Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


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


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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