Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Therapy or antidepressants? Coming soon: Brain activity “fingerprints” to personalize depression treatments

mental health.

To Treat Depression, Drugs or Therapy? (The New York Times):

“Until recently, many experts thought that your clinician could literally pick any antidepressant or type of psychotherapy at random because, with a few clinical exceptions, there was little evidence to favor one treatment over another for a given patient Read the rest of this entry »

The “Holy Grail”: How to drive behavior change by harnessing neuroplasticity and emotions

brainbehavior

CWRU nursing school awarded $2.35 million to study the link between the brain and health behavior change (press release):

“A five-year, $2.35 million grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research will allow researchers from the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University to study how brain activity motivates the chronically ill to manage their illnesses Read the rest of this entry »

Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center adopts Intelligym cognitive training

USAHockey_IntelliGymIntelligym’s Cognitive Therapy Technologies Added to Comprehensive Approach in Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center’s Hockey Program (press release):

“Cognitive training has taken off amongst thousands of players and hockey programs Read the rest of this entry »

The Science of Optimism: a Conversation on ‘The Optimism Bias’ with neuroscientist Tali Sharot

I like to think of myself as a positive and optimistic person. It seems to me to make for an easier and more enjoyable journey through life. So I was intrigued when I read of neuroscientist Tali Sharot’s research into the Optimism Bias, which has shown that despite all the bad news stories we are bombarded with on a daily basis: war, violence, wrong-doing and financial meltdown, the majority of us are optimistic by nature; our brains are hardwired to be so. It’s a fascinating concept and one I had to find out more about, so I bought the book and met with Tali in her office at University College London for an enthralling discussion. Read the rest of this entry »

Can brain training reduce cancer risk?

Penn Researchers Receive Major Grant to Explore Use of Brain Training To Help People Change Behaviors that Increase Cancer Risk (press release):

“Most people know that smoking, a bad diet, and physical inactivity can lead to catastrophic personal health consequences, including cancer. Yet millions continue to smoke, eat poorly, and fail to get enough exercise. A new project Read the rest of this entry »

Increasing cognitive loads on miners’ brains: good example of where society is heading

NIOSH to Study Cognitive Loads on Underground Coal Miners (Occupational Health & Safety):

“NIOSH has published a notice outlining an interesting study it plans to undertake to understand the cognitive demands placed on underground coal miners by new safety devices they must carry, with the industry increasingly deploying wireless communication systems, personal dust monitors, and proximity detectors…

The physical burden is evident, but the cognitive effect may not be as clear,” Read the rest of this entry »

Navigating The Many Dangers of Experience

As with “expert,” the root of experience is “experiri,” a Latin word meaning “to try out.” People with a lot of experience should be willing to try new things, as their knowledge should provide more context and points of view, enable more exploration of an issue, and minimize risk with decisions. However, highly experienced people tend to fall into the habits of the past. Once we have accumulated a valuable base of knowledge, experience provides a useful shortcut for decision making. Relying on experience is very fast and very efficient, but it is also potentially very dangerous. Operating with the least effort possible, the brain retrieves whatever quickly seems to fit. We apply past patterns to the future. Rather than call upon its amazing creativity, too often the brain works as nothing but a huge storage bin of precedents.

Because “close is good enough” as our brain fills in the blanks, we Read the rest of this entry »

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