Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Study: Early-childhood attention skills help predict long-term academic success better than IQ, socioemotional skills, or socioeconomic status

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Which early child characteristics predict long-term academic achievement and educational attainment? Research has focused on the role of early academic skills, learning enhancing behaviors, and socioemotional competencies as precursors of academic success. Identifying the relative contribution of each to children’s long-term academic achievement is important as it can inform the skills on which early education programs should focus. 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 »

Is the Internet making us dumber? (Nope, just different)

Is the Internet Really Making Us Dumber? (Der Spiegel):

“In Germany, scores increase by about 3 IQ points each decade. In fact, the tests have to be adjusted every few years to keep up. The test currently used for children is called the WISC-IV. A person claiming to have an IQ of 130 needs to specify which test generated that result: WISC-III? WISC-IV? The astonishing upward trend Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Spa Trend: Travel for Mental Fitness

Interesting trend mini-report prepared by InterContinental Hotels Group, quoting SharpBrains data. Trends that will influence 2012 (IHG press release):

“BRAIN SPA: The desire to learn more will influence destination decisions. Brain Spa looks at our growing appetite to expand and keep our intellect in good health – in fact we are prepared to travel for it. Forbes has tipped the market for goods and services that claim to enhance IQ as the next trillion dollar industry and Brain Fitness software is already worth $265 million in the US. The market for goods and services responding to the new demand for mental stimulation is expected to grow between $1 billion to $5 billion by 2015.”

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