Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Top 10 SharpBrains Resources in 2015 to Navigate the Brain Health Revolution

These are the 10 most popular SharpBrains resources in 2015, spanning a wide range of brain, health & neurotechnology topics and available in multiple platforms:

1. Best prac­tices to assess and enhance brain func­tion via mobile devices and wearables (Slidedeck)

2. Brain Health in the Per­va­sive Neu­rotech­nol­ogy Era (Slidedeck)

3. SharpBrains @ New York Public Library: Practical Advice to Keep Your Brain Sharp (YouTube video)

4. Why We Need to Retool “Use It Or Lose It”: Healthy Brain Aging (ICAA article)

5. Under what con­di­tions does brain train­ing work? (Slidedeck)

6. Pervasive Neurotechnology: A Groundbreaking Analysis of 10,000+ Patent Filings Transforming Medicine, Health, Entertainment and Business (Infographic)

7. Review of The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness (Scientific American blog) — The book is now available in English, Spanish, Japanese and Polish!

8. How Does a Child’s Brain Learn? (Slidedeck)

9. Solving the Brain Fitness Puzzle Is the Key to Self-Empowered Aging (Generations article)

10. 25 Key References to Navigate the Brain Health and Neurotechnology Revolution ( SharpBrains article)

We hope you enjoy them, and share your favorites with other sharp friends and colleagues! To stay on top of new articles and resources, you can follow us via FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and our eNewsletter.

And, if you are looking for some additional cognitive stimulation, check out these great brain teasers, games and illusions, for adults of any age!

Warm regards,

The SharpBrains Team

AARP’s Best Brain Fitness Books

We are honored to announce that AARP has included our very own book The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness (182 pages; $14.95) in its new List of Best Books on Brain Fitness, which will be unveiled during AARP’s upcoming Life@50 National Event. We hope this list will help many more individuals and institutions learn about our resource: given that 80% of respondents to a recent AARP survey selected “Staying Mentally Sharp” as their top priority, we certainly know there is a significant need for quality information!

AARP’s Best Books Guide


Brain Fitness


The Dana Guide to Brain Health, by Floyd E. Bloom, M. Flint Beal, and David J. Kupfer (Dana Press, 2006).

The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness: 18 Interviews with Scientists, Practical Advice, and Product Reviews, to Keep Your Brain Sharp, by Alvaro Fernandez and Elkhonon Goldberg. (SharpBrains Inc., 2009).

Save Your Brain: The 5 Things You Must Do To Keep Your Mind Young and Sharp
, by Paul Nussbaum. (McGraw-Hill, 2010).

The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain: The Surprising Talents of the Middle-Aged Mind, by Barbara Strauch (Viking, 2010).

The Memory Bible: An Innovative Strategy for Keeping Your Brain Young
, by Gary Small (Hyperion, 2003).

___________

Also Recommended:

The Mature Mind: The Positive Power of the Aging Brain, by Gene Cohen (Basic Books, 2006).

The Brain That Changes Itself, by Norman Doidge (Penguin, 2007).

Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, by John Ratey and Eric Hagerman (Little, Brown and Co., 2008).

Think Smart: A Neuroscientist’s Prescription for Improving Your Brain’s Performance, by Richard Restak (Riverhead, 2010).

Compiled by:
Office of Academic Affairs, AARP

Top 30 Brain Fitness Articles

Here are the top 30 SharpBrains articles based on our readers’ ranking since 2006 and since 2010. Brain science news, brain fitness trends, brain health and maintenance tips, read on to expand your mind!

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  1. Top 50 Brain Teasers, by Sharp­Brains Team
  2. The Ten Habits of Highly Effec­tive Brains, by Alvaro Fernandez
  3. How can I improve my short term mem­ory?, by Pascale Michelon
  4. Brain Plas­tic­ity: How learn­ing changes your brain, by Pas­cale Michelon
  5. Brain Fitness Program and Neuroplasticity @ PBS, by Alvaro Ferandez
  6. What are Cognitive Abilities?, by Pascale Michelon
  7. How can I improve my short term mem­ory?, by Car­o­line Latham
  8. Your Brain on Trading, by Janice Dorn
  9. Stress Man­age­ment Work­shop for Inter­na­tional Women’s Day, by Alvaro Fernandez
  10. Video Games Pros and Cons, by Jeremy Adam Smith Read the rest of this entry »

New Brain Health Series: The Child, Adolescent, Adult and Aging Brain

Peo­ple of all ages read SharpBrains.com, 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
    • Link to resources such as books and doc­u­men­taries.

    If you want to read these arti­cles as we pub­lish them via SharpBrains.com, you can either fol­low us in Face­book and Twit­ter or, if you have not done so already, subscribe to our monthly update (eNewsletter).

    Tell your friends and col­leagues about the series!

    Brain Health News: Top Articles and Resources in March

    There’s such a flood of very significant research studies, educational resources and articles related to brain health, it’s hard to keep track – even for us!

    Let me introduce and quote some of the top Brain Health Studies, Articles and Resources published in March:

    1) Cognitive Decline Begins In Late 20s, Study Suggests (Science Daily)

    – “These patterns suggest that some types of mental flexibility decrease relatively early in adulthood, but that how much knowledge one has, and the effectiveness of integrating it with one’s abilities, may increase throughout all of adulthood if there are no pathological diseases,” Salthouse said.

    – However, Salthouse points out that there is a great deal of variance from person to person

    2) Cerebrum 2009: Emerging Ideas in Brain Science – new book by the Dana Foundation that “explores the cutting edge of brain research and its implications in our everyday lives, in language understandable to the general reader.”

    A couple of excellent chapters of direct relevance to everyone’s brain health are:
    – Chapter 4: A Road Paved by Reason, by Elizabeth Norton Lasley

    – Chapter 10: Neural Health: Is It Facilitated by Work Force Participation?, by Denise Park, Ph.D

    3) Staying Sharp DVD Program: “Dr. Jordan Grafman, chief of the Cognitive Neuroscience Section at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke outside of Washington, DC, and a member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, is your guide as we cover what to expect from the aging brain and what we can do to ‘stay sharp.’

    For a free DVD of this program you can contact stayingsharp@dana.org. (they say free in their website, I don’t know if that includes shipping & handling)

    4) Drivers to be tested on cognitive ability starting at age 75 (Japan Times)

    The outline of a cognitive test that drivers aged 75 or over will be required to take from June when renewing their licenses was released Thursday…The test is intended to reduce the number of traffic accidents involving elderly drivers by measuring their cognitive level.

    5) Physical Fitness Improves Spatial Memory, Increases Size Of Brain Structure (Science Daily)

    – “Now researchers have found that elderly adults who are more physically fit tend to have bigger hippocampi and better spatial memory than those who are less fit.”

    6) Brain Trainers: A Workout for the Mind (Scientific American Mind)

    “I recently tried out eight of the latest brain fitness programs, training with each for a week. The programs ranged widely in focus, quality and how fun they were to use. “Like physical exercise equipment, a brain exercise program doesn’t do you any good if you don’t use it, says Andrew J. Carle, director of the Program in Assisted Living/Senior Housing Administration at George Mason University. And people tend not to use boring equipment. “I remember when NordicTrack was the biggest thing out there. Everyone ran out and bought one, and 90 percent of them ended up as a clothes rack in the back of your bedroom.

    The reporter used: Posit Science’s Brain Fitness Program Classic, HappyNeuron, Nintendo BrainAge, CogniFit’s MindFit/ CogniFit Personal Coach, Lumosity, MyBrainTrainer, BrainTwister, Cogmed Working Memory Training.

    7) The Latest in Mental Health: Working Out at the ‘Brain Gym’ (Wall Street Journal)

    – “Marshall Kahn, an 82-year-old family doctor in Fullerton, Calif., says he got such a boost from brain exercises he started doing at a “Nifty after Fifty” club that he decided to start seeing patients again part-time. “Doing all the mental exercise,” he says, “I realized I’ve still got it.”

    8) Debate Over Drugs For ADHD Reignites (Washington Post)

    – “New data from a large federal study have reignited a debate over the effectiveness of long-term drug treatment of children with hyperactivity or attention-deficit disorder, and have drawn accusations that some members of the research team have sought to play down evidence that medications do little good beyond 24 months.”

    – “The study also indicated that long-term use of the drugs can stunt children’s growth.”

    8) Adaptive training leads to sustained enhancement of poor working memory in children (Developmental Science)

    Abstract: Working memory plays a crucial role in supporting learning, with poor progress in reading and mathematics characterizing children with low memory skills. This study investigated whether these problems can be overcome by a training program designed to boost working memory. Children with low working memory skills were assessed on measures of working memory, IQ and academic attainment before and after training on either adaptive or non-adaptive versions of the program. Adaptive training that taxed working memory to its limits was associated with substantial and sustained gains in working memory, with age-appropriate levels achieved by the majority of children. Mathematical ability also improved significantly 6 months following adaptive training. These findings indicate that common impairments in working memory and associated learning difficulties may be overcome with this behavioral treatment.

    9) Brain cortex thinning linked to inherited depression (Los Angeles Times)

    – “On average, people with a family history of depression appear to have brains that are 28% thinner in the right cortex — the outermost layer of the brain — than those with no known family history of the disease. That cortical thinning, said the researchers, is on a scale similar to that seen in patients with Alzheimer’s disease or schizophrenia.”

    Brain Fitness Update: Use It and Improve It

    Here you are have the bi-monthly update with our 10 most Popular blog posts. (Also, remember that you can subscribe to receive our RSS feed, or to our newsletter, at the top of this page, if you want to receive this digest by email).Crossword Puzzles Brain fitness

    In this edition of our newsletter we bring a few articles and recent news pieces that shed light on what “Use It or Lose It” means, and why we can start going beyond that to say “Use It and Improve It.”

    The Neuron, The Brain, and Thinking Smarter

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Pump up those little grey cells

    Great article in the UK’s Sunday Times yesterday: Pump up those little grey cells, listing a Neuronsvariety of free or inexpensive brain health-related resources.

    We are honored (even honoured, I’d dare say) that they started the list with our complimentary Brain Fitness 101 e-Guide:

    – “The science behind some of the more outlandish claims for computer games that are supposed to improve your cognitive powers, is a matter of debate. However, you don’t need to pay £20 to give a game a try. The internet features a host of websites that can stretch your imagination and improve your mental prowess in a range of skills. Some are expensive rip-offs, but many are free, as our guide to the best of them shows.”

    – “Begin by Read the rest of this entry »

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    2016 SharpBrains Virtual Summit: Reinventing Brain Health

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