Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Update: Four Essential Yet Overlooked Facts About Your Brain

brainstormingTime for Sharp­Brains’ Decem­ber 2013 e-newsletter, fea­tur­ing a vari­ety of resources, brain teasers and arti­cles. Enjoy the reading…and Happy Holidays!

Fea­tured resources:

Brain teasers:

Research and indus­try news:

Please remem­ber that we are host­ing a num­ber of webchats in Jan­u­ary to dis­cuss your impres­sions and ques­tions about  The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness: How to Opti­mize Brain Health and Per­for­mance at Any Age (284 pages; 2013), so we hope you can spend some time read­ing the book over the hol­i­days, and per­haps even dis­cuss it with friends and relatives.

We wish you Happy Hol­i­days and a Pros­per­ous 2014!

Brain teasers to understand and boost cognitive abilities

brain circuitsFirst of all, what is cog­ni­tion? Cog­ni­tion has to do with how a per­son under­stands and acts in the world. It is a set of men­tal processes that are part of nearly every human action. For instance, answer­ing the tele­phone involves per­cep­tion (hear­ing the ring tone), deci­sion tak­ing (answer­ing or not), motor skill (lift­ing the receiver), lan­guage skills (lis­ten­ing and talk­ing), social skills (inter­pret­ing tone of voice and inter­act­ing properly).

Cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties are sup­ported by spe­cific neu­ronal net­works and brain struc­tures. For instance mem­ory skills rely mainly on parts of the tem­po­ral lobes and parts of the frontal lobes (behind the fore­head). In the arti­cle What are Cog­ni­tive Abil­i­ties and Skills? you can find good expla­na­tion and exam­ples, together with stim­u­lat­ing brain teasers to exer­cise the cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties described. Learn, and have fun!

 

Test your Brain with these Teasers and Visual Illusions

ebbing haus illusion testAre the two orange cir­cles of the same size? One way to under­stand more about the brain is to look at how we can trick it, that is, to look at how the brain reacts to teasers and visual illusions.

Here are 10 visual illu­sions to com­bine fun and learn­ing about the visual sys­tem. We know you know there is a trick since these are illu­sions… but don’t try to be smarter than your brain: Just enjoyed being surprised!

To go beyond the illu­sions, read about what hap­pens in your brain while you expe­ri­ence them. Read the rest of this entry »

Top brain teasers to test your mind

brainstormingWe just selected and cat­e­go­rized the Top 50 Brain Teasers and Games that Sharp­Brains read­ers have been enjoy­ing the most.

Here are a few samples…

Fun exper­i­ments on how our brains work

1. You think you know the col­ors? Try the Stroop Test

3. Take the Senses Chal­lenge (Interactive)

Atten­tion and memoryTwo In One Task

7. Count the Fs in this sentence

9. Proud of your visual mem­ory? Give a try at “Picasso” (Interactive)

10. Is your atten­tion bet­ter than a chimp’s? (Interactive)

–> For more, visit these  Top 50 Brain Teasers and Games and test your per­cep­tual and cog­ni­tive abilities…

Update: On Neuroplasticity, Yoga Meditation, Cognitive Training, and Total Health

brainstormingTime for Sharp­Brains’ Octo­ber 2013 e-newsletter, fea­tur­ing a vari­ety of arti­cles, inter­views, and brain teasers. Enjoy!

Fresh research and perspectives:

Inter­views with sharp brains:

Brain teasers:

Happy Hal­loween, and have a great month of November!

Brain teaser game: Can you count? (attention experiment)

Do we all have “atten­tion deficits”? Or is there some­thing else going on? Let’s try this lit­tle exper­i­ment, con­ceived by Simons and Chabris for their clas­sic study on sus­tained inat­ten­tional blindness.

Below you can watch a brief video clip, and your chal­lenge is to count the total num­ber of times that the bas­ket­balls change hands. 


 

Fas­ci­nat­ing, isn’t it?

If you are ready to con­tinue exer­cis­ing your brain, you may enjoy these 50 brain teasers to test your cog­ni­tive abil­ity.

Brain training and brain teasers are part of Novelty, Variety, Challenge

brainsBrain fit­ness can include play­ing train­ing games on com­put­ers (Los Ange­les Times):

…Today, the term “fit­ness” is as likely to encom­pass the body as it is the mind…Fernandez says that the key com­po­nents of any brain-training pro­gram are nov­elty, vari­ety and chal­lenge — fac­tors that Read the rest of this entry »

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