Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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On the perceived memory, cognitive benefits of playing casual video games

Bejeweled BlitzPsy­chol­o­gists Find the Per­ceived Ben­e­fits of Casual Video Games Among Adults (press release):

New research from psy­chol­o­gists at the Uni­ver­sity of Mass­a­chu­setts Amherst finds that while a major­ity of adults cite the abil­ity to com­pete with friends as their pri­mary rea­son for play­ing online casual video games, they report dif­fer­ing per­ceived ben­e­fits from play­ing Read the rest of this entry »

Book review of Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined

Ungifted_KaufmanJust a cou­ple weeks ago I had a dis­cus­sion with sev­eral psy­chol­o­gists and neu­rol­o­gists who seemed to share the opin­ion that “brain fit­ness” is a mean­ing­less con­cept and pur­suit. On the one hand, they thought, intel­li­gence is a fixed trait and no inter­ven­tion has shown so far to reli­ably increase it. On the other hand, noth­ing has been shown to pre­vent the pathol­ogy of Alzheimer’s Dis­ease. Accord­ing to this mindset…why bother?

Well, what if such men­tal frame­work was wrong or, worse, mis­lead­ing? Read the rest of this entry »

Are we intelligent about developing human intelligence?

Ungifted_KaufmanWhen it comes to our under­stand­ing of human intel­li­gence, for too long, there has been a mis­match between the­ory and prac­tice. The­o­ret­i­cally, the two main threads run­ning through def­i­n­i­tions of intel­li­gence have been (a) adap­ta­tion to the envi­ron­ment, and (b) the cog­ni­tive, affec­tive, and voli­tional char­ac­ter­is­tics that enable that adap­ta­tion. Prac­ti­cally, IQ tests mea­sure an impor­tant but lim­ited slice of intel­lec­tual func­tion­ing in a very lim­ited test­ing envi­ron­ment. Why such a disconnect?

Intel­li­gence tests were born out of neces­sity. Read the rest of this entry »

Upgrading education and health with the brain in mind

speakerHeads up: these are some of my upcom­ing talks, start­ing tomor­row with a brief insight blast on Upgrad­ing edu­ca­tion and health with the brain in mind at the World Eco­nomic Forum on Latin Amer­ica. If you’re a Sharp­Brains friend and speak­ing at/ attend­ing any, please let me know so we can connect.

Upcoming talks: ESCoNS2, Harvard, WEF, Neurogaming, mesh13

speakerHeads up: these are some of the talks I’ll be giv­ing over the next few months. If you’re a Sharp­Brains friend and speak­ing at/ attend­ing any, please let me know so we can connect.

> March 15–17, Los Ange­les: Mar­riage of Sci­ence & Indus­try — How to cre­ate a sus­tain­able busi­ness model that proves end-user value, at ESCoNS2 (Enter­tain­ment Soft­ware and Cog­ni­tive Neu­rother­a­peu­tics Society)

> April 1st, Boston: Health from the Neck Up, a guest lec­ture at Har­vard exten­sion course Mind, Brain, Health, and Edu­ca­tion (MBHE): The Sci­ences of Devel­op­ment, Learn­ing, and Well-being

> April 23–25, Lima, Peru: World Eco­nomic Forum on Latin Amer­ica 2013

> May 1–2, San Fran­cisco: Think, Think, Think: Cog­ni­tive Gam­ing Plat­forms, at Neu­rogam­ing

> May 15–16, Toronto:  The Web as a Gym for the Brain, at mesh13  Read the rest of this entry »

Dr. Chapman Q&A Transcript: Best Brain Health Fitness Tip? “Never let status quo be an option”

Here’s the lightly edited tran­script of the Jan­u­ary 4th online Q&A ses­sion with Dr. San­dra Chap­man, Direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Brain­Health at UT-Dallas and author of the new book Make Your Brain Smarter (Free Press; Jan­u­ary 2013). Enjoy!

1:59

AlvaroF: You can start writ­ing ques­tions so we have a few to choose from as we start in a cou­ple of min­utes. Thank you!

2:03
AlvaroF: Just one sec­ond and we’ll be ready. Already get­ting great questions!

2:05
AlvaroF: Let me first thank Dr. San­dra Chap­man for being with us today. She was one of the best speak­ers at our 2012 Sum­mit, and since then we wanted to share her research and think­ing with all Sharp­Brains read­ers. Read the rest of this entry »

Got Brain? Investing in Our Most Precious Asset in 2013

Open a week­end New York Times or Wall Street Jour­nal and you’ll find a whole sec­tion with detailed infor­ma­tion and advice for indi­vid­u­als look­ing to invest wisely. What you will not find, how­ever, is com­pa­ra­ble infor­ma­tion and advice for invest­ing in your most impor­tant asset of all: your brain. Pre­cisely because it (usu­ally) does its job so smoothly and effec­tively, it’s all too easy to for­get that your brain is there and that it needs to be invested in just as with any­thing else we value and want to con­tinue reap­ing ben­e­fits from. And with more than 2 bil­lion peo­ple world­wide cur­rently suf­fer­ing from brain-based health and pro­duc­tiv­ity chal­lenges with a result­ing global eco­nomic bur­den of more than $2 tril­lion, it’s also an issue of some importance.

We’ve made a lot of progress Read the rest of this entry »

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