Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Cognitive Health News Round-Up

Round-up of inter­est­ing recent news on cog­ni­tive health and fit­ness: the field is in motion.

1) Bay­crest cre­ates Cen­tre for Brain Fit­ness with $10-million Invest­ment from Ontario Gov­ern­ment (Canada NewsWire)

2) Cog­ni­tive tests are the best way to select med­ical stu­dents (EurekAlert)

3) High blood pres­sure hard on the aging brain (Reuters)

4) Alzheimer’s tests ben­e­fi­cial for seniors (Atlanta-Journal Constitutional)

5) Dementia-Dreading Baby Boomers Spur Race to Invent Brain Games (Bloomberg)

6) Viv­ity Labs launches Fit Brains brain-training game site (VentureBeat) 

7) Depres­sion and Alzheimer’s (NHS Choices)

For selected quotes and com­ments, Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Teaser to Exercise your Brain…Now

Try this quick game to test your periph­eral vision, visual short-term mem­ory and hand-eye coordination.

Instruc­tions: When all the num­bered red squares are vis­i­ble, try to get rid of them as fast as you can, in numer­i­cal order. You don’t have to click them… just touch them with the cursor.

To start: Click here


PS: Enjoy these 50 brain teasers to test your cog­ni­tive abil­ity. Free, and fun for adults of any age!


Brain Fitness and Exercise in Japan

Fun arti­cle in the Wash­ing­ton Post: Aging Japan­ese Keep Their Minds Moving

  • part of a broad range of men­tal acu­ity prod­ucts that are all the rage in Japan: books, toys, food and other things, sold with the pledge that they can reen­er­gize aging brains.”
  • Ana­lysts said the cur­rent brain-training trend began in 2004 and 2005 when video games such as Sega Toys Co.‘s Brain Trainer and Nin­tendo Co.‘s Brain Age became smash hits. Since its launch, Brain Age for Nintendo’s DS con­sole has sold 6.7 mil­lion copies around the world, includ­ing 3.4 mil­lion in Japan.”

We were for­tu­nate to inter­view a Japan­ese expert on this trend a few months ago. In Brain Train­ing and “Brain-ism” in Japan, we can learn a lot, such as

  • To see the activ­i­ties inside the brain was fresh for peo­ple, but the method­ol­ogy and logic was not reviewed by any sci­en­tific pub­li­ca­tion. It was pub­lished by Read the rest of this entry »

Exercise Your Brains — Visual Logic Brain Teaser

In which direc­tion is the bus pic­tured below traveling?

school bus attention game

Do you know the answer?

The only pos­si­ble answers are “left” or “right.”

Still don’t know?

Keep read­ing for the answer and explanation…

Read the rest of this entry »

Brain blogs, videogames and rewiring our brains

Some great posts:

The Power (and Peril) of Prais­ing Your Kids in New York Mag­a­zine (via Mind Hacks)

  • One group was praised for their intel­li­gence (“You must be smart at this”), while the oth­ers were praised for their effort (“You must have worked really hard”). This sim­ple dif­fer­ence had a star­tling effect.”
  • Chil­dren who were praised for their effort were more likely to choose a harder test when given a choice, were less likely to become dis­heart­ened when given a test they were guar­an­teed to fail, and when finally given the orig­i­nal tests again, their marks improved.”

Videogames Improve Vision by Rewiring Your Brain in Sci­en­tific American

A new edi­tion of the Brain Blog­ging Blog Car­ni­val.

And please remem­ber to sub­mit posts to the next edi­tion of the brain fit­ness Blog Car­ni­val.

Brain Workout for Your Frontal Lobes

Your frontal lobes are home to your exec­u­tive func­tions, includ­ing pat­tern recog­ni­tion. Here’s a puz­zle to chal­lenge your abil­ity to uncover a pattern.

In this puz­zle, three num­bers: 16, 14, and 38, need to be assigned to one of the rows of num­bers below. To which row should each num­ber be assigned — A, B, or C?

A: 0 6 8 9 3
B: 5 13 2 10 16
C: 7 1 47 11 17

Why do we care about pat­tern recog­ni­tion skills? Well, if you’re an ath­lete, then you want to con­stantly improve your abil­ity to see spa­tial pat­terns on the court or field quickly so you can act on them — by pass­ing to open space or attack­ing the goal at the right moment. Stock traders look for pat­terns in the mar­ket behav­ior to guide them on buy­ing and sell­ing deci­sions. Chess mas­ters are experts at rec­og­niz­ing com­pli­cated moves. Read­ing is also pat­tern recognition.

So, you use pat­tern recog­ni­tion all the time whether you know it or not. But remem­ber, using a skill is great, but you have to keep exer­cis­ing it a lit­tle bit harder each time to develop it further.

Have you solved the puz­zle yet? If not, here’s a hint:
It’s not a math­e­mat­i­cal prob­lem. The numer­i­cal val­ues are irrelevant.

Keep read­ing for the answer
Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 Brain Teasers and Games, with a neuroscience angle

No mat­ter what we are read­ing or doing, there is always the need to take a lit­tle break and chal­lenge our minds (and to learn a bit about how our brains work). Here you have a selec­tion of the 10 Brain Teasers that peo­ple have enjoyed most in this site.

1. Do you think you know the col­ors?: the Stroop Test

2. Can you count?: Bas­ket­ball atten­tion experiment

3. Plan­ning is not that easy: Tow­ers of Hanoi

4. Inter­ac­tive visual illu­sion: the Muller-Lyer Illusion

5. Who is this?: A very impor­tant lit­tle guy

5. How many…: Train your Frontal and Pari­etal lobes

6. What’s the miss­ing num­ber: Pat­tern Recog­ni­tion Brain Teaser

7. Who’s the eldest?: Rea­son­ing Skills Brain Teaser

8. Brain Puz­zle for the Whole Brain: The Blind Beggar

9. Is a cir­cle a cir­cle?: Visual Per­cep­tion Brain Teaser

10. How is this pos­si­ble?
Read the rest of this entry »

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