Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Brain Training and Cognitive Assessment Market Surpassed $1.3 Billion In 2013

Heads-up: We just announced a new intel­li­gence pack­age aimed at edu­ca­tion, health, gam­ing and tech­nol­ogy exec­u­tives and innovators.

Many mar­ket reports pro­vide lit­tle value for the money. This mar­ket report by Sharp­Brains is the pre­cise oppo­site. Its wealth of data and analy­sis pro­vides very valu­able strate­gic and busi­ness devel­op­ment guid­ance to orga­ni­za­tions at the fron­tier of health and well­ness,” says Alexan­dra More­house, VP of Brand Man­age­ment at Kaiser Per­ma­nente. Read the rest of this entry »

Congrats, Digital Brain Health pioneers: Brain Resource, CogState, Emotiv, Lumos Labs, Neurosky, and more

Source:’s Report on The Dig­i­tal Brain Health Mar­ket 2012–2020

5 Mar­ket Lead­ers   Read the rest of this entry »

Market Report: Transforming Brain Health with Digital Tools — The State of the Brain Fitness Market 2010

In honor of Brain Aware­ness Week (March 14-20th), any­one who reg­is­ters to par­tic­i­pate in the 2011 Sharp­Brains Sum­mit BEFORE MARCH 20TH will obtain a com­pli­men­tary 207-page PDF copy of the full mar­ket report Trans­form­ing Brain Health with Dig­i­tal Tools to Assess, Enhance and Treat Cog­ni­tion Across the Lifes­pan — The State of the Brain Fit­ness Mar­ket 2010. Please note that the nor­mal price of this report is $1,295. This report includes pro­pri­etary sur­veys, mar­ket data and in-depth analy­sis of 32 com­pa­nies, 10 Inno­va­tion Case Stud­ies pre­pared by 2010 Inno­va­tion Awards Win­ners and Final­ists, and 23 Research Exec­u­tive Briefs pre­pared by lead­ing scientists.

Report Sum­mary

This 207-page report tracks devel­op­ments at over thirty pub­lic and pri­vate com­pa­nies offer­ing dig­i­tal tools to assess, enhance and repair brain-based cog­ni­tive and self-regulation func­tions and pro­vides impor­tant indus­try data, insights and analy­sis to help investors, exec­u­tives, entre­pre­neurs, and pol­icy mak­ers nav­i­gate the oppor­tu­ni­ties and risks of this rapidly grow­ing field. The report dis­cusses the impli­ca­tions of Read the rest of this entry »

New Report Finds A Brain Health Revolution in the Making, Driven by Digital Technology and Neuroplasticity Research

2010MarketReportIn spite of the recent eco­nomic down­turn, rev­enues for dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies to assess, enhance and treat cog­ni­tion, or dig­i­tal brain health and fit­ness tools, grew 35% in 2009. “The con­ver­gence of demo­graphic and pol­icy trends with cog­ni­tive neu­ro­science dis­cov­er­ies and tech­no­log­i­cal inno­va­tion is giv­ing birth to a nascent mar­ket­place that can fun­da­men­tally trans­form what brain health is, how it is mea­sured, and how it is done,” says Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, mem­ber of the World Eco­nomic Forum’s Coun­cil on the Aging Soci­ety and Editor-in-Chief of the report. “This ground­break­ing report can help pio­neers shape the emerg­ing toolkit to ben­e­fit an aging soci­ety that increas­ingly seeks new ways to enhance cog­ni­tive func­tion­al­ity and men­tal well­ness across the lifespan.”

As the brain is thrust into the cen­ter of the health­care ecosys­tem, inno­v­a­tive cog­ni­tive health and brain fit­ness appli­ca­tions will play an increas­ingly impor­tant role in defin­ing neu­ro­cen­tric health,” adds Jake Duna­gan, Research Direc­tor at the Insti­tute For The Future.

Report: Trans­form­ing Brain Health with Dig­i­tal Tools to Assess, Enhance and Treat Cog­ni­tion across the Lifes­pan: The State of the Brain Fit­ness Mar­ket 2010.

A major­ity among the 1,900+ decision-makers and early-adopters sur­veyed said they trusted the effec­tive­ness of non-invasive options above inva­sive options to enhance crit­i­cal brain func­tion­al­ity. Pro­fes­sional and intel­lec­tual chal­lenges were rated very effec­tive by 61% of respon­dents, aer­o­bic exer­cise and read­ing books by 42%, med­i­ta­tion by 38%, com­put­er­ized brain train­ing by 26%, tak­ing pre­scrip­tion drugs by 13%, tak­ing sup­ple­ments by 12%, and self-medicating with drugs by 1%.

These are among the key find­ings of a 207-page mar­ket report released today by Sharp­Brains and pre­pared in col­lab­o­ra­tion with 24 lead­ing sci­en­tists and 10 inno­v­a­tive orga­ni­za­tions — the most com­pre­hen­sive such research study done to ana­lyze emerg­ing research, tech­nolo­gies and marketplace.

We must do for brain health in the 21st cen­tury what we largely accom­plished in car­dio­vas­cu­lar health in the past cen­tury. It’s time to take sci­en­tific insights out of the lab and to iden­tify prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tions, mak­ing the main­te­nance of good brain fit­ness a pub­lic health pri­or­ity,” indi­cates William Reich­man, MD, Pres­i­dent and CEO of Baycrest.

Other Report High­lights are: Read the rest of this entry »

Update: Preparing Society for the Cognitive Age, and Industry Webinar

Here you have the August edi­tion of our monthly newslet­ter cov­er­ing cog­ni­tive health and Brain Fitnessbrain fit­ness top­ics. Please remem­ber that you can sub­scribe to receive this Newslet­ter by email, using the box at the top of this page.

Sci­en­tific pub­li­ca­tion Fron­tiers in Neu­ro­science recently pub­lished a spe­cial issue on Aug­ment­ing Cog­ni­tion, and invited me to con­tribute with an arti­cle titled Prepar­ing Soci­ety for the Cog­ni­tive Age. Ground­break­ing brain research has occurred over the last 20 years. The oppor­tu­nity to improve brain health and per­for­mance is immense, but we need to ensure the mar­ket­place matures in a ratio­nal and sus­tain­able man­ner, both through health­care and non-healthcare chan­nels. Click Here to read my article.


In May 2009 Sharp­Brains pub­lished The State of the Brain Fit­ness Soft­ware Mar­ket 2009, the main indus­try report for lead­ing orga­ni­za­tions prepar­ing their mem­bers, their clients, and their patients for the cog­ni­tive age. 150-pages long, the report includes a mar­ket sur­vey with 2,000+ respon­dents, detailed analy­sis of 20+ ven­dors, research briefs writ­ten by 12 lead­ing sci­en­tists and data and trends for 4 major cus­tomer segments.webinar

Below we share the full Exec­u­tive Sum­mary of the report and announce an exclu­sive webi­nar on Sep­tem­ber 29th to dis­cuss the State of the Mar­ket in more depth with buy­ers of the report.

To order the report and access both the report and the webi­nar, you can click Here. (Only $975 –a 25% dis­count– using Dis­count Code Frontiers2009 before Sep­tem­ber 28th).

State of the Mar­ket

The brain fit­ness field holds excit­ing promise for the future while pre­sent­ing clear oppor­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges today. The good news is that there are more tools avail­able than ever before to assess and train a vari­ety of cog­ni­tive skills. The bad news is that there are no magic pills and that con­sumers, while sat­is­fied over­all, seem con­fused by com­pet­ing claims on how to reduce one’s “brain age.” We do see signs that this early-stage mar­ket can mature in a more ratio­nal, struc­tured man­ner; but there is much work to be done. We esti­mate that the size of the U.S. brain fit­ness soft­ware (i.e., appli­ca­tions designed to assess or enhance cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties) mar­ket in 2008 was Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Fitness/ Training Report Finds Market Growth, Potential, and Confusion

After many many months of men­tal stim­u­la­tion, phys­i­cal exer­cise and the cer­tain need for stress man­age­ment… we have just announced the release of the The State of the Brain Fit­ness Soft­ware Mar­ket 2009 report, our sec­ond annual com­pre­hen­sive mar­ket analy­sis of the US mar­ket for com­put­er­ized cog­ni­tive assess­ment and train­ing tools. In this report we esti­mate the size of the US brain fit­ness soft­ware mar­ket at $265M in 2008, up from $225M in 2007 (18% annual growth), and from $100m in 2005. Two seg­ments fuelled the mar­ket growth from 2007 to 2008: con­sumers (grew from $80m to $95m) and health­care & insur­ance providers (grew from $65m to $80m).

The 150-page report finds promis­ing research and ini­tia­tives to drive sig­nif­i­cant growth, com­bined with increased con­sumer con­fu­sion given aggres­sive mar­ket­ing claims and lack of edu­ca­tion and stan­dards. The report includes:
– The com­plete results of an exclu­sive Jan­u­ary 2009 Sur­vey with 2,000+ respon­dents
– A pro­pri­etary Mar­ket & Research Momen­tum Matrix to cat­e­go­rize 21 key ven­dors into four cat­e­gories
– 10 Research Exec­u­tive Briefs writ­ten by lead­ing sci­en­tists at promi­nent research labs
– An analy­sis of the level of clin­i­cal val­i­da­tion per prod­uct and cog­ni­tive domain

Top 10 High­lights from the report:

1) Con­sumers, seniors, com­mu­ni­ties and insur­ance providers drove year on year sus­tained growth, from $225m in 2007 to $265m in 2008. Rev­enues may reach between $1 bil­lion to $5 bil­lion by 2015, depend­ing on how impor­tant prob­lems (Pub­lic Aware­ness, Nav­i­gat­ing Claims, Research, Health Cul­ture, Lack of Assess­ment) are addressed.

2) Increased inter­est and con­fu­sion: 61% of respon­dents Strongly Agree with the state­ment Address­ing cog­ni­tive and brain health should be a health­care pri­or­ity. But, 65% Agree/Strongly Agree. I don’t really know what to expect from prod­ucts mak­ing brain claims.

3) Invest­ment in R&D seeds future growth: Land­mark invest­ments by insur­ance providers and government-funded research insti­tutes test­ing new brain fit­ness appli­ca­tions planted new seeds for future growth.

4) Becom­ing stan­dard in res­i­den­tial facil­i­ties: Over 700 res­i­den­tial facil­i­ties mostly Inde­pen­dent and Assisted Liv­ing facil­i­ties and CCRCs have installed com­put­er­ized cog­ni­tive train­ing programs.

5) Cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion: Con­sumers seem more sat­is­fied with computer-based prod­ucts than paper-based options. But, sat­is­fac­tion dif­fers by prod­uct. When asked I got real value for my money, results were as fol­lows: (65% Agree), Puz­zle Books (60%), Posit Sci­ence (52%), Nin­tendo (51%) agreed. Posit Sci­ence (53% Agree) and (51%) do bet­ter than Puz­zle Books (39%) and Nin­tendo (38%) at I have seen the results I wanted.

6) Assess­ments: Increas­ing adop­tion of computer-based cog­ni­tive assess­ments to base­line and track cog­ni­tive func­tions over time in mil­i­tary, sports, and clin­i­cal con­texts. The Alzheimer’s Foun­da­tion of Amer­ica now advo­cates for wide­spread cog­ni­tive screen­ings after 65–75.

7) Spe­cific com­put­er­ized cog­ni­tive train­ing and videogames have been shown to improve brain func­tions, but the key ques­tions are, Which ones, and Who needs what when?

8) Aggres­sive mar­ket­ing claims are cre­at­ing con­fu­sion and skep­ti­cism, result­ing in a dis­tract­ing con­tro­versy between two mis­lead­ing extremes: (a) buy­ing prod­uct XYZ can reju­ve­nate your brain Y years or (b) those prod­ucts don’t work; just do one more cross­word puz­zle. The upcom­ing book The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness aims to help con­sumers nav­i­gate these claims.

9) Devel­op­ers can be clas­si­fied into four groups, based on a pro­pri­etary Mar­ket and Research Momen­tum Matrix: Sharp­Brains finds 4 Lead­ers, 8 High Poten­tials, 3 Cross­words 2.0, and 6 Wait & See companies.

10) Increased dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion: Lead­ing com­pa­nies are bet­ter defin­ing their value propo­si­tion and dis­tri­b­u­tion chan­nels to reach spe­cific seg­ments such as retire­ment com­mu­ni­ties, schools, or health­care providers.

Lead­ing researchers pre­pared 10 Research Exec­u­tive Briefs:
- Dr. Joshua Stein­er­man (Einstein-Monteore): Neu­ro­pro­tec­tion via cog­ni­tive activ­i­ties
– Dr. Jerri Edwards (South Florida): Assess­ments of dri­ving fit­ness
– Dr. Susanne Jaeggi and Dr. Mar­tin Buschkuehl (Bern, Michi­gan): Work­ing mem­ory train­ing and  intel­li­gence
– Dr. Torkel Kling­berg (Karolin­ska): Work­ing mem­ory train­ing, dopamine, and math
– Dr. Liz Zelin­ski (UC Davis): Audi­tory pro­cess­ing train­ing
– Dr. David Vance (UAB): Speed-of-processing train­ing
– Dr. Jerri Edwards (South Florida): Cog­ni­tive train­ing for healthy aging
– Dr. Daphne Bave­lier & Dr. Shawn Green (Rochester): Action videogames and atten­tional skills
– Dr. Arthur Kramer (Illi­nois): Strat­egy videogames and exec­u­tive func­tions
– Dr. Yaakov Stern (Colum­bia): The cog­ni­tive reserve and neu­roimag­ing
– Dr. David Rabiner (Duke): Objec­tive assess­ments for ADHD

Table of Contents

Exec­u­tive Sum­mary
Chap­ter 1. Bird-Eye View of the Grow­ing Field
Chap­ter 2. Mar­ket Sur­vey on Beliefs, Atti­tudes, Pur­chase Habits
Chap­ter 3. The Emerg­ing Com­pet­i­tive Land­scape
Chap­ter 4. The Sci­ence for Brain Fit­ness and Cog­ni­tive Health
Chap­ter 5. Con­sumers  Adopt­ing Cross­words 2.0?
Chap­ter 6: Health­care and Insur­ance Providers — A Cul­ture of Cog­ni­tive Health
Chap­ter 7: K12 School Sys­tems– Ready for Change?
Chap­ter 8: Mil­i­tary, Sports Teams, Com­pa­nies,  Brain-Performance Link
Chap­ter 9: Future Direc­tions‚ Pro­jec­tions and Bottlenecks

Com­pa­nies pro­filed include: Advanced Brain Tech­nolo­gies, Applied Cog­ni­tive Engi­neer­ing, Brain Cen­ter Amer­ica, Brain Resource, CNS Vital Signs, Cogmed, Cogstate, Cog­niFit, Cog­ni­tive Drug Research, Dakim, Houghton Mif­flin, Learn­ing Enhance­ment Cor­po­ra­tion, Learn­ingRx, Lumos Labs, Mar­bles: The Brain Store, Nin­tendo, NovaV­i­sion, Posit Sci­ence, Sci­en­tific Brain Train­ing, Sci­en­tific Learn­ing, Trans­An­a­lyt­ics, vibrant­Brains, Vig­or­ous Mind, Viv­ity Labs.

More on the report by click­ing on The State of the Brain Fit­ness Soft­ware Mar­ket 2009.

Cognitive Assessments: HeadMinder, ANAM, and more

Just saw a very inter­est­ing press release regard­ing computer-based neu­rocog­ni­tive assess­ments — a crit­i­cal part of the brain fit­ness puz­zle. How long will it take before con­sumers can have access to a reli­able and cred­i­ble annual “men­tal check-up”/ cog­ni­tive baseline?

Head­Min­der Cog­ni­tive Sta­bil­ity Index: Com­put­er­ized Neu­rocog­ni­tive … (Press release)

- “The Head­Min­der web-based Cog­ni­tive Sta­bil­ity Index (CSI) has proven more use­ful for blast-concussion detec­tion than the ANAM com­put­er­ized test bat­tery the DoD cur­rently employs. The CSI pro­vides an imme­di­ate solu­tion to clear the back­log of 400,000 IED-exposed ser­vice mem­bers in less than two years.”

- “The CSI is a 30-minute, Internet-based, com­put­er­ized test that pro­vides auto­mated, objec­tive mea­sures of atten­tion, mem­ory, response speed, and pro­cess­ing speed for ini­tial eval­u­a­tion of cog­ni­tive func­tion­ing. The CSI pro­duces stan­dard­ized reports that enable triage and decision-making appro­pri­ate to a user’s qual­i­fi­ca­tions — from medic to neu­ropsy­chol­o­gist to neu­rol­o­gist and other treat­ment team members.”

We cov­ered this emerg­ing type of assess­ments in the arti­cle Com­put­er­ized Cog­ni­tive Assess­ments: oppor­tu­ni­ties and concerns

- “In fact, one of the Read the rest of this entry »


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