Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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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.”

To Learn More:

Top 40 Brain Fitness & Training Questions/ Course Registration Ends this Sunday

Let us share below a list of 40 common brain fitness, brain health, brain training questions that we will make sure to address during the upcoming online course, How to Be Your Own Brain Fitness Coach in 2012 (starts March 7th). The questions are sequenced by their approximate order of appearance in the syllabus. We look forward to an engaging, interactive and valuable experience! ***Please remember that course registration ends on Sunday, March 4th.***

Top 40 Brain Fitness & Training Questions

  1. How can one define brain fitness
  2. What is link between stress, focus and memory
  3. Does “brain age” even exist
  4. How to enhance overall mental productivity, vs just IQ
  5. Is there some “ceiling” to my improvement or can I always try more things
  6. How brain functions evolve with age. What improves, what declines, what should I be paying attention to Read the rest of this entry »

Enhance Metacognition and Problem-Solving by Talking Out Loud to Yourself

The MC at the University of Michigan’s reunion dinner encouraged audience members to reveal the most significant take-away from their undergraduate nursing education. The greatest benefit was quickly clear to me — problem-solving thinking. Memory produced a mind video: a short, dark-haired, nursing instructor lecturing a small group of first year students in an empty patient room. “Don’t memorize the steps of sterile technique. Use a problem-solving thinking process.” She described the sequential, cyclical process: define the problem, gather information, develop a solution strategy, allocate resources, monitor progress, and evaluate the solution. Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Brain changes seen in cabbies who take ‘The Knowledge’

Brain changes seen in cabbies who take ‘The Knowledge (BBC Health):

“The structure of a London taxi driver’s brain changes during the grueling process of learning the quickest way around the capital, scans reveal. Dozens of trainee drivers had MRI scans before and after they acquired “The Knowledge”, memorizing hundreds of journeys and street names.

The University College London team, writing in Current Biology, found brain parts linked to memory grew bigger. Read the rest of this entry »

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