Time for our September 2014 e-newsletter, featuring a wealth of insights and innovations reports…including four thought-provoking interviews with Sponsors of the 2014 SharpBrains Virtual Summit (October 28-30th). Enjoy!
New perspectives at the frontier of Brain, Health & Innovation:
Finally, you may want to try this brain teaser to test your multi-tasking abilities…and, if you are interested in all these topics for professional reasons, please consider joining us at the 2014 SharpBrains Virtual Summit (October 28-30th) — you can register with a 10% discount using promotional code: sharp2014
Have a great month of October!
By: Alvaro Fernandez
Barbara Arrowsmith Young
What is your current job title and organization, and what excites you the most about working there?
As discussed in The Brain that Changes Itself and in my own book, The Woman Who Changed Her Brain, I launched the Arrowsmith Program, a suite of cognitive exercises–now in more that 60 schools–designed to strengthen weak cognitive areas that underlie a number of specific learning difficulties and disabilities.
I did so based on my journey to overcome my own severe specific learning difficulties Read the rest of this entry »
By: Barbara Arrowsmith-Young
We have always thought that “our brain shapes us.” I wrote my new book, The Woman Who Changed Her Brain (May 2012; Free Press, Foreword by Norman Doidge), to prove that the reverse is equally true. I wanted to demonstrate how “we can shape our brains.”
Imagine having a brain that is capable and incapable at the same time. Growing up, I had severe learning disabilities. I lived in a world that was confusing and incomprehensible. As I was to later discover, a critical part of my brain was not working properly, the end result being that all language was experienced as foreign and my translator was Read the rest of this entry »
By: Dana Foundation
(Editor’s note: Pathways responsible for higher-order thinking in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), or executive center of the brain, remain vulnerable throughout life—during critical early-life developmental windows, when the PFC fully matures in the early 20s, and finally from declines associated with old age. At all ages, physical activity and PFC-navigated social connections are essential components to maintaining brain health. The Experience Corps, a community-based social-engagement program, partners seniors with local schools to promote purpose-driven involvement. Participating seniors have exhibited immediate short-term gains in brain regions vulnerable to aging, such as the PFC, indicating that people with the most to lose have the most to gain from environmental enrichment.)
Over the last decade, scientists made two key discoveries that reframed our understanding of the adult brain’s potential to benefit from lifelong environmental enrichment. First, they learned that the adult brain remains plastic; it can generate new neurons in response to physical activity and new experiences. Second, they confirmed the importance of social connectedness to late-life cognitive, psychological, and physical health. The integration of these findings with our understanding of individuals’ developmental needs throughout life underscores the importance of the “social brain.” The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is particularly integral to navigating complex social behaviors and hierarchies over the life course. Read the rest of this entry »
By: Alvaro Fernandez
The current issue of Cerebrum –a great publication of the Dana Foundation– includes the excellent in-depth article Promoting Healthy, Meaningful Aging Through Social Involvement: Building an Experience Corps, written by researcher Michelle Carlson:
“Over the last decade, scientists made two key discoveries that reframed our understanding of the adult brain’s potential to benefit from lifelong environmental enrichment. First, they learned that the adult brain remains plastic; it can generate new neurons in response to physical activity and new experiences. Second, they confirmed the importance of Read the rest of this entry »
By: Dr. Pascale Michelon
A recent scientific study is being welcomed as a landmark that shows how fluid intelligence can be improved through training. I interviewed one of the researchers recently (Can Intelligence Be Trained? Martin Buschkuehl shows how), and contributor Dr. Pascale Michelon adds her own take with the great article that follows. Enjoy!
Reference: Jaeggi, S. M., Buschkuehl, M., Jonides, J., & Perrig, W. J. (2008). Improving Fluid Intelligence With Training on Working Memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(19), 6829–6833
What is intelligence?
Intelligence is a concept difficult to define as it seems to cover many different types of abilities.
One definition dissociates between crystallized intelligence or abilities and fluid intelligence. Crystallized intelligence refers to the knowledge acquired throughout life such as vocabulary. Fluid intelligence is the ability that allows us to adapt to new situations or problems.
Read the rest of this entry »