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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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Jour­nal, CNN and more, Sharp­Brains is an inde­pen­dent mar­ket research firm track­ing health and well­ness appli­ca­tions of brain science.
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