Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Study points to growing cognitive gap between high-volume TV watchers and infrequent watchers

watching tv adultToo Much TV And Chill Could Reduce Brain Power Over Time (NPR):

“Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco checked in with 3,247 people for 25 years, starting when they were young adults…People who got little exercise or watched at least three hours of TV a day did worse Read the rest of this entry »

Study: High television viewing and low physical activity can significantly worsen long-term cognitive function

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Too much TV, low physical activity may worsen cognitive function (Medical News Today):

“The team’s study included more than 3,200 adults aged 18-30…Over 25 years, the researchers recorded participants’ television viewing time and physical activity levels…In the study, high television viewing was defined as more than 4 hours daily, while low physical activity was defined as Read the rest of this entry »

Why Both Aerobic and Cognitive Exercise Promote Brain Health

USC Davis researcher Liz Zelinski just brought to our attention a very insightful meta-analysis  (systematic analysis of previous scientific studies) titled Extended practice and aerobic exercise interventions benefit untrained cognitive outcomes in older adults: a meta-analysis.

Research on ‘Chemo Brain’: MRI Shows Brain Changes After Chemotherapy

‘Chemo Brain’: MRI Shows Brain Changes After Chemotherapy (Medscape):

– “Breast cancer survivors who have been treated with chemotherapy show significant changes in brain activity, measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), according to a study published in the November issue of the Archives of Neurology.”

– “The finding validates patients’ claims of reduced cognitive function after receiving chemotherapy, a phenomenon referred to as “chemo brain,” said lead author Shelli R. Kesler, PhD, from Stanford University School of Medicine in California.”

Link to study Prefrontal Cortex and Executive Function Impairments in Primary Breast Cancer (Archives of Neurology): Read the rest of this entry »

Update: How Stress and Emotions Impact Brain Performance

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Time for the October edi­tion of the monthly SharpBrains eNewsletter, featuring this time several articles on the impact of stress, emotions, and self-regulation, on our brain’s structure and performance.

We are pleased to bring to Sharp­Brains read­ers a new 6-part series on the Neu­ro­bi­ol­ogy of Stress, based on a recent book by Sharp­Brains con­trib­u­tor Dr. Jerome Schultz. The first two parts are already available: Part 1 – The Human Brain and How It Responds to Stress and Part 2 – Gray Matters.

Brain Study Links Emotional Self-Regulation and Math Performance: A new study strongly suggests the need to “help stu­dents reap­praise the sit­u­a­tion and con­trol emo­tions before they even get into a task”. While the study focused on math anxiety and performance, the implications are relevant outside the classroom too.

Reminder: Brain Fitness Q&A Sessions in November: As we announced a few weeks ago, we are hon­ored to present an upcom­ing Brain Fit­ness Q&A Series. The first session, featuring Dr. Gary Small, will take place Novem­ber 1st, 2011, 2-3pm US Eeastern Time. Please mark your calendar and join us at sharpbrains.com then! (no need to do anything prior to the session).

Music Training Can Enhance Verbal Intelligence and Executive Function: Very inter­est­ing new study pub­lished in Psy­cho­log­i­cal Sci­ence on the value of music training (vs. simply listening to music).

Gaming and Neuroscience: Opportunities and Challenges: A summary of impressions by researcher  Aki Nikolaidis based on his participation in the recent conference Enter­tain­ment Soft­ware and Cog­ni­tive Neu­rother­a­peu­tics Con­fer­ence (ESCoNS) at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia San Fran­cisco.

Families’ Perspectives on ADHD and its Treatment: Dr. David Rabiner presents new data on fam­i­lies’ expe­ri­ence with ADHD and its treat­ment.

Brain Games and Optical Illusions @ National Geographic: Sev­eral Sharp­Brains friends rec­om­mend this recent 3-part National Geo­graphic TV mini-series.

Math Brain Teaser for Kids and Adults: Archimedes Grave: A fun puzzle to exer­cise our brains a bit, sub­mit­ted by new con­trib­u­tor Maria Lando. Enjoy!

Study: Music Training Can Enhance Verbal Intelligence and Executive Function

Very interesting new study published in Psychological Science: Short-Term Music Training Enhances Verbal Intelligence and Executive Function.

Abstract: Researchers have designed training methods that can be used to improve mental health and to test the efficacy of education programs. However, few studies have demonstrated broad transfer from such training to performance on untrained cognitive activities. Here we report the effects of two interactive computerized training programs developed for preschool children: one for music and one for visual art. After only 20 days of training, Read the rest of this entry »

Study Links Obesity and Cognitive Fitness – In Both Directions

Obesity linked to Cognition (HealthCanal):

– “Obese people tend to perform worse than healthy people at cognitive tasks like planning ahead, a literature review has found, concluding that psychological techniques used to treat anorexics could help obese people too.” Read the rest of this entry »

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