Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Brain Fitness Survey: We Need More Brain Awareness Weeks!

If you subscribe to our monthly newsletter, you may remember we ran a survey in January. Well, the response rate and the quality of the responses were nothing short of spectacular, in many dimensions. The responses from over 2,000 participants (out of 21,000 subscribers) reinforce the need for public awareness initiatives and quality information to help evaluate and navigate product claims.

I have been presenting the results from one of the questions (see below), yesterday at the ASA/ NCOA (American Society on Aging) event, today at IHRSA (International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association), as part of more comprehensive presentations of what is going on in the brain fitness and cognitive health field.

An obvious implication for the survey result reinforces the need for brain-related public awareness campaigns such as the ongoing Brain Awareness Week. Every year, landmark research findings open new opportunities to help maintain lifelong cognitive health and brain fitness. The opportunity is immense – but we will need to ensure the marketplace matures in a rational and sustainable manner, helping consumers and professionals separate hope from hype and make informed decisions.

Robin Klaus, Chairman of Club One Fitness Centers (the company is a client, he is an advisor), just gave us a nice quote saying that “as our population ages the fields of physical fitness and brain fitness will naturally merge and, as this happens, a whole new field of valued added services will emerge for our members. High quality informational resources such as SharpBrains’ are crucial to the success of this merger.”

The Survey: Results to Key Question

Asked, “What is the most important problem you see in the brain fitness field and how do you think it can be solved?” respondents identified the following six problems in rank order:

#1: Public Awareness (39%)
– “Getting people to understand that heredity alone does not decide brain functioning.”
– “An expectant public will first want to believe that a “miracle” drug is to be soon available (to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease).”

#2: Navigating Claims (21%)
– “How to separate marketing hype from stuff that really works?”
– “The lack of standards and clear definitions is very confusing, and makes a lot of people sceptical.”

#3: Research (15%)
– “Determining what activities are most beneficial to Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Fitness Update: Why We Need Walking Book Clubs

Here you are have the twice-a-month newsletter with our most popular blog posts. Please brainremember that you can subscribe to receive this Newsletter by email, simply by submitting your email at the top of this page.

News

CNN: Aging boomers fuel ‘brain fitness’ explosion: An excellent article via Associated Press exploring why the brain fitness market passed a tipping point in 2007 and predicting future trends building on our market report.

Brain Age: Great Game, Wrong Concept: One reason why we believe the field will keep growing is because we are seeing more tools available than ever before to assess and train a variety of cognitive skills. The bad news (is this really news?) is that we shouldn’t be expecting magic pills and that “brain age” is a fiction. Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Fitness News and Events

Quick links to excellent resources:

1) FEATURE-Brain fitness seen as hot industry of the future (Reuters)

2) Learning & the Brain Conference for Educators and Clinicians. April 26-29, 2008. Cambridge, MA

3) Brain Health Across the Lifespan Seminar for Health & Aging Professionals. May 15th, 2008. San Francisco, CA

For more info, Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Fitness Newsletter: December Edition

Brain exercise, brain exercisesI hope you are having a joyful holiday season, and wish you a Happy and Prosperous 2008. The Brain Fitness field has made a great deal of progress in 2007, and we are looking forward the New Year.

Here you are have the Monthly Digest of our Most Popular Blog Posts. You can consider it your monthly Brain Fitness/ Exercise Newsletter.

(Also, remember that you can subscribe to receive our blog RSS feed, or to our monthly newsletter at the top of this page if you want to receive this monthly Digest by email).

Let me first of all introduce you to our new “Author Speaks Series“, where we will give leading scientists and experts a forum to present their new brain-related books. We are honored to kickstart the series with Larry McCleary, former acting Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Denver Children’s Hospital. You can read Here his article on how to keep a brain-friendly lifestyle. This series will complement our ongoing Neuroscience Interview Series.

Brain Fitness in the News

Brain Fitness @ PBS: PBS featured a fantastic special program on neuroplasticity and brain fitness during the month of December. Before you ask: as of today, the DVD of the program is still not available in PBS online shop. We expect to see it there in 2-3 weeks. We will keep you informed.

The Huffington Post started featuring a column written by me: you may enjoy taking a look at Alvaro Fernandez – Living on The Huffington Post.

Jogging our Brains for Brain Vitality, Healthy Aging-and Intelligence!: a roundup of several great recent articles on memory, aging, IQ and cognitive abilities such as self-control.

Health & Wellness

Brain Training: No Magic Bullet, Yet Useful Tool. Interview with Elizabeth Zelinski: Dr. Zelinski, leading researcher of the IMPACT study, shares fascinating insights. For example: “…cognitive enhancement requires the engagement in a variety of activities, those activities must be novel, adaptive and challenging-which is why computer-based programs can be helpful. But even at a more basic level, what matters is being engaged with life, continually exposed to stimulating activities, always trying to get out of our comfort zones, doing our best at whatever we are doing. A major typical misconception is that there is only one general intelligence to care about. In reality, we have many different cognitive abilities, such as attention, memory, language, reasoning, and more, so it makes sense to have different programs designed to train and improve each of them.”

How to Evaluate and Choose a Brain Fitness Program: To help you navigate the growing number of computer-based programs and games, we published this 10-Question Checklist, based on dozens of interviews with scientists, experts and consumers.

Travel and Engagement as Good Brain Exercise: As we’ve seen, novelty, variety and challenge are the key guidelines for “brain exercise” that help build new neural connections, force one to be mindful and pay attention, improve abilities such as pattern-recognition, and generally contribute to lifelong brain health. In this post we feature the brain building / mind expanding experience of a SharpBrains friend working in Namibia.

Alzheimer’s Prevention and Diagnostic Tests: analysis of several recent articles on emerging research behind Alzheimer’s diagnostic and prevention.

Corporate Wellness and Training

Cognitive Reserve and Intellectually Demanding Jobs: a recent study shows how “Intellectually demanding work was associated with greater benefit to cognitive performance in later life independent of related factors like education and intelligence.”

Cognitive Health and Baby Boomers- 6 Points to Keep in Mind: based upon an excellent McKinsey report titled Serving Aging Baby Boomers, we discuss a variety a news articles, including interesting numbers, some bad news, and some good news.

Lifelong Learning Is Changing My Brain: Andreas, the neuroscience PhD student who spent last summer working with SharpBrains, writes some reflections on his experience and on how scientists and business professionals can learn from each other.

Brain Teasers

Traveler IQ Game: Check out this stimulating online game…

Events

Learning & The Brain Conference, February 5-7 2008, San Francisco: Sign up now for this great conference for educators who want to learn about the latest brain research findings and implications. I will be speaking at the conference giving an overview of innovative cognitive training programs. The organizers are offering a Special Discount for SharpBrains readers until January 25th 2008, so click here if interested.

If we don’t talk beforehand…Happy New Year!

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You can also enjoy our previous editions of our Brain Fitness Newsletter:

November Edition

October Edition

September Edition

August Edition

July Edition

Brain Fitness Blog Carnival-call for submissions

Quick reminder: next Brain Fitness Blog Carnival will be hosted by MC at Neurophilosopher on March 19th (incidentally, Alvaro’s birthday).

Could you select 1-2 articles from your blog and email them to brainfitnesscarnival@sharpbrains.com or submit using the form at http://blogcarnival.com/bc/cprof_880.html by Friday?

For reference and enjoyment, you can check the 2 previous issues:

Brain Fitness Blog Carnival #2

Brain Fitness Blog Carnival #1

Register at special low fees before July 31st

2016 SharpBrains Virtual Summit: Reinventing Brain Health

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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