Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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BRAIN Initiative: New call to action amidst growing skepticism

humanconnectomeA White House Call To Action to Advance the BRAIN Ini­tia­tive (press release):

Under this ini­tia­tive, Fed­eral agen­cies such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the National Insti­tutes of Health (NIH), the National Sci­ence Foun­da­tion (NSF), and the Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion (FDA) are sup­port­ing the devel­op­ment and appli­ca­tion of inno­v­a­tive, new tech­nolo­gies that can cre­ate a dynamic under­stand­ing of brain func­tion and its rela­tion­ship to behav­ior Read the rest of this entry »

Neuroscientists: Develop digital games to improve brain function and well-being

interactivemediaAuthors: Develop dig­i­tal games to improve brain func­tion and well-being (UW-Madison News):

Neu­ro­sci­en­tists should help to develop com­pelling dig­i­tal games that boost brain func­tion and improve well-being, say two pro­fes­sors spe­cial­iz­ing in the field in a com­men­tary arti­cle pub­lished in the sci­ence jour­nal Nature. In the Feb. 28 issue, the two — Daphne Bave­lier of the Uni­ver­sity of Rochester and Richard J. David­son of the Uni­ver­sity of Wisconsin-Madison — urge game design­ers and brain sci­en­tists to work together to design new games that train the brain, pro­duc­ing pos­i­tive effects on behav­ior, such as decreas­ing anx­i­ety, sharp­en­ing atten­tion and improv­ing empathy.”

To Learn More:

 

New $1 million grant to study working memory training in children with fragile X

MIND Insti­tute researchers receive $1 mil­lion grant to study cog­ni­tive train­ing in chil­dren with frag­ile X (UC Davis Health Sys­tem News):

Researchers at the UC Davis MIND Insti­tute will exam­ine whether chil­dren and youth with frag­ile X syn­drome can improve their work­ing mem­ory, cog­ni­tion and behav­ior by using an online computer-based cog­ni­tive train­ing pro­gram, through a new $1 mil­lion grant from The John Merck Fund.

To con­duct the inno­v­a­tive study, the researchers will travel to the homes of school-aged chil­dren around the coun­try to instruct their fam­i­lies on how to use the pro­gram and deliver the inter­ven­tion, called Cogmed, soft­ware designed to improve work­ing mem­ory that is mar­keted by Pear­son Edu­ca­tion.” Keep read­ing here.

–> We iden­ti­fied Cogmed/ Pear­son as one of the Top 10 Com­pa­nies to Watch in 2013–2014 based on the analy­sis in our lat­est mar­ket report.

Brain fitness meets HRV and EEG biometrics and neuroinformatics

As an active par­tic­i­pant in the Open­ViBE project (a soft­ware plat­form to design, test and use Brain-Computer Inter­faces), in sci­en­tific as well as tech­ni­cal capac­i­ties, I have long been focused on ways to process, ana­lyze and put brain sig­nals to prac­ti­cal use. When I started read­ing on the sub­ject of brain fit­ness a few years ago, I rec­og­nized the poten­tial to enhance a vari­ety of brain train­ing approaches, from med­i­ta­tion to cog­ni­tive train­ing, by deploy­ing Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Adaptive Working Memory Training Can Reduce ADHD-related Off-Task Behavior

For a num­ber of rea­sons, there remains an impor­tant need to develop research sup­ported treat­ments for ADHD in addi­tion to med­ica­tion and behav­ior therapy.

Regard­ing med­ica­tion, not all chil­dren ben­e­fit from tak­ing it, some expe­ri­ence intol­er­a­ble side effects, and many con­tinue to strug­gle even when med­ica­tion pro­vides some ben­e­fit. Behav­ior ther­apy can be dif­fi­cult for par­ents and teach­ers Read the rest of this entry »

Personalized Medicine in Psychiatry: from DSM to brain-based RDoC, iSPOT-D and biomarkers

(Editor’s Note: this is Part 2 of the new 3-part series writ­ten by Dr. Evian Gor­don draw­ing from his par­tic­i­pa­tion at the Per­son­al­ized Med­i­cine World Con­gress on Jan­u­ary, 23, 2012 at Stan­ford University.)

Most Per­son­al­ized Med­i­cine research in Psy­chi­a­try using mol­e­c­u­lar mea­sures alone have failed to repli­cate. Whilst dis­ap­point­ing, this is not sur­pris­ing, since 80% of human 25,000 genes have some effect on the brain.

There are there­fore grow­ing efforts expand­ing Genomic Bio­mark­ers in Psy­chi­a­try to Neu­roimag­ing (all Brain-based bio­log­i­cal and cog­ni­tive mea­sures). Some approaches tar­get Read the rest of this entry »

New Online Course: How to Be Your Own Brain Fitness Coach in 2012

We are pleased to announce a new online course designed to equip par­tic­i­pants with the under­stand­ing and infor­ma­tion required to apply emerg­ing sci­ence and tools to enhance brain health and func­tion­al­ity across the lifespan.

Course descrip­tion: Infor­ma­tion over­load and longer lives expose our brains to more demands than even before. This fast-paced and inter­ac­tive online course will exam­ine the emerg­ing sci­ence of neu­ro­plas­tic­ity and cog­ni­tive reserve and sur­vey lat­est tools and best prac­tices to equip you to become your own ‘brain fit­ness coach’ and address per­sonal and pro­fes­sional pri­or­i­ties. Avail­able online from any­where with an Inter­net con­nec­tion, this course will help you pin­point ways to opti­mize brain health and func­tion­al­ity and delay decline, nav­i­gat­ing the maze of frag­mented research, super­fi­cial media cov­er­age and exag­ger­ated mar­ket­ing claims. The course is based on The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness –recently named a Best Book by AARP– and Sharp­Brains’ new ABBC frame­work (Address Basics, Build Capac­i­ties), and includes weekly read­ings and activities.

Mechan­ics: The course con­sists of four two-hour-long live online ses­sions to be held in March 2012 (detailed syl­labus avail­able), and an online pri­vate forum for Fac­ulty and Par­tic­i­pants to inter­act dur­ing March and April 2012.

Who this is for: This course is for any­one who wants to under­stand how emerg­ing cog­ni­tive and affec­tive neu­ro­science can be applied to enhance brain health and per­for­mance, and who is will­ing to par­tic­i­pate in a fast-paced course that lever­ages e-learning to facil­i­tate a global learn­ing experience.

Note: In order to ensure a valu­able and inter­ac­tive expe­ri­ence, par­tic­i­pa­tion will be lim­ited to the first 200 indi­vid­u­als who register.

Fac­ulty:

  • Instruc­tor: Alvaro Fer­nan­dez (SharpBrains)
  • Guest Lec­tur­ers: Alvaro Pascual-Leone (Har­vard Med­ical School), Robert M. Bilder (UCLA Semel Insti­tute for Neu­ro­science and Human Behavior)

To Learn More and Reg­is­ter, please visit the course page: How to Be Your Own Brain Fit­ness Coach in 2012.

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Jour­nal, CNN and more, Sharp­Brains is an inde­pen­dent mar­ket research firm track­ing health and well­ness appli­ca­tions of brain science.
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