Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Can electricity-based brain stimulation harness neuroplasticity safely?

brainstimulationDIY Brain Stim­u­la­tion Raises Con­cerns (Med­scape Today):

Recent increased inter­est in the electricity-based brain stim­u­la­tion method of tran­scra­nial direct-current stim­u­la­tion (tDCS) as a means of improv­ing cog­ni­tive abil­ity has some experts rais­ing con­cerns about the neu­roeth­i­cal issues sur­round­ing the tech­nique — par­tic­u­larly its ease of use as a make-it-yourself home device…

Those wish­ing to play it a lit­tle safer Read the rest of this entry »

Is the Internet making us dumber? (Nope, just different)

Is the Inter­net Really Mak­ing Us Dumber? (Der Spiegel):

In Ger­many, scores increase by about 3 IQ points each decade. In fact, the tests have to be adjusted every few years to keep up. The test cur­rently used for chil­dren is called the WISC-IV. A per­son claim­ing to have an IQ of 130 needs to spec­ify which test gen­er­ated that result: WISC-III? WISC-IV? The aston­ish­ing upward trend Read the rest of this entry »

Cardiac Surgery Can Impact Long-term Cognitive Functioning, Suggesting Need for Monitoring and Rehab

Post-Op Delirium’s Toll on Men­tal Func­tion May Linger: Study (US News):

Delir­ium after car­diac surgery has been thought of as a brief, reversible con­di­tion, but new research is sug­gest­ing that [men­tal] recov­ery for some peo­ple may take much longer than thought, and that there are long-term cog­ni­tive con­se­quences,” said study co-lead author Jane Saczyn­ski, Read the rest of this entry »

Learning to Cope with Google/ Information Overload

Google chang­ing how humans think (Cana­dian Business):

- “…the psy­chol­o­gists con­cluded that our reliance on the Inter­net has affected how we relate to information—instead of remem­ber­ing the infor­ma­tion itself, we just remem­ber where to find it.”

- “While the move from know­ing infor­ma­tion to know­ing where to find it has many benefits—including free­ing up your brain for more rea­son­ing and ana­lyt­i­cal thinking—there’s a down­side too.” Read the rest of this entry »

Cognitive Training & Brain Teasers Can Increase Openness Among Older Adults

Brain Teasers Make Seniors More Open to New Ven­tures (med­page today):

- ” A cog­ni­tive train­ing pro­gram that included Sudoku and cross­word puz­zles made older adults more open to new expe­ri­ences, accord­ing to a pre­lim­i­nary study.”

- “Older adults undergo changes in per­son­al­ity, includ­ing shifts in open­ness or will­ing­ness to seek out new and cog­ni­tively chal­leng­ing expe­ri­ences. A num­ber of inter­ven­tions have been designed to enrich cog­ni­tive func­tion­ing in older adults, but lit­tle has been done to develop open­ness, the authors explained.” Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Teasers and Games, for Kids and Adults

In case you missed them, here you have a few recent brain teasers and games. t is always good to stim­u­late our minds and to learn a bit about how our brains work.

You can find many more brain teasers and games, for kids and adults, by vis­it­ing the Top 50 Brain Teasers and Games that our read­ers have enjoyed the most. Enjoy!

Digital Games for Physical, Cognitive and Behavioral Health

The Robert Wood John­son Foun­da­tion (RWJF) just announced more than 200px-Dance_Dance_Revolution_Extreme_arcade_machine_left_side_stage$1.85 mil­lion in grants for research teams to study how dig­i­tal games can improve play­ers’ health behav­iors and out­comes (both brain-based and behavioral).

The press release: Nine Lead­ing Research Teams Selected to Study How Dig­i­tal Games Improve Play­ers’ Health

  • Dig­i­tal games are inter­ac­tive and expe­ri­en­tial, and so they can engage peo­ple in pow­er­ful ways to enhance learn­ing and health behav­ior change, espe­cially when they are designed on the basis of well-researched strate­gies,” said (UC Santa Barbara’s Dr. Debra) Lieberman.
  • The pace of growth and inno­va­tion in dig­i­tal games is incred­i­ble, and we see tremen­dous poten­tial to design them to help peo­ple stay healthy or man­age chronic con­di­tions like dia­betes or Parkinson’s dis­ease. How­ever, we need to know more about what works and what does not — and why,” said Paul Tarini, team direc­tor for RWJF’s Pio­neer Port­fo­lio. “Health Games Research is a major invest­ment to build a research base for this dynamic young field. Fur­ther, the insights and ideas that flow from this work will help us con­tinue to expand our imag­i­na­tion of what is pos­si­ble in this arena.”

All 9 stud­ies sound inter­est­ing, 3 of them are closer to what we track:

  1. Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, San Fran­cisco (San Fran­cisco, CA) A Video Game to Enhance Cog­ni­tive Health in Older Adults. As peo­ple age, they lose some of their abil­ity to sus­tain their atten­tion and to focus their atten­tion on their main task while ignor­ing dis­trac­tions. This study aims to improve these and other related cog­ni­tive skills by using a dri­ving game in which Read the rest of this entry »

New online course: How to Nav­i­gate Con­ven­tional and Com­ple­men­tary ADHD Treat­ments for Healthy Brain Development

Haven’t read this book yet?

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