Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Sheri Osborn: We should all live a creative life

sheri osborn

Sheri Osborn

What excites you the most about your job?
As the Founder of Ava­Trends, I get excited by the chance to improve human lives by empow­er­ing all peo­ple to be more than they are regard­less of what their chal­lenges are today. Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Contrasting Brain Growth in Baby Humans and Baby Chimpanzees

Chart­ing Brain Growth in Humans and Chimps (New York Times):
– “Although baby humans and baby chim­panzees both start out with unde­vel­oped fore­brains, a new study reports that the human brain increases in vol­ume much more rapidly early on.“
– “The growth is in a region of the brain known as the pre­frontal cor­tex and is part of what makes humans cog­ni­tively advanced com­pared with other ani­mals, includ­ing the chim­panzee, our clos­est rel­a­tive. The pre­frontal cor­tex plays a major role in decision-making, self-awareness and cre­ative thinking.”

–> To learn more about study Dif­fer­en­tial Pre­frontal White Mat­ter Devel­op­ment in Chim­panzees and Humans: click Here (requires subscription).

–> To explore what may have hap­pened oth­er­wise, you may want to watch the new movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Cognitive and Emotional Development Through Play

We some­times neglect to men­tion a very basic yet pow­er­ful method of cog­ni­tive and emo­tional devel­op­ment, for chil­dren and adults alike: Play.

Dr. David Elkind, author of The Power of Play: Learn­ing That Comes Nat­u­rally, dis­cusses the need to build a more “play­ful cul­ture” in this great arti­cle The Power of Play And Learningbrought to you thanks to our col­lab­o­ra­tion with Greater Good Mag­a­zine.

- Alvaro


Can We Play?

– By Dr. David Elkind

Play is rapidly dis­ap­pear­ing from our homes, our schools, and our neigh­bor­hoods. Over the last two decades alone, chil­dren have lost eight hours of free, unstruc­tured, and spon­ta­neous play a week. More than 30,000 schools in the United States have elim­i­nated recess to make more time for aca­d­e­mics. From 1997 to 2003, children’s time spent out­doors fell 50 per­cent, accord­ing to a study by San­dra Hof­ferth at the Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land. Hof­ferth has also found that the amount of time chil­dren spend in orga­nized sports has dou­bled, and the num­ber of min­utes chil­dren devote each week to pas­sive leisure, not includ­ing watch­ing tele­vi­sion, has increased from 30 min­utes to more than three hours. It is no sur­prise, then, that child­hood obe­sity is now con­sid­ered an epidemic.

But the prob­lem goes well beyond obe­sity. Decades of research has shown that play is cru­cial to phys­i­cal, intel­lec­tual, and social-emotional devel­op­ment at all ages. This is espe­cially true of the purest form of play: the unstruc­tured, self-motivated, imag­i­na­tive, inde­pen­dent kind, where chil­dren ini­ti­ate their own games and even invent their own rules.

Read the rest of this entry »

What do Medicine, HR, Green living, Videogames, and Genes have in common…

…that understanding how our brains and minds work may con­tribute to all of them.

Here you have some of the best blog car­ni­vals (col­lec­tions of blog posts on spe­cific top­ics) we have con­tributed to this week:

  • Grand Rounds: “brain exer­cise” is as impor­tant as nutri­tion, phys­i­cal exer­cise and stress management.
  • Green Liv­ing: let’s start the con­ver­sa­tion about “sus­tain­able brains”.
  • Human Resources: isn’t it obvi­ous, yet often neglected, that “human cap­i­tal” rests on brain devel­op­ment and learn­ing how to learn?.
  • Brain Fit­ness Car­ni­val: fully devoted to our topic.
  • Video Game Blog­gers: “games” can be good vehi­cles for cog­ni­tive and emo­tional train­ing, if prop­erly devel­oped and used.
  • Gene Genie: our genes are not destiny.

You can also check the Med­i­cine 2.0 car­ni­val that we hosted.


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