Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Book review: Grit is a tool in the toolbox, not the silver bullet

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West Point cadets endure a grueling level of physical exertion, emotional challenge, and social abuse. The standards for completing the training are high, as is the dropout rate.

According to psychologist Angela Duckworth, who has studied these cadets, what sets the graduates apart from those who don’t complete the training Read the rest of this entry »

10 Brain Transformers: A Poem

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As we enter an era of a transforming cerebrals

there will soon be “Mind­ful” wearables

to concentrate, meditate and self regulate

Did I just see you drop your jawbone at the gate?

Charge yourself to a calming or energizing state

Enhance memory and you are now feeling great

Your life may soon be in a different motion

With Elec­tri­cal and mag­netic brain stimulation

Not just in games or Read the rest of this entry »

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

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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 »

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