Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Should Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (not antidepressant drugs) be the first-line treatment for depression?

CBT_brain

Depres­sion: A change of mind (Nature):

Cog­ni­tive ther­apy, com­monly known as cog­ni­tive behav­ioural ther­apy (CBT), aims to help peo­ple to iden­tify and change neg­a­tive, self-destructive thought pat­terns. And although it does not work for every­one with depres­sion, data have been accu­mu­lat­ing in its favour. “CBT is one of the clear suc­cess sto­ries in psy­chother­apy,” says Ste­fan Hof­mann, a psy­chol­o­gist at Boston Uni­ver­sity in Massachusetts…

Anti­de­pres­sant drugs are usu­ally the first-line treat­ment for depres­sion. Read the rest of this entry »

Another impressive edition…Unique combination of vision and lessons learned” — 2014 Summit Recordings Now Available!

2014SummitRecordings_verticalIf you couldn’t attend the 2014 Sharp­Brains Vir­tual Sum­mit live, here’s some good news: all the ses­sion record­ings –amount­ing to 15+ hours– are now avail­able online for $145. Click HERE to learn more.

This is what some Sum­mit par­tic­i­pants have to say:

Another impres­sive edi­tion of the Sharp­Brains Sum­mit. Unique com­bi­na­tion of vision and lessons learned, of shared enthu­si­asm to engage and empower con­sumers thanks to emerg­ing knowl­edge about the brain, of a strong zeal to achieve social impact with­out mak­ing mis­lead­ing claims. Look­ing for­ward to next year!” — Keith Epstein, Senior Strat­egy Advi­sor at AARP

Kudos for such a fan­tas­tic con­fer­ence. The dis­cus­sion about human vs. arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence and ethics was espe­cially excit­ing.” — Rajiv Pant, Chief Tech­nol­ogy Offi­cer of The New York Times

I believe that cog­ni­tive func­tion and brain sci­ence are the new fron­tiers in health pro­mo­tion Read the rest of this entry »

Trend: Harnessing biometrics and cognitive training to improve athletic performance

cognitivetraining_sports

Is Cog­ni­tive Train­ing the Next Fron­tier in Sports? (iQ by Intel):

The shift to quan­ti­ta­tive analy­sis of so-called ath­lete intan­gi­bles — data pre­vi­ously unat­tain­able before track­ing devices pro­vided empir­i­cal evi­dence — is replac­ing gut instinct and guess­work in sports…the vol­un­teers spent a half hour play­ing a unique video game that recorded their phys­i­o­log­i­cal reac­tions to Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 recent scientific studies on the value of mindfulness in education

mindfulness_schools

More and more stud­ies are show­ing the poten­tial ben­e­fits of mind­ful­ness prac­tices for stu­dents –to improve phys­i­cal health, psy­cho­log­i­cal well-being, social skills, even aca­d­e­mic per­for­mance in some cases– as well as for teach­ers and admin­is­tra­tors –pri­mar­ily to reduce stress and burnout–.

To give you an update on the land­scape of sci­en­tific research about the role of mind­ful­ness in edu­ca­tion, here goes our selec­tion of ten recent stud­ies, all of them recent ran­dom­ized con­trolled tri­als, with brief descrip­tions of each Read the rest of this entry »

Brain training 2.0: Adding 3D Navigation to Optimize Cognitive Training

StreetNavAs dis­cussed dur­ing my Sharp­Brains Sum­mit talk last week, it is very impor­tant to ensure fidelity between brain train­ing tasks and the real-world sce­nar­ios where we expect those sharp­ened cog­ni­tive skills to be put to good use. That’s why, work­ing with a num­ber of researchers in the US and Europe, I’ve been devel­op­ing a new 3D task called Street Nav, as part of Peak’s suite of mobile cog­ni­tive train­ing games.

And this is what we just released: Pre­sent­ing an aer­ial map with start and end-points to mem­o­rise, the game places the user at street level with the task of nav­i­gat­ing to the des­ig­nated des­ti­na­tion, in an immer­sive 3D envi­ron­ment (see image to the right). In doing so Read the rest of this entry »

Quick brain teasers to train your attention and working memory

brain-teasers

Here you have a few fun men­tal exer­cises to train your atten­tion and work­ing mem­ory (the capac­ity to hold mul­ti­ple pieces of infor­ma­tion in the mind, and to use them real-time). Given them a try today and over the weekend…they are not as easy as they may sound!

  1. Say the days of the week back­wards, then in alpha­bet­i­cal order. If you speak another lan­guage, try doing the same in that language.
  2. Say the months of the year in alpha­bet­i­cal order. Then, for extra cog­ni­tive chal­lenge, try doing so back­wards, in reverse alpha­bet­i­cal order.
  3. Find the sum of your date of birth, mm/dd/yyyy. Want more quick brain teasers? Do the same with friends’ and rel­a­tives’ date of birth.
  4. Quick, name two objects for every let­ter in your com­plete name. Work up to five objects, try­ing to use dif­fer­ent items each time.
  5. Wher­ever you are, look around and within two min­utes, try to find 5 green things that will fit in your pocket, and 5 red objects that are too big to fit.

Read the rest of this entry »

Can neuroplasticity-based interventions address tinnitus-related cognitive deficits?

Tinnitus_manTin­ni­tus: Turn­ing Down the Vol­ume (Med­Page Today):

The drug D-cycloserine was no more effec­tive than placebo when used with a computer-based cog­ni­tive train­ing pro­gram for reliev­ing per­sis­tent ear ring­ing in patients with tin­ni­tus in a small clin­i­cal study, but patients did report fewer cog­ni­tive dif­fi­cul­ties… Read the rest of this entry »

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