Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Learning a second language, at any age, leads to better cognitive abilities

HolaLearning second language ‘slows brain ageing’ (BBC):

“Learning a second language can have a positive effect on the brain, even if it is taken up in adulthood, a University of Edinburgh study suggests…Using data from intelligence tests on 262 Edinburgh-born individuals at the age of 11, the study looked at how their cognitive abilities had changed when they were tested again in their seventies Read the rest of this entry »

Update: Let’s move, slow down, innovate, think and play

You have heard that physical exercise is good for the brain. How much exercise are we talking about? Can the benefits be seen both for children and adults? In Fitter bodies = fitter brains. True at all ages? Dr. Pascale Michelon answers these questions for you, based on latest scientific studies.

We need fun ways to get out the couch more and exercise both physically and cognitively. What about setting up community-based adult playgrounds, such as this one in Beijing?

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New Brain Health Series

People of all ages read SharpBrains.com and this monthly update, so we are preparing a series of articles on Brain Health across the Lifespan. The series will include 4 parts:

  • The Child Brain, published in November 2010
  • The Adolescent Brain, in December 2010
  • The Adult Brain, in January 2011
  • The Aging Brain, in February 2011
  • Each part will include surprising facts on how the brain works, debunk commons myths about cognition and brain health, and link to resources such as books and documentaries. If you want to read these articles as we publish them via SharpBrains.com, you can follow us in Facebook and Twitter. Tell your friends and colleagues about the series!

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    Let’s Move

    Walking increases Brain Volume: A recent neuro-imaging study shows that walk­ing reg­u­larly can increase brain vol­ume and reduce the risks of devel­op­ing cog­ni­tive impairment.

    Move to another Country, to another Occupation: A couple recent studies reinforce the Cognitive Reserve framework that suggests we can protect our brains by speaking more than one language and by not retiring early.

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    Let’s Slow Down

    Take that Nap – It May Boost Your Learning Capacity: Scott Barry Kaufman tells us why sleep is good for the brain. It turns out that sleep is tied to a bet­ter immune sys­tem, meta­bolic con­trol, mem­ory, learn­ing, creativity and emo­tional func­tion­ing.

    Boost your Attention with Meditation: Another way to slow down is to meditate. Through summaries of studies and an interview with Dr. Newberg, we discuss how meditation can improve your concentration skills.

    Train your Brain to Focus on Positive Experiences: In this article by the Greater Good Magazine, Rick Hanson explains the “negativity bias” of the brain and what steps we can take to rewire our brains for last­ing hap­pi­ness.

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    Let’s Innovate

    If much health care is actually evidence-free, what type of evidence and tools do we need to make real-world progress?: building on a recent OpEd by Peter Orszag, Alvaro Fernandez asks us to assess the value and limitations of innovative brain health tools based on how they seem to perform compared to existing alternatives- not compared to Platonic research ideals. This basic concept serves as the foundation of the new SharpBrains Council for Brain Fitness Innovation.

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    Let’s Think

    Cognitive stimulation helps Alzheimer’s patients: Another scientific review shows that pro­grams focus­ing on global cog­ni­tive stim­u­la­tion could delay the onset of Alzheimer’s Dis­ease by 5 years. The authors conclude that efforts to develop and imple­ment cognitive-based inter­ven­tion for the treat­ment of Alzheimer’s Dis­ease must be pur­sued.

    The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head: In his new book, Dr. Gary Small describes how the onset of brain health problems may resemble a brain fog, making the role of the physician and the caregiver particularly important.

    Have you read The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness, by Alvaro Fernandez and Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg?: if so, please take 5 minutes to answer this brief survey. Your feedback will ensure that future editions are even more relevant and valuable. If you haven’t read it yet, you can learn more and order here.

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    Let’s Play: Top 10 Illusions

    Are you ready to experience our selection of Visual Illusions? See if you can trust your brain…enjoy these Top 10 Visual Illusions..

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    Being Bilingual Enhances Executive Functions and Brain

    Bilingualism Associated With Brain Reorganization Involving Better Efficiency in Executive Functions, Research Finds (Science News)

    “Findings are very important because they show an unknown aspect of bilingualism, which goes beyond linguistic advantages, and they also show bilinguals are more effective in responding to certain stimuli,” explains researcher Cesar Avila, who ensures the research shows that bilingualism does not only have effects on the brain at a linguistic level, but that it also works differently, emphasizing the importance of introducing languages at an early age because it generates cognitive benefits.

    Journal Reference: G. Garbin, A. Sanjuan, C. Forn, J.C. Bustamante, A. Rodriguez-Pujadas, V. Belloch, M. Hernandez, A. Costa, C. Ávila. Bridging language and attention: Brain basis of the impact of bilingualism on cognitive control. NeuroImage, 2010; DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.05.078

    This study supports another one we commented on a few years ago on how Bilingual brains stay sharp longer:

    “In short: learning and speaking a foreign language provides constant brain exercise to the frontal lobes, the area of the brain right behind your forehead that focuses our attention, helps us ignore distractions, and make decisions.”

    Learn more & Register

    2016 SharpBrains Virtual Summit: Reinventing Brain Health in the Digital Age

    About SharpBrains

    As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking applied brain science. Explore our most popular resources HERE.

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