Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


December Update: Wishing You and Yours a Very Brain-Fit Decade

How can we help younger gen­er­a­tions find the right path to life­long brain health and per­for­mance — espe­cially as they will live longer, and in more dynamic, com­plex envi­ron­ments? We cre­ated the Brain Health across the Lifes­pan series to curate reli­able sources of infor­ma­tion, and here you can  check out  the Top 10 Resources to Bet­ter Under­stand the Teenage Brain.

Wish­ing you and your fam­ily a very brain-fit decade…please enjoy the Decem­ber edi­tion of our monthly eNewslet­ter: Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 Brain Training Trends — Putting our Cognitive Reserve to Work

Yes­ter­day I had the chance to chat with Yaakov Stern, lead­ing Cog­ni­tive Reserve researcher at Colum­bia Uni­ver­sity, and then with a group of 25 life­long learn­ers in Ari­zona who attended a brain fit­ness class (hello, Robert and friends!) based on our con­sumer guide The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness. On reflec­tion, I found both con­ver­sa­tions to be very stim­u­lat­ing for the same rea­son: they were forward-looking, focused not so much on sta­tus quo but on how emerg­ing research, tech­nol­ogy and trends may impact our soci­ety and lives in years to come. Let’s con­tinue the con­ver­sa­tion. Let me share the 10 main trends that we analyzed/ fore­casted in our book, and then ask you, sharp read­ers, to add your own 2 cents to the dis­cus­sion. Read the rest of this entry »

Schools as Brain Training Hubs?

In the post Top 10 Brain Train­ing Future Trends I asked for sug­ges­tions to refine our pre­dic­tions for the 2007–2015 period. A good num­ber of peo­ple con­tributed, and the win­ner is…

Scott Spears, retired pub­lic schools superintendent.

His prediction: 

Pre­dic­tion 11: The notion of school­ing will be struc­turally dra­mat­i­cally brain fitness trendsaltered through the use of diag­nos­tics related to the acqui­si­tion and improve­ment of basic cog­ni­tive skills (such as brain pro­cess­ing speed, atten­tion, mem­ory, and sequenc­ing), along with pre­scrip­tions employ­ing emerg­ing brain fit­ness soft­ware exer­cises, begin­ning in the ear­li­est grades and pro­gress­ing through high school.

Schools will be struc­tured around the acqui­si­tion of foun­da­tional cog­ni­tive skills, Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Training Top 10 Future Trends

In an emerg­ing, dynamic, high growth mar­ket, like brain train­ing, it is dif­fi­cult to make pre­cise pro­jec­tions. But, we can observe a num­ber of trends that exec­u­tives, con­sumers, pub­lic pol­icy mak­ers, and the media should watch closely in the com­ing years, as brain fit­ness and train­ing becomes main­stream, new tools appear, and an ecosys­tem grows around it.

1. We pre­dict an increased empha­sis on brain main­te­nance in loca­tions rang­ing from retire­ment com­mu­ni­ties to gyms. As a computer-savvy baby boomer pop­u­la­tion looks for ways to stay men­tally fit, brain fit­ness, or brain train­ing, is becom­ing part of their vocab­u­lary and concern.

2. Phys­i­cal and men­tal exer­cise will be bet­ter inte­grated. Phys­i­cal exer­cise has been shown to increase the rate of neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis, whereas men­tal exer­cise helps ensure the sur­vival of any newly cre­ated neu­rons. Today both activ­i­ties usu­ally take place in very dif­fer­ent set­tings: the for­mer, in health clubs, the later, in uni­ver­si­ties. We pre­dict that the bor­ders between them will become more dif­fuse. Expect new pro­grams such as brain fit­ness pod­casts that allow us to train work­ing mem­ory as we jog or exer­cise bikes with built-in brain games.

3. Watch for a Read the rest of this entry »

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