain fit­ness center.”


The brain main­tains and devel­ops its cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties through neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis, the cre­ation of new neu­rons and den­drites, the hair-like pro­jec­tions that con­nect each neu­ron to its neigh­bors. If these new neu­rons don’t stay active, they lose their con­nec­tions and the body dis­cards them. In addi­tion, stress can inhibit their rate of creation.

How­ever, in the same way that phys­i­cal exer­cise pro­motes mus­cle growth, recent research has demon­strated that tar­geted men­tal exer­cise pro­motes neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis,” said Dr. Elkhonon Gold­berg, Clin­i­cal Pro­fes­sor of Neu­rol­ogy at New York Uni­ver­sity School of Med­i­cine and Chief Sci­en­tific Advi­sor & Co-Founder of Sharp­Brains. “This process works most effec­tively through struc­tured brain fit­ness train­ing pro­grams that uti­lize nov­elty and vari­ety, and reg­u­larly increase their chal­lenge to the brain. Thus over time, brain train­ing and stress reduc­tion are the best ways to max­i­mize the num­ber of neu­rons and den­drites that an indi­vid­ual cre­ates and retains.”

Brain train­ing can not only improve atten­tion, mem­ory and stress man­age­ment skills in the short term, but also can delay deficits due to aging or dis­ease in the long term. Stud­ies pub­lished in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion and Jour­nal of Neu­ro­science in 2002, 2006 and 2007 showed that men­tal stim­u­la­tion in older adults rang­ing from learn­ing a new activ­ity to struc­tured men­tal exer­cise sig­nif­i­cantly reduced their risk of demen­tia, includ­ing Alzheimer’s Disease.


Sharp­Brains presently offers sev­eral inter­ac­tive com­puter pro­grams tar­get­ing dif­fer­ent men­tal mus­cles, including:

  • Mind­Fit is designed to help adults main­tain a sharp, agile mind through exer­cises for mem­ory, problem-solving, plan­ning, and other skills.
  • Freeze-Framer® Inter­ac­tive Learn­ing Sys­tem is a bio­met­rics feedback-based soft­ware pro­gram designed to teach users to pre­vent and man­age the neg­a­tive effects of stress, which have been linked with mem­ory loss and sub-optimal per­for­mance in school, work, and sports.
  • Intel­li­Gym teaches “game-intelligence” skills to pro­fes­sional and ama­teur bas­ket­ball play­ers includ­ing coor­di­na­tion, atten­tion con­trol, periph­eral vision, per­cep­tion, and men­tal stamina.
  • RoboMemo is a work­ing mem­ory train­ing pro­gram shown to help chil­dren with atten­tion deficits improve their over­all con­di­tion and exec­u­tive functioning.

More pro­grams are sched­uled for future release.


Founded in 2006, Sharp­Brains is an online brain fit­ness cen­ter with state-of-the-art science-based infor­ma­tion and pro­grams to help peo­ple of all ages find and fol­low the best pro­grams to meet their spe­cific objec­tives. Thou­sands of indi­vid­u­als and dozens of cen­ters are using the pro­grams that Sharp­Brains is now offer­ing. Sharp­Brains’ unpar­al­leled Sci­en­tific Advi­sory Board is led by Dr. Elkhonon Gold­berg, Clin­i­cal Pro­fes­sor of Neu­rol­ogy at New York Uni­ver­sity School of Med­i­cine, Diplo­mate of The Amer­i­can Board of Pro­fes­sional Psy­chol­ogy in Clin­i­cal Neu­ropsy­chol­ogy, author of The Exec­u­tive Brain and The Wis­dom Para­dox, and Chief Sci­en­tific Advi­sor & Co-Founder of Sharp­Brains. Part­ner­ships include Applied Cog­ni­tive Engi­neer­ing (ACE), Cogmed, Vig­or­ous Mind, The Insti­tute of Heart­Math and the San Fran­cisco Osher Life­long Learn­ing Insti­tute (OLLI), through which Sharp­Brains has been offer­ing the pop­u­lar Exer­cis­ing Our Brains class. For more infor­ma­tion about Brain Fit­ness, Sharp­Brains and its asso­ci­ated prod­ucts, please visit

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