Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Brain teasers and games: ready for a mental workout?

You may have already seen that our Teasers sec­tion con­tains not only our selec­tion of Top 50 Brain Teasers and Games, but also a reg­u­larly updated page with lat­est Games for the Brain.

Below you have the brain games and teasers we have added in 2008 so far. Ready? brain teasers job interview
– Octo­ber 2008: Top Brainy Haikus. Yours?.

- Sep­tem­ber 2008: What is going on with these pictures?.

- Sep­tem­ber 2008: 7 Brain­teasers for Job Interviews.

- August 2008: Can you use men­tal self rota­tion to read a map?.

- August 2008: Spot the Dif­fer­ences! how many are there?.

- July 2008 Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Fitness Newsletter: Premium Research Sponsors

Here you have the twice-a-month newslet­ter with our most pop­u­lar blog posts. Please remem­ber that you can sub­scribe to receive this Newslet­ter by email, sim­ply by brain fitness and health newslettersub­mit­ting your email at the top of this page.

Have you ever won­dered how we can main­tain Sharp­Brains’ web­site, blog and newslet­ter with­out sell­ing any prod­ucts and with only lim­ited adver­tis­ing? The answer is, we offer mar­ket research to orga­ni­za­tions such as health­care providers, research cen­ters, tech­nol­ogy devel­op­ers, ven­ture cap­i­tal firms, con­sult­ing and train­ing com­pa­nies, and more.

Our new Pre­mium Research Spon­sors pro­gram will allow pio­neer­ing orga­ni­za­tions to col­lab­o­rate with us to shape the future of the brain fit­ness and cog­ni­tive health field, by spon­sor­ing and access­ing the most up-to-date infor­ma­tion on the sci­ence and best prac­tices to assess and improve cog­ni­tive func­tion­ing across the lifes­pan. You can learn more about the Pre­mium Research Spon­sors pro­gram Here.

Mar­ket News

All­state: Can we Improve Dri­ver Safety using Com­put­er­ized Cog­ni­tive Train­ing?: Insur­ance com­pany All­state and brain fit­ness soft­ware devel­oper Posit Sci­ence just announced a very intel­li­gent ini­tia­tive, and Tom War­den, Assis­tant Vice Pres­i­dent and Leader of Allstate’s Research and Plan­ning Cen­ter, explains to us why cog­ni­tive train­ing may be the new safety fea­ture fol­low­ing seat belts and airbags.

The Cog­ni­tive Health and Fit­ness Mar­ket On The Move: As you have prob­a­bly seen, the Cog­ni­tive Health and Brain Fit­ness field is rapidly evolv­ing. Here we high­light some of the main devel­op­ments affect­ing the field over the last 6-months: pub­lic pol­icy ini­tia­tives in Canada and the US, the grow­ing role of com­put­er­ized assess­ments, sev­eral ven­ture cap­i­tal rounds, major ini­tia­tives by insur­ance com­pa­nies, and sig­nif­i­cant research findings.

The Big Picture

Exec­u­tive Sum­mary of the Brain Fit­ness Mar­ket: Let’s step back and ask our­selves, “Why is the field evolv­ing in such a fast way? What is hope, what is hype, what is real­ity?” A spate of recent global news cov­er­age on brain fit­ness and brain train­ing reflects a grow­ing inter­est in nat­ural, non drug-based inter­ven­tions to keep our brains sharp as we age. This inter­est is very timely, given an aging pop­u­la­tion, the increased preva­lence of Alzheimer’s rates, and soar­ing health care costs in the US that place more empha­sis than ever on pre­ven­tion and lifestyle changes. This arti­cle sum­ma­rizes the main mar­ket dynam­ics, open ques­tions, and top trends to watch for.

Nour­ish­ing Our Brains and Minds

Teach­ing is the Art of Chang­ing the Brain: Lau­rie Bar­tels promises, “I have read a num­ber of books that trans­late cur­rent brain research into prac­tice while pro­vid­ing prac­ti­cal sug­ges­tions for teach­ers to imple­ment. This is the first book I have read that pro­vides a bio­log­i­cal, and clearly ratio­nal, overview of learn­ing and the brain.” Go and enjoy her review of a very inter­est­ing book by James Zull, Direc­tor Emer­i­tus of the Uni­ver­sity Cen­ter for Inno­va­tion in Teach­ing and Edu­ca­tion at Case West­ern Reserve.

Phi­los­o­phy as the Miss­ing Link in School Cur­ric­ula: Kim­berly Wick­ham answers pro­vides some good answers to the ques­tion, “Why would any­one want to teach phi­los­o­phy to pre-adolescent chil­dren? that will engage your crit­i­cal think­ing skills.

A User’s Guide to Life­long Brain Health: Drs Simon Evans and Paul Burghardt hope (as we do) that the emerg­ing empha­sis on cog­ni­tive exer­cise and fit­ness helps com­ple­ment –not sub­sti­tute– other lifestyle fac­tors impor­tant for the “phys­i­cal health of the brain and all the sys­tems it com­mu­ni­cates with”. Think: nutri­tion, exer­cise, sleep.

Exer­cis­ing Our Brains

Excel­lent Reader Com­ments: Our last newslet­ter gen­er­ated a round of excel­lent  com­ments by read­ers on cog­ni­tive train­ing, Posit Sci­ence and Alzheimer’s Aus­tralia, geron­tol­ogy and the brain, and the value of videogames. Come enjoy this col­lec­tive wis­dom and par­tic­i­pate as you wish.

Brainy Haikus:
river with haikus
flow­ing in since the sum­mer
keep­ing  us afloat

The Chal­lenges of Geron­tol­ogy?: The World Eco­nomic Forum has asked me, as one of the 16 mem­bers of the Global Agenda Coun­cil on the Chal­lenges of Geron­tol­ogy, for “an 800 word sum­mary of your most com­pelling action­able idea on the chal­lenges of geron­tol­ogy.” Feel free to help me out by offer­ing your own action­able ideas, either related to the dis­ci­pline of geron­tol­ogy itself or on ways to best engage the grow­ing num­ber of brains over the age of 60 in our planet.


Brainy Haikus for brain training

Thank you to every­one who has writ­ten so many fun haikus over the sum­mer (fol­low­ing the post Top 25 Brain and Mind Haikus. Yours?). These are the 10 I have enjoyed the haikus brainmost:

(Also, Can you write a haiku describ­ing any­thing cross­ing your mind now? Remem­ber the sim­ple rules: write 3 lines, which don’t need to rhyme, con­tain­ing 5,7, and 5 syl­la­bles. You can leave your haiku as a com­ment below for extra points…)

Top 10 Brainy Haikus — enjoy!

- Amit:

Love, col­lege, career.
A new world of tran­si­tions.
Will I sur­vive? Yes.

- Kathy:

My release tech­nique,
For­give, for­get, love all,
Med­i­tate on that!

- Alan:

Through the micro­scope,
slice of brain stains pink and blue,
the won­der of thought.

- Justin:

Justin the genieus
Must spell check the word genius
to post this Haiku

- Tim: Read the rest of this entry »

Update: Brain Health Promotion Event and Predictions

Here you have the twice-a-month newslet­ter with our most pop­u­lar blog posts. Please brainremem­ber that you can sub­scribe to receive this Newslet­ter by email, sim­ply by sub­mit­ting your email at the top of this page.

News and Events

Brain Health Pro­mo­tion by the Amer­i­can Soci­ety on Aging: You may be inter­ested in the excel­lent agenda the Amer­i­can Soci­ety on Aging has put together for health pro­fes­sion­als, from Sep­tem­ber 2-5th in San Fran­cisco, devot­ing a full day to Brain Health. Alvaro will par­tic­i­pate in 3 of the ses­sions, includ­ing giv­ing a keynote on the Future of Brain Health.

Can Google Kill Neu­rons and Rewire Your Whole Brain?: The Atlantic Monthly pub­lished an arti­cle titled Is Google Mak­ing Us Stu­pid, which basi­cally blamed Google for lit­er­ally rewiring our brains into more stu­pid brains (not being able to pay atten­tion, read deep books…). We are not very impressed by the super­fi­cial treat­ment given to this very impor­tant topic.

Mobile Brain Train­ing, Sci­en­tific Learn­ing, and More News: Overview of cog­ni­tive health and fit­ness news, includ­ing recent research on how phys­i­cal exer­cise can help diag­nosed Alzheimer’s patients, the new Mac ver­sion of Posit Science’s audi­tory pro­cess­ing train­ing pro­gram, and more.

Mar­ket Analysis

Top 10 Brain Health Pre­dic­tions: In an emerg­ing mar­ket, like brain health and train­ing, it is dif­fi­cult to make pre­cise pro­jec­tions. Here we point out a num­ber of trends that exec­u­tives, con­sumers, pub­lic pol­icy mak­ers, and the media should watch closely in the com­ing years. Your feed­back is very wel­come…we will give a com­pli­men­tary copy of our mar­ket report to the per­son who pro­vides the most insight­ful addi­tional pre­dic­tion by August 10th.

Cog­ni­tive Health Pio­neers: Thank You! The qual­ity and vari­ety of our client list brings up the cross-sector demand for qual­ity infor­ma­tion in the emerg­ing brain fitness/ cog­ni­tive health cat­e­gory. And it helps us pri­or­i­tize efforts and cov­er­age of mar­ket and research news and trends.

Research Analy­sis

Encephalon blog car­ni­val: Brain & Mind Research: We hosted Encephalon´s 50th edi­tion, where you will find a selec­tion of superb blog posts on all things Brain and Mind. Exam­ples? you may enjoy Face­book Ate My Psy­chi­a­trist or per­haps the Com­pul­sive Col­lect­ing of Toy Bul­lets and Tele­vi­sions.

Atten­tion Deficits At Work: Dr. Pas­cale Mich­e­lon pro­vides an in-depth overview of a recent study by Ron de Graaf and col­leagues, in which they found that an aver­age of 3.5% of work­ers (in ten coun­tries) meet the cri­te­ria for adult ADHD, In the US, the per­cent­age increased to 4.5%. This has clear effects on productivity.

Edu­ca­tion and Learning

Learn­ing & the Brain: Resources for Edu­ca­tors: Edu­ca­tor Lau­rie Bar­tels reviews her favorite brain resources for teach­ing and learn­ing: books, con­fer­ences, and websites.

Brain Teasers

Top 25 Brain and Mind Haikus. Yours?: Read­ers have con­tributed a good num­ber of haikus on brain-related top­ics. You can fol­low the link to check out our Favorite 7, and many other fun ones…which ones do you like the most?

Top fun and brainy Haikus. Yours?

haikus brainRead­ers have con­tributed a good num­ber of haikus on brain-related top­ics. Below you have our favorite ones.

Our favorite fun and brainy Haikus

- Techne, the philoso­pher, wonders:

Solve the big ques­tions:
How do I know when I know?
Who knows the knower?

- Steve, the envi­ron­men­tal­ist, requests:

Neu­ro­plas­tic good.
Plas­tic, though lasts for­ever.
Always recycle!

Read the rest of this entry »

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