Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Cognitive training research: MindFit, Lumosity, Posit Science, Cogmed

The field of computer-based cog­ni­tive train­ing (part of what we call “Brain Fit­ness”) is start­ing to get trac­tion in the media and becom­ing an emerg­ing indus­try, and we are happy to see how a grow­ing num­ber of researchers and science-based com­pa­nies are lead­ing stud­ies that will allow to bet­ter mea­sure results and refine the brain exer­cise soft­ware available.

Pub­lished new research

  • Com­put­er­ized work­ing mem­ory train­ing after stroke-A pilot study. A pub­lished study on how Cogmed work­ing mem­ory train­ing may help stroke patients. See the ref­er­ence at Cogmed Research page (and full arti­cle here)
  • The Jour­nals of Geron­tol­ogy pub­lished a series of related papers in their June issue, includ­ing this by Kar­lene Ball, Jerri D. Edwards, and Les­ley A. Ross on The Impact of Speed of Pro­cess­ing Train­ing on Cog­ni­tive and Every­day Func­tions, J Geron­tol B Psy­chol Sci Soc Sci 2007 62: 19–31.  Abstract: “We com­bined data from six stud­ies, all using the same speed of pro­cess­ing train­ing pro­gram, to exam­ine the mech­a­nisms of train­ing gain and the impact of train­ing on cog­ni­tive and every­day abil­i­ties of older adults. Results indi­cated that train­ing pro­duces imme­di­ate improve­ments across all sub­tests of the Use­ful Field of View test, par­tic­u­larly for older adults with ini­tial speed of pro­cess­ing deficits. Age and edu­ca­tion had lit­tle to no impact on train­ing gain. Par­tic­i­pants main­tained ben­e­fits of train­ing for at least 2 years, which trans­lated to improve­ments in every­day abil­i­ties, includ­ing effi­cient per­for­mance of instru­men­tal activ­i­ties of daily liv­ing and safer dri­ving per­for­mance.”

Ongoing/ start­ing research

  • MindWeavers set to launch new ‘brain health’ soft­ware in the UK. “The company’s move into the adult brain health mar­ket fol­lows its acqui­si­tion of Brain­Boost, a busi­ness that devel­ops soft­ware to pro­tect against cog­ni­tive decline, founded by Baroness Susan Green­field, world expert in neuro-development and degen­er­a­tion.” (See the very inter­est­ing pro­file of sci­ence educator Susan Green­field). “We are also cur­rently under­tak­ing a clin­i­cal study of the Mind­Works soft­ware we devel­oped jointly with Cog­niFit, which aims to pro­tect brain health in patients who have been diag­nosed with Mild Cog­ni­tive Impair­ment and early Alzheimer’s.”
  • This is the first time we hear about MindWeavers and Brain­Boost, but the prod­uct they are start­ing to dis­trib­ute in the UK for healthy indi­vid­u­als is the same as one of the prod­ucts we have had in our Shop for a while: Mind­Fit.
  • Lumos­ity by Lumos Labs: Research under­way with Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity Cen­ter for Inter­dis­ci­pli­nary Brain Sci­ences Research to deter­mine if Lumos Labs exer­cises can be effec­tive in ame­lio­rat­ing cog­ni­tive impair­ment due to chemother­apy.
  • Posit Sci­ence will be used in a Pilot project works with brain-injured vet­er­ans. Easter Seals is launch­ing a pilot project to help vet­er­ans of Iraq and Afghanistan with mild to mod­er­ate Trau­matic Brain Injury.
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