Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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The Brain Fitness Program DVD (Michael Merzenich)

The most popular question we got when we announced that PBS had a great special on Brain Fitness Program and Neuroplasticity in December was, when will the DVD be available?

Well, finally here it comes. You can click on the image or the title to go over to PBS shop to learn more and buy it.

The Brain Fitness Program DVD ($24.95, shipped by 02/01/08). “This program presents a workout to help viewers get their brains in better shape. The Brain Fitness Program is based on neuro-plasticity, the ability of the brain to change and adapt — even rewire itself. In the past two years, a team of scientists has developed computer-based stimulus sets that drive beneficial chemical, physical and functional changes in the brain. Dr. Michael Merzenich of the University of California San Francisco and his colleagues around the world have been leading this effort; he brings the research findings, along with a scientifically based set of brain exercises, to PBS viewers in this innovative and life-altering program. Peter Coyote narrates. ”

To purchase: click Here.

You can watch a 3-minute trailer: click here.

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Note: How can anyone take care of his or her brain when every week brings a new barrage of articles and studies which seem to contradict each other?

Do supplements improve memory? Do you need both physical and mental exercise –or is one of them enough? Why is managing stress so important to attention and memory? Which brain training approach, if any, is worth one’s time and money?

SharpBrainsGuide_3DIf you have these questions, check out this new book, The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness:

“Finally, an insightful and complete overview of the science, products and trends to debunk old myths and help us all maintain our brains in top shape. A must-read”
Gloria Cavanaugh, former President & CEO of the American Society on Aging and founding Board member of the National Alliance for Caregiving
Kudos for an excellent resource! This SharpBrains Guide is full of top notch information, provides practical tips and helps separate hype from hope in the brain health arena.”
Elizabeth Edgerly, Ph.D., Chief Program Officer, Alzheimer’s Association
“A masterful guide to the brain training revolution. Promises to stimulate a much needed conversation that will nudge society to build a new brain fitness culture on solid, research-based, foundations.”
P. Murali Doraiswamy MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Duke University and Co-author of The Alzheimer’s Action Plan

Brain Fitness Program and Neuroplasticity @ PBS

Update (11/10/10): Have you seen PBS great specials on Brain Fitness and Neuroplasticity ?

The Brain Fitness Program DVD ($24.95)

“The Brain Fitness Program is based on the brain’s ability to change and adapt, even rewire itself. In the past two years, a team of scientists has developed computer-based stimulus sets that drive beneficial chemical, physical and functional changes in the Peter Coyote Brain Fitness Programbrain. Dr. Michael Merzenich of the University of California and his colleagues share their scientifically based set of brain exercises in this life-altering program. Peter Coyote (pictured) narrates. ”

PBS aired in December 2007 a special program on neuroplasticity, brain fitness, aging and the brain titled “Brain Fitness Program”. To watch the 3-minute trailer: click here.

In 2008, PBS released a second DVD:

Brain Fitness 2: Sight and Sound DVD ($24.95)

“This program, specifically designed to help people get the most from their vision and hearing as they age, considers how these senses change throughout life and what people can do to keep them healthy and fully functional.”

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If you do not have time to watch these great documentaries, here are a few points one needs to understand about neuroplasticity:

1.  The human brain is now con­sid­ered to be a highly dynamic and con­stantly reor­ga­niz­ing sys­tem capa­ble of being shaped and reshaped across an entire lifes­pan. It is believed that every expe­ri­ence alters the brain’s orga­ni­za­tion at some level. The key words in this new approach to the brain are neu­ro­plas­tic­ity and neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis. Neu­ro­plas­tic­ity refers to the life­long capac­ity of the brain to change and rewire itself in response to the stim­u­la­tion of learn­ing and expe­ri­ence. Neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis is the abil­ity to cre­ate new neu­rons and con­nec­tions between neu­rons through­out a life­time. The lat­ter process is also referred to as synap­to­ge­n­e­sis. This new par­a­digm con­trasts with tra­di­tional ideas of the human brain being a fixed and essen­tially lim­ited sys­tem that only degrades with age.

2. As we age, the rate of change in the brain, or neu­ro­plas­tic­ity, declines but does not come to a halt. In addi­tion, we now know that new neu­rons can appear in cer­tain parts of the brain up until the day we die.

3. Brain plas­tic­ity is cru­cial fol­low­ing head injury. It is the one brain’s abil­ity that allows recovery. Brain plas­tic­ity is also the abil­ity that brain train­ing takes advan­tages of to try to slow down the aging process.

To read about evidence of neuroplasticity in the human brain take a look at Brain plasticity: How learning changes you brain

———-

Note: How can anyone take care of his or her brain when every week brings a new barrage of articles and studies which seem to contradict each other?

Do supplements improve memory? Do you need both physical and mental exercise –or is one of them enough? Why is managing stress so important to attention and memory? Which brain training approach, if any, is worth one’s time and money?

If you have these questions, check out this new book, The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness:

“Finally, an insightful and complete overview of the science, products and trends to debunk old myths and help us all maintain our brains in top shape. A must-read”
Gloria Cavanaugh, former President & CEO of the American Society on Aging and founding Board member of the National Alliance for Caregiving
“Kudos for an excellent resource! This SharpBrains Guide is full of top notch information, provides practical tips and helps separate hype from hope in the brain health arena.”
Elizabeth Edgerly, Ph.D., Chief Program Officer, Alzheimer’s Association

“A masterful guide to the brain training revolution. Promises to stimulate a much needed conversation that will nudge society to build a new brain fitness culture on solid, research-based, foundations.”
P. Murali Doraiswamy MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Duke University and Co-author of The Alzheimer’s Action Plan

The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness
SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness. The Book Click

Here

to order at Amazon.com.
Print Edition, $24.95


SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness. The Book Click

Here

to order at Amazon.com,
Kindle Edition, $9.99

Neurotechnology, Health and Brain Fitness News

Today we have a number of industry announcements:

1) New editions of these Blog Carnivals (collections of blog posts around specific topics)

2) The Neurotechnology Industry Organization has launched a Neurotech Job Board dedicated to commercial neuroscience (mostly focused on clinical applications, like drugs and devices, not so much on prevention, health & wellness). And the Kaiser Foundation Rehabilitation Center is looking for a Research Project Manager.

3) The American Association for the Advancement of Science has finally released a report of the human enhancement workshop that took place in June 2006. Read more about it at Zack’s blog.

4) Stephanie West Allen and Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz announce the Schedule of Events for their Brains On Purpose™ Seminars (“looking at conflict and the process of conflict resolution through the lens of neuroscience”): Colorado in October and Portland in November.

5) Registration is now open for my class on The Science of Brain Health and Brain Fitness (more here), October 9 30, at UC Berkeley Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI).

6) A couple of great Read the rest of this entry »

Neuroscience for lawyers and leaders

Stephanie, our lawyer-blogger friend, alerted us of 2 great articles co-authored by her and Dr. Jeffrey M. Schwartz, a research psychiatrist at the School of Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles and one of the world’s leading experts in neuroplasticity.
We highly recommend them for lawyers, business professionals, and leaders in general.
I. A Blueprint For Self-leadership (or “Lead Your Brain Instead Of Letting It Lead You”)
“For years, top athletes like Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and many others have been using neuroscientific techniques to fuel their excellence. By drawing on five principles of neuroscience, you can become a better leader of yourself and others”
By Stephanie West Allen and Jeffrey M. Schwartz

You can go straight to some sections: Read the rest of this entry »

Can a brain fitness program help me become more creative?

Creative BrainHere is question 20 from Brain Fitness 101: Answers to Your Top 25 Questions.

Question:
Can a brain fitness program help me become more creative?

Key Points:

  • Creativity can be trained, like other mental muscles.
  • Set up structured time, places, or routines that provide a framework for creativity to happen.
  • Reducing your stress helps to keep your brain more flexible.
  • Using many parts of the brain as well as trying new things will stimulate the areas of your brain involved in creativity.

Answer: Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Management for lawyers

“How does this neuro frontier inside our skulls specifically inform law firm management? By peering inside the brain, we can see how its owner takes in information, makes decisions, changes and resists change, remembers and recalls, and responds to people. What we are learning about the brain affects three factors critical to law firms and to each individual lawyer: control, communication, and competence. Let’s take a tour of some of what’s been learned and see how the new information can be useful.”

This is part of the great article that Dr. Jeffrey M. Schwartz and Stephanie West Allen have written for the February, 2007 edition of Of Counsel: The Legal Practice and Management Report, titled “Brain Management: Law Firm Leadership on the Neuro Frontier” (Not available online.)

You can read a bit more in Stephanie’s blog (a must-read blog for lawyers).   

In short: our actions can change our brains. Actually, our thoughts can do so too. We all can benefit from “self-directed neuroplasticity”-which requires practice, imagination and empathy. The article mentions specific examples for lawyers.

Learning assumes and induces neuroplasticity (how the brain changes).

How can you apply this to your occupation? what have you learned today?

You can read more on a similar topic, by Dr. Jeffrey M. Schwartz and David Rock: check out The Neuroscience of Leadership.

 

 

Learn more & Register today at early-bird rates

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