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.

———-

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

Order Book at Amazon.com
SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness. The Book Click

Here

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

Order Kin­dle Edi­tion
SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness. The Book Click

Here

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

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.”

.

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.

 

 

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» Click HERE in the USA, or HERE else­where (opens 28-min program)

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