Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Grand Rounds: Best of Health and Medical Blogging

Wel­come to a new edi­tion of Grand Rounds blog car­ni­val, the weekly edi­tion of what’s best in the health and med­ical blo­gos­phere. This week, twenty four blog­gers share data, insights, ques­tions, reflec­tions and more. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

Upcoming: Grand Rounds Blog Carnival and Brain Fitness Q&A

Just a quick note to announce that next Tues­day, Novem­ber 15th, will be host­ing two great resources:

1– Grand Rounds Blog Car­ni­val: the weekly col­lec­tion of what’s best in the health and med­ical blo­gos­phere (see great lat­est edi­tion Here). If you want to con­tribute your own blog post, please do so via this Con­tact Us form.
2– Live Q&A Ses­sion with Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, coau­thor of The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness (recently selected as one of the Best Books on Brain Fit­ness by AARP). Ses­sion will take place at 11am Pacific Time/ 2pm East­ern Time, and will be mod­er­ated by Harry Moody, Direc­tor of Aca­d­e­mic Affairs at AARP. To learn more click Here.

Please make sure to visit us Tuesday!

    Grand Rounds: 22 Health and Medicine Questions and Answers

    Wel­come to Grand Rounds, the weekly col­lec­tion of best health and med­ical blog posts. This week we invite you to enjoy a broad range of insights, tips, and first-hand sto­ries, pre­sented as a Q&A con­ver­sa­tion with blog­gers will­ing to answer, below, a total of 22 good questions.

    On Health and Med­i­cine

    1. What can one-word pre­scrip­tions deliver
    2. How does food pro­cess­ing change food´s nutri­tional value
    3. Can diet Increases Risk of ADHD
    4. Is alco­holism an illness
    5. What´s bet­ter: steady dete­ri­o­ra­tion over 10 years, or symp­tom-free life for 9 years fol­lowed by rapid dete­ri­o­ra­tion in year 10

    On Patient Life

    1. As we talk about wellness…what about devel­op­ing self-compassion
    2. Can patients with chronic pain still live a full life
    3. What is the patient-doctor eti­quette for using Face­book and Twitter
    4. Should patients in an ideal world con­tract directly with their doctors
    5. What are patient advo­cates focus­ing on these days

    On Health Care pro­fes­sion­als Read the rest of this entry »

    Grand Rounds: Health/ medical blogging here next Tuesday

    We’re host­ing here at Sharp­Brains the Octo­ber 5th edi­tion of Grand Rounds blog car­ni­val, the weekly col­lec­tion of best health/ med­ical blog posts. You can sub­mit posts until end of Sun­day: alvaro at sharp­brains dot com, indi­cat­ing Grand Rounds in the sub­ject line. And don’t for­get to come back on Tuesday!

    Update: Live Well to 100 by Using Your Brain

    Here you have the Novem­ber edi­tion of our monthly newslet­ter cov­er­ing 107px-gray1197thumbnailcog­ni­tive health and brain fit­ness top­ics. Please remem­ber that you can sub­scribe to receive this Newslet­ter by email, using the box at the top of this page.

    Liv­ing Well to 100

    100 is the new 65: Why do some peo­ple live, and well, to 100? Researchers are try­ing to find out, reports Meera Lee Sethi at Greater Good Mag­a­zine. They are dis­cov­er­ing that genetic fac­tors may account for only 20 to 30 per­cent of a person’s lifes­pan, while envi­ron­men­tal and behav­ioral fac­tors can dic­tate the other 70 to 80 percent.

    Does cof­fee boost cog­ni­tive func­tions over time? Dr. Pas­cale Mich­e­lon weighs the evi­dence and reports good and bad news. The good news: long-term effects seem more pos­i­tive than neg­a­tive, so cof­fee leads to no clear harm. The bad news: there are no clear ben­e­fi­cial effects on gen­eral brain func­tions (impli­ca­tion for pro­po­nents of “smart pills”: don’t use cof­fee as the analogy).

    10 Inno­va­tions for the Aging Soci­ety: In the Thanksgiving’s spirit, we want to thank 10 pio­neers for emerg­ing inno­va­tions that may help mil­lions of peo­ple alive today to keep our brains in top shape per­haps till we are 100 or more. Many of those pio­neers will par­tic­i­pate in the inau­gural Sharp­Brains Sum­mit.

    In Autopi­lot?

    Train your autopilot.…and how to turn it off: Madeleine Van Hecke, Ph.D shares an excerpt from The Brain Advan­tage, in which she encour­ages main­tain­ing men­tal “autopi­lot” when it’s work­ing well, yet shift­ing to more con­scious delib­er­a­tions when needed.

    Sci­en­tia Pro Pub­lica:  A good way to turn off autopi­lot is to enjoy some great sci­ence and nature blog­ging, cour­tesy of Sci­en­tia Pro Pub­lica blog car­ni­val. Addi­tion­ally, you can enjoy read­ing some of the best neu­ro­science, psy­chol­ogy and med­ical blog­ging at the first ever com­bined Grand Rounds/ Encephalon edi­tion.

    Games for Health

    Games for Health Research: The Robert Wood John­son Foun­da­tion announced more than $1.85 mil­lion in grants for research teams to study how dig­i­tal games can improve play­ers health. One of the grantees is UCSF’s Adam Gaz­za­ley (who will be speak­ing at the Sharp­Brains Sum­mit) to develop a dri­ving game for cog­ni­tive fit­ness among younger and older adults.

    Smart industry-research col­lab­o­ra­tion: Lumos Labs and researchers Susanne Jaeggi and Mar­tin Buschkuehl announce a col­lab­o­ra­tion to make the orig­i­nal Dual N-Back work­ing mem­ory train­ing pro­gram avail­able online and use it for ongo­ing research.


    Mar­ian C. Dia­mond to open Sharp­Brains Sum­mit: Kick­ing off our Jan­u­ary 2010 Sharp­Brains Sum­mit is Mar­ian C. Dia­mond, one of the pio­neers of neu­ro­plas­tic­ity research since the 1960s. She will intro­duce us to the human brain, its anatomy and func­tion, and impli­ca­tions of  neu­ro­plas­tic­ity for brain health and per­for­mance at any age.

    The Sharp­Brains Guide’s reviews and inter­views: a col­lec­tion of links to inter­views and reviews of The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fitness.

    Net­work for Brain Fit­ness Inno­va­tion (members-only): Dis­cus­sion on the future of com­put­er­ized cog­ni­tive behav­ioral ther­apy; United BioSource acquires Cog­ni­tive Drug Research; inno­v­a­tive part­ner­ship between Nav­i­gen­ics and Posit Sci­ence; new research on brain impact of Tetris; how a drop in visual skills may pre­cede Alzheimer’s Dis­ease;  excel­lent report by the National Acad­e­mies for the US Army avail­able for free now.

    Brain Teaser

    Who will you believe, me or your own eyes? dis­cover the 3 Win­ners of the 2009 Best Visual Illu­sion of the Year Con­test. Neu­ro­sci­en­tists Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Mack­nik, who help orga­nize the con­test, will give a fun demo on Magic and the Brain at Sharp­Brains Sum­mit, to dis­cuss the lim­its of human per­cep­tion and cognition.

    Enjoy the final month of 2009!

    Grand Rounds: Brain and Cognition edition

    Encephalon (brain & mind blog car­ni­val, edi­tion ) finally meets Grand Rounds (health & med­i­cine blog carnival).

    What a nice sur­prise. Hello. Nice to meet you!

    Note: Chronic Babe wins a com­pli­men­tary copy of The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness for basi­cally invent­ing cog­ni­tive sleep ther­apy. Con­grats!

    Life and Death

    Mind­Hacks dis­cusses an unex­pected surge in brain activ­ity when blood pres­sure drops to zero.

    In Sick­ness & In Health suf­fers a death in the fam­ily. Adam shem tov. A man of good name.

    Brain­Blog­ger won­ders, is reli­gion a “nat­ural” phe­nom­e­non?

    Mind and Empathy

    Behav­ior­ism & Men­tal Health finds that every­one can have a men­tal ill­ness — take a look at “Adjust­ment Dis­or­der”.

    ACP Internist rein­forces the impor­tance of empa­thy. Novel Patient encour­ages patients to dream big, Flo­re­cen­dot­com high­lights how patients them­selves con­tribute to patient safety. The Hip­po­cratic Oaf dis­cusses the feel­ings of a med­ical stu­dent. Clin­i­cal Cases won­ders what doc­tors  in train­ing carry in their white coats.

    Advances in the His­tory of Psy­chol­ogy exam­ines an impor­tant early step in the jour­ney to con­cep­tu­al­ize cog­ni­tion and emo­tion from a neural point of view.

    The Fit­ness Fixer empathizes with her feet.


    How to Cope With Pain dis­cusses a con­tro­ver­sial treat­ment for severe pain.

    Neu­rophiloso­pher shows how vision (view­ing one’s body) can mod­u­late the senses of touch and pain. Fun exper­i­ments  included. Neu­r­o­critic takes things one step fur­ther, and takes us to the poten­tial future of tat­too removal.

    Prov­i­den­tia announces a new NFL Con­cus­sion Com­mit­tee. 300,000 sports-related trau­matic brain injuries occur in the United States alone each year.

    Sharp­Brains answers 15 com­mon ques­tions related to neu­ro­plas­tic­ity.

    Med­ical Smart­phones Read the rest of this entry »

    Grand Rounds: Call for Submissions

    Wel­come to the new Sharp­Brains! — we have inau­gu­rated this new theme and look & feel today, so if you find some­thing that doesn’t work, please let us know.


    I will be host­ing Grand Rounds, the weekly col­lec­tion of great health and med­ical blog­ging, on Tues­day, Octo­ber 20th. Please send me your post at alvaro (at) sharp­brains (dot) com, indi­cat­ing Grand Rounds in the title. Please do so before end of Sun­day, Octo­ber 18th, USA time.

    Optional theme will be, of course: Cog­ni­tion and the Brain. Would you share your thoughts and expe­ri­ences on how cog­ni­tive neu­ro­science and neu­ropsy­chol­ogy should, will, or may, be used to improve health and health­care? what oppor­tu­ni­ties you see for pre­ven­tive and/ or clin­i­cal care to bet­ter deal with the assess­ment, main­te­nance, rehab, of cog­ni­tive and emo­tional func­tions, across the lifespan?

    Reward for the extra brain exer­cise? I will give away a com­pli­men­tary copy of The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness, our recent book, to the blog­ger who (in my edi­to­r­ial judge­ment) offers the most insight­ful post.

    The theme is optional. Grand Rounds will include all other impor­tant top­ics you write about. Look­ing for­ward a stim­u­lat­ing edition!