Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


To preserve if not enhance intelligence, work on speed of information processing


Declin­ing intel­li­gence in old age linked to visual pro­cess­ing (Sci­ence Daily):

Researchers have uncov­ered one of the basic processes that may help to explain why some people’s think­ing skills decline in old age… Read the rest of this entry »

Learning a second language, at any age, leads to better cognitive abilities

HolaLearn­ing sec­ond lan­guage ‘slows brain age­ing’ (BBC):

Learn­ing a sec­ond lan­guage can have a pos­i­tive effect on the brain, even if it is taken up in adult­hood, a Uni­ver­sity of Edin­burgh study suggests…Using data from intel­li­gence tests on 262 Edinburgh-born indi­vid­u­als at the age of 11, the study looked at how their cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties had changed when they were tested again in their sev­en­ties Read the rest of this entry »

Book review of Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined

Ungifted_KaufmanJust a cou­ple weeks ago I had a dis­cus­sion with sev­eral psy­chol­o­gists and neu­rol­o­gists who seemed to share the opin­ion that “brain fit­ness” is a mean­ing­less con­cept and pur­suit. On the one hand, they thought, intel­li­gence is a fixed trait and no inter­ven­tion has shown so far to reli­ably increase it. On the other hand, noth­ing has been shown to pre­vent the pathol­ogy of Alzheimer’s Dis­ease. Accord­ing to this mindset…why bother?

Well, what if such men­tal frame­work was wrong or, worse, mis­lead­ing? Read the rest of this entry »

Are we intelligent about developing human intelligence?

Ungifted_KaufmanWhen it comes to our under­stand­ing of human intel­li­gence, for too long, there has been a mis­match between the­ory and prac­tice. The­o­ret­i­cally, the two main threads run­ning through def­i­n­i­tions of intel­li­gence have been (a) adap­ta­tion to the envi­ron­ment, and (b) the cog­ni­tive, affec­tive, and voli­tional char­ac­ter­is­tics that enable that adap­ta­tion. Prac­ti­cally, IQ tests mea­sure an impor­tant but lim­ited slice of intel­lec­tual func­tion­ing in a very lim­ited test­ing envi­ron­ment. Why such a disconnect?

Intel­li­gence tests were born out of neces­sity. Read the rest of this entry »

Sensible decisions over hard prescriptions for lifelong brain health

Brain ThinkerIntel­li­gence tests offer insight into age­ing brain (BBC News):

Sixty-six years ago today, more than 70,000 10 and 11-year-old chil­dren across Scot­land took an intel­li­gence test…now they have formed the foun­da­tion of a remark­able research project which is pro­duc­ing valu­able insights into what lies behind cog­ni­tive decline — or age­ing of the brain… Read the rest of this entry »

Why our brains weigh 1.3 kilograms, have ~100 billion neurons, consume 20% of the oxygen we breathe

Team­work Builds Big Brains (Sci­ence Now):
– “The aver­age adult human’s brain weighs about 1.3 kilo­grams, has 100 bil­lion or so neu­rons, and sucks up 20% of the oxy­gen we breathe. It’s much big­ger than an ani­mal our size needs. Accord­ing to a new com­puter model, the brains of humans and related pri­mates are so large because we evolved to be social crea­tures.“
– “The idea behind the so-called social intel­li­gence hypoth­e­sis is that we need 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.


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