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Update: Expo Day; Top 15 Articles of 2009

In this Jan­u­ary issue of our eNewslet­ter, we will first neuronsbrief you on the enlight­en­ing demos that will take place on Wednes­day, Jan­u­ary 20th, as part of the Sharp­Brains Sum­mit, and then present the 15 most stim­u­lat­ing Sharp­Brains arti­cles of 2009.

Expo Day

If you want to see and dis­cuss the lat­est pro­grams and tech­nolo­gies for brain fit­ness, pre­sented by Sum­mit Spon­sors, Wednes­day Jan­u­ary 20th is your day. Each demo will last 30 min­utes, fol­lowed by 15 min­utes of Q&A.

9am. Baycrest/ Cog­nic­iti will intro­duce the new Memory@Work work­shop, designed to teach what mem­ory is, how lifestyle fac­tors such as dis­trac­tion and stress can affect mem­ory, and how to enhance mem­ory per­for­mance at work with the use of enabling strategies.

10am. Cog­niFit will demo Cog­niFit Per­sonal Coach and Cog­niFit Senior Dri­ver, two online pro­grams designed to assess and main cog­ni­tive func­tions for healthy liv­ing and safe dri­ving, respectively.

11am. Posit Sci­ence will demo InSight, a software-based cog­ni­tive train­ing pack­age designed to sharpen brain’s visual sys­tem. This is the pro­gram being tested by All­state for safer driving.

Noon. Happy Neu­ron will intro­duce HAP­PYneu­ron PRO, a new plat­form for pro­fes­sion­als for the effec­tive deliv­ery and man­age­ment of cog­ni­tive reme­di­a­tion and reha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­grams in a patient cen­tric manner.

1pm. Sharp­Brains will help nav­i­gate this grow­ing field by dis­cussing The State of the Brain Fit­ness Soft­ware 2009 report and The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness con­sumer guide, and sum­ma­riz­ing key Sum­mit take-aways.

Learn more and reg­is­ter HERE. Please remem­ber that reg­is­tra­tion closes on Jan­u­ary 17th.

We want to thank our most recent spon­sor, the Arrow­smith Pro­gram, a com­pre­hen­sive suite of cog­ni­tive pro­grams for stu­dents with learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties avail­able in pub­lic and pri­vate schools in Canada and the U.S. More infor­ma­tion here.

And now, let’s review the (in our view) 15 most stim­u­lat­ing arti­cles of 2009.

The Big Picture

100 is the new 65: Why do some peo­ple live, and well, to 100? Researchers are try­ing to find out, reports Meera Lee Sethi at Greater Good Magazine.

Learn­ing about Learn­ing: an Inter­view with Joshua Wait­zkin: Scott Barry Kauf­man inter­views “child prodigy” Joshua Wait­zkin on The Art of Learning.

Debunk­ing 10 Brain Health Myths: Does your brain have a “Brain Age”? Is a Magic Pill to pre­vent mem­ory prob­lems right around the corner?  Check out the facts to debunk 10 com­mon myths.

Why is work­ing mem­ory rel­e­vant to read­ing and math­e­mat­ics: A recent large UK study iden­ti­fied 1 in 10 stu­dents as hav­ing work­ing mem­ory dif­fi­cul­ties. Dr. Tracy Alloway elab­o­rates why this matters.

Change Your Envi­ron­ment, Change Your­self: Dr. Brett Steen­barger explains why new envi­ron­ments  force us to exit our rou­tines and actively mas­ter unfa­mil­iar challenges.”

Tools

Retool­ing Use it or lose it: Alvaro Fer­nan­dez dis­cusses why rou­tine, doing things inside our com­fort zones, is the most com­mon enemy of the nov­elty, vari­ety and chal­lenge our brains need.

Does cog­ni­tive train­ing work? (For Whom? For What?): Dr. Pas­cale Mich­e­lon, dis­sects a cou­ple of recent press releases and the under­ly­ing stud­ies to clar­i­fy­ing what they mean – and what they don’t mean.

New Study Sup­ports Neu­ro­feed­back Treat­ment for ADHD: Dr. David Rabiner reports the promis­ing find­ings from the first well-designed con­trolled trial on the effect of neu­ro­feed­back treat­ment for ADHD.

Do Art Classes Boost Test Scores? Is there a “Mozart Effect?”: Some researchers sug­gest so; oth­ers are not con­vinced. Karin Evans offers a  thought­ful review of the evi­dence and asks, “Now, is this the right question?”

Does cof­fee boost cog­ni­tive func­tions over time? Dr. Pas­cale Mich­e­lon reports good news (long-term effects seem more pos­i­tive than neg­a­tive, so cof­fee leads to no clear harm) and bad ones (no clear ben­e­fi­cial effects on gen­eral brain functions).

Indus­try

Brain fit­ness heads towards its tip­ping point: How do you know when some­thing is mov­ing towards a Glad­wellian tip­ping point? When insur­ance com­pa­nies and pol­icy mak­ers pay atten­tion, Dr. Ger­ard Finnemore reports.

Visual Rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the State of the Mar­ket 2009: Paul Van Slem­brouck beau­ti­fully presents the main find­ings of our 150-page mar­ket report, The State of the Brain Fit­ness Mar­ket 2009.

Michael Merzenich on brain fit­ness: neu­ro­sci­en­tist Michael Merzenich dis­cusses neu­ro­plas­tic­ity, tech­nol­ogy, safe dri­ving, men­tal health, and the need for stan­dards, auto­mated assess­ments and “per­sonal brain trainers”.

Brain Teaser

Stim­u­late your Con­cen­tra­tion Skills: when one really wants to mem­o­rize a fact, it is cru­cial to pay atten­tion. Dr. Pas­cale Mich­e­lon chal­lenges you to count a few sim­ple letters.

Res­o­lu­tion

Finally, an arti­cle that may inspire some New Year Res­o­lu­tions. In Yes, You Can Build Willpower, Daniel Gole­man dis­cusses how the brain makes about 10,000 new cells every day, how they migrate to where they are needed, and how each cell can make around 10,000 con­nec­tions to other brain cells. Impli­ca­tion? Med­i­tate, mind­fully, and build pos­i­tive habits.

Wish­ing you a Happy and Pro­duc­tive 2010, and look­ing for­ward to meet­ing many of you (200 so far) at the inau­gural Sharp­Brains Sum­mit!

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