Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Trend: Directly addressing (not just accommodating) learning disabilities

brain_constructionNew take on learning disabilities: change the brain (Komo News):

“A new school in Redmond might change the way we think about learning disabilities. Instead of teaching kids how to accommodate a difficulty, the school hopes to actually change the brains of students, eliminating the disability altogether. Read the rest of this entry »

New market report analyzing the growing Digital Brain Health market 2012-2020

We are proud to release today what we believe is our best market intelligence report so far, tracking how fully automated applications designed to assess, monitor and/ or enhance cognition and brain functioning are transforming brain health, and health overall.

Here are a few examples of what we mean by Digital Brain Health, selected from among the 5 Market Leaders and 10 Companies to Watch in 2013/2014 identified through our comprehensive analysis.

  • A 30-minute online brain health assessment and personalized brain fitness program used by large companies like Nationwide Insurance and Accenture to improve employee’s productivity and mental wellness
  • An online cognitive training program offered by several large AAA chapters to members age 50+ to improve driving safety
  • A computerized cognitive behavioral therapy offered by the NHS in the UK as a first-line intervention for anxiety and depression
  • A fully digital headset and platform that measures basic brain states (such as level of attention) and is being used to help people meditate better and reduce ADHD symptoms
  • An iPad-based assessment that tracks cognitive performance over time to help detect concussions among football/ hockey players and military personnel Read the rest of this entry »

Why Being Young for Grade Increases Odds of ADHD Diagnosis and Stimulant Medication

ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed neurobehavioral disorder in children and substantial evidence indicates that biological factors play an important role in its development. For example, although the exact mechanism by which genetic factors convey increased risk for ADHD remains unclear, the importance of genetic transmission has been documented in a number of published studies.

Even though biological factors are widely regarded as important in the development of ADHD, no medical or biological test is recommended for routine use when diagnosing ADHD. Instead, Read the rest of this entry »

Dr. Tracy Alloway on Getting From Research to Product: Bringing Reliability and Validity to Commercial Ventures

Dr. Alloway will discuss Getting From Research to Product: Bringing Reliability and Validity to Commercial Ventures, at the upcoming 2012 SharpBrains Virtual Summit (June 7-14th, 2012).

Tracy Alloway, PhD, is an Assis­tant Pro­fes­sor at Uni­ver­sity of North Florida. She devel­oped the only stan­dard­ized working-memory tests for edu­ca­tors pub­lished by Psy­cho­log­i­cal Cor­po­ra­tion, Read the rest of this entry »

Update: Time to become mental capitalists and invest in our brains?

Time for the November edi­tion of the monthly Sharp­Brains eNewslet­ter, fea­tur­ing a wealth of resources and insights on how to invest in our brains, including topics such as brain health, meditation, neuropsychology, brain training games, chemo brain, dyslexia, neuroplasticity, cognitive biases, stress, and more. Not to forget a couple of fun teasers. Enjoy!

Brain Fitness Q&A Sessions:

The Big Picture:

New Research:

New Books:

Brain Teasers:

Thank you for your interest and attention and have a great December.

Study: Dyslexia not related to intelligence. Implications for discrepancy model?

NIH-funded study finds dyslexia not tied to IQ (NIH press release):

At left, brain areas active in typically developing readers engaged in a rhyming task. Shown at right is the brain area activated in poor readers involved in the same task.

– “Regardless of high or low overall scores on an IQ test, children with dyslexia show similar patterns of brain activity, according to researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health. The results call into question the discrepancy model — the practice of classifying a child as dyslexic on the basis of a lag between reading ability and overall IQ scores.”

– “In many school systems, the discrepancy model is the criterion for Read the rest of this entry »

Update: Videogames or Meditation?; Internship Program @ SharpBrains

First of all, an announcement. We are starting a Virtual Internship Program @ SharpBrains, allowing full-time undergrad and grad students and postdocs to lead 100-hour projects jointly defined by themselves and by SharpBrains. Interested candidates should Contact Us indicating a) a preliminary project proposal (200 words or less), and b) brief bio and qualifications (200 words or less). Internships don’t require travel and will be paid in-kind, with access to SharpBrains reports and conference recordings. SharpBrains will select a limited number of Interns based on fit between candidates’ proposal and bio and SharpBrains mission and activities.

Let’s now explore the latest edition of the monthly Sharp­Brains eNewslet­ter, starting with a comprehensive perspective on the educational value and limitations of videogames, written by Mar­shall Wein­stein, a senior at Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­sity who will be a SharpBrains Intern dur­ing the Fall.

Transcendental Meditation and Working Memory Training To Enhance Executive Functions: Two very interesting new research studies…but please don’t miss the thought-provoking comments by reader Jay Kay.

Unlocking Dyslexia in Japanese: New clues emerge based on the observation that some dyslex­ics have an eas­ier time with visual lan­guages like Japan­ese and Chi­nese.

Does ADHD medication treatment in childhood increase adult employment?: A very insightful commentary by Dr. David Rabiner.

Boomers’ Ability to Make Financial Decisions Often Declines With Age: A new report by Canadian bank BMO illus­trates the need for inno­v­a­tive brain fit­ness inter­ven­tions focused on main­tain­ing tar­geted cog­ni­tive func­tion­al­ity. What the report presents as inex­orable decline, it is not.

Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness, Testing and Prevention:  New data rein­forc­e the need to pay­ seri­ous atten­tion to lifestyle-based and non-invasive cog­ni­tive and emo­tional health inter­ven­tions, and the need to personalize interventions.

Thinking globally to improve mental health: The National Insti­tutes of Health and the Global Alliance for Chronic Dis­eases announce a Grand Chal­lenges in Global Men­tal Health Ini­tia­tive. We will keep you posted on this.

Have a great month of August and, as always, feel free to share this enewsletter with friends and colleagues… and with potential candidates for the new Virtual Internship Program @ SharpBrains!

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