Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Managing brains, not bodies, in the knowledge economy

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[Photo: Flickr user_DJ_, Brian Snelson via Wikimedia Commons]

This Outdated Approach To Productivity Is Bad For Your Brain (Fast Company):

“Your car has parts that perform specific tasks. The radiator cools the engine. The spark plugs ignite the gas. The intake manifold distributes air and gas evenly to the cylinders. We think of a car this way because a car is a machine.

For most of the 20th century, scientists mapped the brain in the same way Read the rest of this entry »

3 fun brain teasers for adults to challenge your cognitive skills

Brain_cognitiveskillsFirst of all, what is cognition? Cognition has to do with how we understand the world and act in it. Cognitive skills are the brain-based functions that we need to carry out any task from the simplest to the most complex. For example, answering the telephone involves perception (hearing the ring tone), decision taking (answering or not), motor skill (lifting the receiver), language skills (talking and understanding language), social skills (interpreting tone of voice and interacting properly with another human being).

Here are three fun brain teasers to help you challenge your cognitive skills over the weekend, coming from our collection of brain teasers & games for adults of all ages. Enjoy!

5 ideas to help knowledge workers increase lifelong learning and productivity

worker-brains—–

Some apps aim to help you train specific brain functions, such as working memory. Others are meant to help you maintain specific skills, such as useful field of view for safe driving. But suppose you are reading a very insightful book and need to master some of its knowledge gems.

What kind of app might you use? Read the rest of this entry »

To boost attention and other cognitive skills, learn AND continually practice a second language

language learningStudy: Short-term language learning boosts cognitive agility (UPI):

“Studies have shown learning a second language can improve a variety of cognitive functions…Scottish researchers found that students demonstrated improved attention abilities after just a week of language learning Read the rest of this entry »

Footballers add novelty, variety and challenge to sharpen cognitive and perceptual skills

soccer_ballCan brain training make better footballers? (The Guardian):

“It sounds like a game designed for toddlers – throwing and catching a ball to encourage talking – but, according to coaches at Southampton FC, brain-training technique Life Kinetik is the latest weapon in the war to stop modern life ruining the beautiful game Read the rest of this entry »

DARPA launches Targeted Neuroplasticity Training program to accelerate cognitive skills training

--TNT technology will be designed to safely and precisely modulate peripheral nerves to control synaptic plasticity during cognitive skill training.

— TNT technology will be designed to safely and precisely modulate peripheral nerves to control synaptic plasticity during cognitive skill training.

Boosting Synaptic Plasticity to Accelerate Learning (DARPA news):

“The body’s branching network of peripheral nerves connects neurons in the brain and spinal cord to organs, skin, and muscles, regulating a host of biological functions from digestion to sensation to locomotion. But the peripheral nervous system can do even more than that…pushing those limits further, DARPA aims to enlist the body’s peripheral nerves to achieve something that has long been considered the brain’s domain alone: facilitating learning. Read the rest of this entry »

What Everyone Should Know About Stress, Brain Health, and Dance

-- Dancing to the clapping of bands. Egyptian, from the tomb of Ur-ari-en-Ptah, about 3300 B.C. (British Museum.)

— Dancing to the clapping of bands. Egyptian, from the tomb of Ur-ari-en-Ptah, 6th Dynasty, about 3300 B.C. (British Museum)

Everyone experiences stress at some point in our lives. It is important to know that stress can harm the brain, and also that dance can be a great avenue for a person resist, reduce, or escape it.

Stress can change the physical structure and function of the brain, affecting wiring and thus performance of one’s activities. Read the rest of this entry »

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