Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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10 Brain Tips To Teach and Learn — Ideas for New Year Resolutions

My inter­est in the brain stems from want­ing to bet­ter under­stand both how to make school more palat­able for stu­dents, and pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment more mean­ing­ful for fac­ulty. To that end, I began my Neu­rons Fir­ing blog in April, 2007, have been doing a lot of read­ing, and been attend­ing work­shops and con­fer­ences, includ­ing Learn­ing & the Brain.

If you agree that our brains are designed for learn­ing, then as edu­ca­tors it is incum­bent upon us to be look­ing for ways to max­i­mize the learn­ing process for each of our stu­dents, as well as for our­selves. Some of what fol­lows is sim­ply com­mon sense, but I’ve learned that all of it has a sci­en­tific basis in our brains. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Brain Tips To Teach and Learn

My nat­ural rhythms are in cycle with the school cal­en­dar. Jan­u­ary 1st takes a back seat to my new year, which gets ush­ered in with the month of Sep­tem­ber when there is crisp­ness in the air that grad­u­ally shakes off the slower, more relaxed pace of summer.Conveniently, my career in teach­ing meshes with my nat­ural cycli­cal year. And as this year draws to a close, I am re-energized by the pace of sum­mer, know­ing that any­thing may pop in to my mind as I engage in activ­i­ties not directly related to school. But before that hap­pens, I’d like to reflect on this past year, in par­tic­u­lar as it was my first year of blog­ging about the brain.

My inter­est in the brain stems from want­ing to bet­ter under­stand both how to make school more palat­able for stu­dents, and pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment more mean­ing­ful for fac­ulty. To that end, I began my Neu­rons Fir­ing blog in April, 2007, have been doing a lot of read­ing, and been attend­ing work­shops and con­fer­ences, includ­ing Learn­ing & the Brain.

If you agree that our brains are designed for learn­ing, then Read the rest of this entry »

Rethinking the Brain Fitness Business

Great arti­cle on the grow­ing brain fit­ness field. Rethink­ing the Brain Busi­ness: Why a mental-fitness pro­gram may be the start of some­thing big. Some quotes:

- “But Merzenich has loftier ambi­tions. He envi­sions his com­pany as part of a new indus­try that will become a “mir­ror” of the drug indus­try. He wants to go far beyond sim­ply sharp­en­ing mem­ory and cog­ni­tive abil­ity to tackle dis­eases as well. Instead of med­ica­tions, he sees a busi­ness rooted in neu­ro­science that will use non­in­va­sive com­puter exer­cises to rewire the brain, grad­u­ally train­ing it back to men­tal health.”

- For now, Merzenich believes the emerg­ing field of “brain health” is clut­tered with bad sci­ence. He sin­gled out Nintendo’s brain games as an exam­ple of a prod­uct that has no sci­ence to back up its claims. But he doesn’t expect that to last.

- “This field is undis­ci­plined now and full of trash,” he says. “But it will mature and ulti­mately the snake oil will be cleaned up. It will grow like the fit­ness indus­try from almost nowhere. And it will become a part of every­day life.”

For help on how to eval­u­ate the grow­ing num­ber of pro­grams, check out our Brain Fit­ness Pro­gram eval­u­a­tion check­list.

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