Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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To Harness Neuroplasticity, Start with Enthusiasm

We are the architects and builders of our own brains.

For millennia, however, we were oblivious to our enormous creative capabilities. We had no idea that our brains were changing in response to our actions and attitudes, every day of our lives. So we unconsciously and randomly shaped our brains and our latter years because we believed we had an immutable brain that was at the mercy of our genes.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Read the rest of this entry »

Childrens’ Self Control and Creativity: Two Seeds of Intelligence

Most parents want the best for their children and hope they will be healthy, happy and smart individuals. And most parents wonder what they should do to make sure this happens. In Brain Rules for Baby, John Medina (author of Brain Rules), provides a good summary of cognitive science findings that shed light on how a baby’s brain grows from 0 to 5.  In this book you learn as much about factors inherent to a child that parents cannot control (the seeds) as about factors that parents can control (the soil). What follows is an excerpt from the “Smart Baby: Seeds” chapter in which John Medina describes the many “ingredients that make up the human intelligence stew”.

2. Self Control

A healthy, well­-adjusted preschooler sits down at a table in front of two giant, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. It’s not a kitchen table—it’s Walter Mischel’s Stanford lab during the late 1960s. The smell is heavenly. “You see these cookies?” Mischel says. “You can eat just one of them right now if you want, but if you wait, you can eat both. I have to go away for five minutes. If I return and you have not eaten anything, I will let you have both cookies. If you eat one while I’m gone, the bargain is off and you don’t get the second one. Do we have a deal?” The child nods. The researcher leaves.

What does the child do? Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 Cognitive Health and Brain Fitness Books

Here you have The 10 Most Popular Brain Fitness & Cognitive Health Books, based on book purchases by SharpBrains’ readers during 2008.

Enjoy!

Brain Rules-John Medina
1. Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School (Pear Press, March 2008)
– Dr. John Medina, Director of the Brain Center for Applied Learning Research at Seattle Pacific University, writes an engaging and comprehensive introduction to the many daily implications of recent brain research. He wrote the article Brain Rules: science and practice for SharpBrains readers.
2. The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person (Oxmoor House, March 2007)
– Dr. Judith Beck, Director of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research, connects the world of research-based cognitive therapy with a mainstream application: maintaining weight-loss. Interview notes here.
3. The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science (Viking, March 2007)
– Dr. Norman Doidge, psychiatrist and author of this New York Times bestseller, brings us “a compelling collection of tales about the amazing abilities of the brain to rewire, readjust and relearn”. Laurie Bartels reviews the book review here.
Spark John Ratey
4. Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain(Little, Brown and Company, January 2008)
– Dr. John Ratey, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, summarizes the growing research on the brain benefits of physical exercise. Laurie Bartels puts this research in perspective here.
5. The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning (Stylus Publishing, October 2002)
– Dr. James Zull, Director Emeritus of the University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education at Case Western Reserve University, writes a must-read for educators and lifelong learners. Interview notes here.
6. Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves (Ballantine Books, January 2007)
– Sharon Begley, Newsweek’ excellent science writer, provides an in-depth introduction to the research on neuroplasticity based on a Mind & Life Institute event.
7. Thanks: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier (Houghton Mifflin, August 2007)
– Prof. Robert Emmons, Professor of Psychology at UC Davis and Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Positive Psychology, writes a solid book that combines a research-based synthesis of the topic as well as practical suggestions. Interview notes here.
8. The Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes and the Civilized Mind (Oxford University Press, January 2001)
– Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg, clinical professor of neurology at New York University School of Medicine, provides a fascinating perspective on the role of the frontal roles and executive functions through the lifespan. Interview notes here.
Brain Trust Program 9. The Brain Trust Program: A Scientifically Based Three-Part Plan to Improve Memory (Perigee Trade, September 2007)
– Dr. Larry McCleary, former acting Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Denver Children’s Hospital, covers many lifestyle recommendations for brain health in this practical book. He wrote the article Brain Evolution and Health for SharpBrains.
10. A User’s Guide to the Brain: Perception, Attention, and the Four Theaters of the Brain (Pantheon, January 2001)
– In this book (previous to Spark), Dr. John Ratey provides a stimulating description of how the brain works. An excellent Brain 101 book to anyone new to the field.

Brain Science: “Brain Rules” Podcast

We are fans of the Brain Science Podcast series hosted by Ginger Campbell, so are pleased to announce that Dr. Campbell will start offering to SharpBrains readers, periodically, the highlights of her most interesting podcasts. Below, her first post. Enjoy!

– Alvaro

———–

In a recent interview on the Brain Science Podcast, Dr. John Medina, author of Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School shared some of the practical implications of recent neuroscience research.

We talked about the importance of exercise and sleep and we discussed why appreciating how our memory and attention systems really work could change how we run schools, businesses, and even our daily lives.

For example, Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Training/ Fitness Seminars

Several hundred people participated in our first Brain Fitness Webinar Series, and are glad how the experiment well. We are already thinking of topics and speakers for a second one, so stay tuned!

In case you couldn’t attend them, we are sharing the slides we used (we did not record the webinar sessions). Here you go:

1) Webinar #1: Presentation Slides Here.

In “The State of the Brain Fitness Software Market, 2008, I providedBrain Fitness Market Report an overview of the science, market, and vendor landscape of the emerging brain fitness software market, based on our recent market report.
– Target audience: Executives, professionals, investors, reporters and bloggers interested in learning more about the brain fitness market.
– More information: Market Report.

2) Webinar #2: Presentation Slides Here.

In “Brain Rules for Thinking Smarter, John Medina, developmental Brain Rules-John Medinamolecular biologist

Read the rest of this entry »

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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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