Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Our Brain on Music: We need to do more than listen

.What’s The Size Of The Mozart Effect? The Jury Is In.

In a now well-known 1993 paper in Nature called “Music and spa­tial task per­for­mance”, Frances H. Rauscher and her col­leagues report that par­tic­i­pants who were exposed to the first move­ment “alle­gro con spir­ito” of the Mozart Sonata KV 448 for Two Pianos in D major scored sig­nif­i­cantly higher on stan­dard­ized tests of abstract/spatial rea­son­ing abil­ity than those who were instructed to relax or those who just sat there in silence.

Even though the par­tic­i­pants in Rauscher et al.‘s study were col­lege stu­dents, and they didn’t admin­is­ter a full bat­tery of cog­ni­tive tests to prop­erly assess gen­eral intel­li­gence, their find­ings trans­lated into “play Mozart to your chil­dren and they will grow up smart.” A cot­tage indus­try was born. Read the rest of this entry »

Take that Nap! It May Boost Your Learning Capacity Among Other Good Things.

Any­one who knows me knows that my favorite pas­time is nap­ping. In Col­lege, I would come back to my dorm room, and like clock­work, would take a nap. My best friend in Eng­land, who got quite a kick out of my pas­sion for nap­ping, once tried to per­suade me to drink a cup of tea after lunch instead of tak­ing my cus­tom­ary nap. I really tried, but I soon gave in to my nap crav­ings. Some­times I feel like I really need to re-charge my brain batteries.

Well, now sci­ence is on my side. I just love this new study, which was pre­sented by Matthew Walker, assis­tant pro­fes­sor at UC Berke­ley, at the annual meet­ing of the Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion of the Advance­ment of Sci­ence (AAAS) con­fer­ence in San Diego this past Sun­day (Feb. 2010).

Walker and his col­leagues Bryce A. Man­der and Sangeetha San­thanam split up a batch of 39 healthy young adults into two groups. One group napped, the other did not.

At noon, both groups took a learn­ing task thought to recruit the hip­pocam­pus. The hip­pocam­pus is a region of the brain known to play an impor­tant role in the for­ma­tion of new mem­o­ries. Over the past few years, var­i­ous researchers have found that fact-based mem­o­ries are tem­porar­ily stored in the hip­pocam­pus before other regions of the brain can oper­ate on the con­tent, espe­cially the regions of the brain respon­si­ble for higher-order rea­son­ing and think­ing.  At this point in the exper­i­ment, both groups showed sim­i­lar lev­els of performance.

Then, at 2pm, the nap group took a 90-minute nap while the no-nap group stayed awake, pre­sum­ably watch­ing the nap group enjoy­ing their nap. After nap-time both groups then took more learn­ing tests. The nap­pers did bet­ter on the tasks than those who stayed awake, demon­strat­ing their higher capac­ity to learn. Read the rest of this entry »

Do You Mind?

Ask your­self the tough ques­tions: Do you mind your brain? Do you know your nog­gin’? Can you claim cere­bral own­er­ship or is your men­tal a rental?

Although these ques­tions are rel­e­vant at vir­tu­ally all lifes­pan stages, firm answers can some­times appear incon­ceiv­able.  Unfor­tu­nately with advanc­ing age, atten­tion to men­tal per­for­mance is often either aban­doned or framed in terms of per­ceived impair­ment and decline.  Now, I have pre­vi­ously shared my mes­sage on mind­ing the aging brain with Sharp­Brains read­ers.  As a cog­ni­tive neu­ropsy­chi­a­trist pri­mar­ily inter­ested in later-life phe­nom­ena, I tend to stick to my area of exper­tise.  Nev­er­the­less, whether you are elder or not, I implore you to take these ideas to heart…do you mind?

Just as brain fit­ness is for all, aging is sim­i­larly uni­ver­sal.  Every thought­ful indi­vid­ual rec­og­nizes the unavoid­able answer to “are you aging?”  How­ever, the answer to “how are you aging?” is less obvi­ous to most, and is even more obscure when con­sid­er­ing lifes­pan cog­ni­tive tra­jec­to­ries.  In fact, no con­sen­sus lex­i­con yet exists to describe the ways in which cog­ni­tion can be mod­u­lated to achieve desired lifestyle or clin­i­cal goals.

In my lat­est pub­li­ca­tion on technology-enabled cog­ni­tive train­ing for healthy elders, I out­line a pro­posed lex­i­con for pos­i­tive cog­ni­tion inter­ven­tions, as well as a frame­work for clas­si­fy­ing puta­tive ben­e­fits of cog­ni­tive train­ing.  Here, I will present these con­cepts with­out regard to age, as they apply equally well to all sapi­ent sapi­ens:

?      Cog­ni­tive stim­u­la­tion refers to non­tar­geted engage­ment that gen­er­ally enhances men­tal func­tion­ing.  Exam­ples might include edu­ca­tional endeav­ors or life review.

?      Cog­ni­tive train­ing refers to theory-driven inter­ven­tion, Read the rest of this entry »

Learning habits, learning styles: The most recent findings

For an excel­lent review of the most recent find­ings on learn­ing habits, check out The New York Times recent arti­cle: For­get What You Know About Good Study Habits. Tons of unex­pected and fas­ci­nat­ing results!

The find­ings can help any­one, from a fourth grader doing long divi­sion to a retiree tak­ing on a new lan­guage. But they directly con­tra­dict much of the com­mon wis­dom about good study habits, and they have not caught on. For instance, instead of stick­ing to one study loca­tion, sim­ply alter­nat­ing the room where a per­son stud­ies improves retention.

Take the notion that chil­dren have spe­cific learn­ing styles, that some are “visual learn­ers” and oth­ers are audi­tory; some are “left-brain” stu­dents, oth­ers “right-brain.” In a recent review of the rel­e­vant research, pub­lished in the jour­nal Psy­cho­log­i­cal Sci­ence in the Pub­lic Inter­est, a team of psy­chol­o­gists found almost zero sup­port for such ideas.

Com­ment: The way we learn mat­ters for two rea­sons: a) we need to effi­ciently retain some infor­ma­tion for the var­i­ous tasks we have to per­form every day, but also b) learn­ing induces neu­ro­plas­tic changes in the brain, which  in turn may increase our brain reserve and brain health (see our prior arti­cle on Brain Plas­tic­ity: How learn­ing changes your brain).

Agenda: ASA Brain Health Day, Powered by SharpBrains

The Amer­i­can Soci­ety on Aging and Sharp­Brains have part­nered to co-produce a American Society on Agingpro­fes­sional devel­op­ment day for pro­fes­sion­als in the field of aging. The day is themed “New Tools, New Part­ner­ships”, and will take place on Fri­day, Sep­tem­ber 11th, 2009, dur­ing ASA’s West Coast Con­fer­ence on Aging, in the Oak­land Mar­riot City Cen­ter, Oak­land, CA.

Given aging pop­u­la­tion trends, it is clear that we need more and bet­ter trained aging pro­fes­sion­als, and that brain health needs to be a major com­po­nent in that train­ing. We are pleased to part­ner with Sharp­Brains to offer the lat­est think­ing, best prac­tices, and resources, to our mem­bers,” said Car­ole Ander­son, Vice Pres­i­dent of Education.

The grow­ing inter­est in brain health and fit­ness among con­sumers and pro­fes­sion­als alike needs to be accom­pa­nied by high-quality edu­ca­tional ini­tia­tives to help sep­a­rate real­ity from hope from hype. We are hon­ored to part­ner with the Amer­i­can Soci­ety on Aging in this impor­tant endeavor,” said Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, CEO & co-founder of Sharp­Brains and co-author of The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fitness.

Descrip­tion and How to Reg­is­ter
Since 2006, healthy aging pio­neers have been actively eval­u­at­ing and imple­ment­ing an expand­ing menu of stim­u­lat­ing brain health pro­grams. The Amer­i­can Soci­ety on Aging and Sharp­Brains have part­nered to intro­duce aging pro­fes­sion­als to the best prac­tices in a vari­ety of community-based and res­i­den­tial set­tings, dis­cuss emerg­ing trends that will affect your work in years to come, and offer you resources to under­stand and nav­i­gate through the grow­ing array of options.

Par­tic­i­pants will receive a com­pli­men­tary and signed copy of the book The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness (May 2009, $24.95).

Learn­ing objec­tives are:

- Under­stand the com­ple­men­tary value the four main lifestyle pil­lars for life­long brain health and why “men­tal exer­cise”, beyond sim­ple “men­tal activ­ity”, is one of them.
– Iden­tify the best mix of brain health prac­tices and tech­nolo­gies by dis­cussing real world case stud­ies in a vari­ety of set­tings: adult edu­ca­tion, inde­pen­dent liv­ing, assisted liv­ing.
– Dis­cuss the oppor­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges of build­ing inno­v­a­tive part­ner­ships between a non-profit orga­ni­za­tions and a for-profit com­pa­nies.
– Explore emerg­ing trends in research, pub­lic health, life­long learn­ing, and tech­nol­ogy, to ensure that health and aging pro­fes­sion­als are well equipped for years to come.

When and where: Fri­day, Sep­tem­ber 11th, 2009, at the Oak­land Mar­riott City Center.

Reg­is­tra­tion fees for Sharp­Brains clients and read­ers are $150 (offi­cial fees are $180) . Fee is for the full day ses­sion and includes up to six hours of CEU cred­its plus book and materials.

You can Reg­is­ter HERE, using Part­ner Orga­ni­za­tion Code: WCSB.

The Pro­gram
9:00 — 10:30 am Keynote– The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fitness

This ses­sion will pro­vide an overview of the most recent research, guide­lines and resources to “Use It and Improve It”, sum­ma­riz­ing the main find­ings and top­ics from the book The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness. It will debunk 10 brain fit­ness myths; dis­cuss how the brain works and the 4 pil­lars of brain main­te­nance; explain the dif­fer­ence between men­tal exer­cise and men­tal activ­ity and iden­tify research-based ways to exer­cise our brains; and review what 21 brain fit­ness soft­ware pack­ages do and what they don’t do. Finally, the ses­sion will dis­cuss emerg­ing trends to ensure that health and aging pro­fes­sion­als are well equipped for years to come.

- Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, SharpBrains

11:00 to 12:00 noon Bring­ing Brain Fit­ness to the Com­mu­nity Center

Sci­ence con­tin­ues to high­light the impor­tance of stay­ing active men­tally as well as phys­i­cally; peo­ple of all ages and sit­u­a­tions face the chal­lenge of learn­ing what brain exer­cise is, how it can help them, and how to incor­po­rate it into their busy lives. The Penin­sula Jew­ish Com­mu­nity Cen­ter (PJCC) has formed a unique part­ner­ship with vibrant­Brains, a pio­neer­ing gym for brain exer­cise, to explore new ways to bring brain fit­ness into the com­mu­nity on top of its exist­ing fit­ness and edu­ca­tional activities.

- Jane Post, Penin­sula Jew­ish Com­mu­nity Cen­ter; Lisa Schooner­man, vibrantBrains

1:30 to 2:30 pm Lat­est Tech­nolo­gies and Brain Health: Value and Limitations

Four inno­v­a­tive prac­ti­tion­ers will share their first-hand expe­ri­ence imple­ment­ing com­put­er­ized cog­ni­tive train­ing pro­grams in dif­fer­ent set­tings: adult edu­ca­tion classes, inde­pen­dent liv­ing, and assisted liv­ing. They will dis­cuss the Pros and Cons of tech­nol­ogy pro­grams pro­vided by Dakim, Posit Sci­ence and Cog­niFit, help­ing the audi­ence explore how tech­nol­ogy can enhance exist­ing brain health and well­ness pro­grams and how this trend will affect their work in the future.

- James Arp, Bel­mont Vil­lage; Kari Olsen, Front Porch; Shel­lie Sul­li­van, Lake­view Vil­lage; Teri Barr, Oak­land Uni­fied School District

2:30 to 3:15 pm Engag­ing the Com­mu­nity to Inte­grate Brain Health Research into Life­long Learning

OLLI @Berkeley has devel­oped a mem­ber­ship team to inves­ti­gate how to inte­grate neu­ro­science dis­cov­er­ies into their life­long learn­ing cur­ricu­lum and ongo­ing com­mu­nity activ­i­ties. If older adults are told that, in addi­tion to exer­cise, nutri­tion, among other things, men­tal stim­u­la­tion is required that is novel, chal­leng­ing and varied—how can life­long learn­ing cen­ters and adults them­selves judge what that is and how to inte­grate those under­stand­ings our activ­i­ties and lives?. Susan Hoff­man will share the method­ol­ogy and insights of work­ing with the com­mu­nity as well as with a wide range of experts and sci­en­tists, and dis­cuss what might be pos­si­ble in a vari­ety of insti­tu­tional set­tings such as yours.

- Susah Hoff­man, OLLI@Berkeley

3:30 to 4.30 pm San Fran­cisco Alzheimer’s Edu­ca­tion & Pre­ven­tion Task­force: Get­ting Ready for the Future

The San Fran­cisco Mayor’s office, in part­ner­ship with the Depart­ment of Aging & Adult Ser­vices recently con­vened an expert panel and com­mit­tees to cre­ate a strate­gic plan for address­ing the needs of San Fran­cis­cans with mem­ory loss and demen­tia through the year 2020. Learn about the process, find­ings and rec­om­men­da­tions on how the city of San Fran­cisco plans to address edu­ca­tion and pre­ven­tion of demen­tia now and in the future.

- Eliz­a­beth Edgerly, Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion; Bill Haskells, Depart­ment of Aging & Adult Services

4:30 pm What We Have Learned, What is Next

What are some of the pri­or­i­ties and chal­lenges for the next 12 months for the field at large, and for every­one involved? This inter­ac­tive ses­sion will help us sum­ma­rize the key high­lights from the whole day, iden­tify emerg­ing assump­tions, themes, and pri­or­i­ties, and dis­cuss col­lab­o­ra­tive next steps.

- Car­ole Ander­son, Amer­i­can Soci­ety on Aging; Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, SharpBrains

Speaker Bios
Alvaro Fernandez SharpBrainsAlvaro Fer­nan­dez is co-founder and CEO of Sharp­Brains, a lead­ing mar­ket research firm that tracks the mar­ket and research for cog­ni­tive assess­ments, train­ing, and games. A mem­ber of the World Eco­nomic Forum’s Global Agenda Coun­cils, he has been quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Jour­nal, USA Today, and more, and recently co-authored the book The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness: 18 Inter­views with Sci­en­tists, Prac­ti­cal Advice, and Prod­uct Reviews, to Keep Your Brain Sharp. Alvaro received mas­ters’ degrees in edu­ca­tion and busi­ness from Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity, and teaches at UC-Berkeley Osher Life­long Learn­ing Insti­tute.Jane Post PJCCJane Post is the Asso­ciate Exec­u­tive Direc­tor at the Penin­sula Jew­ish Com­mu­nity Cen­ter. With a back­ground that started in sum­mer youth camp­ing and tran­si­tioned into Com­mu­nity Cen­ter group work, the Illi­nois native moved to the Bay Area in 1979 to begin her thriv­ing career with the Penin­sula Jew­ish Com­mu­nity Cen­ter (PJCC) in Fos­ter City. Serv­ing in posi­tions rang­ing from Youth Direc­tor to Senior Adult Direc­tor, Ms. Post has enjoyed over 30 suc­cess­ful years with the PJCC and today is the Center’s Asso­ciate Exec­u­tive Direc­tor. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the Uni­ver­sity of South­ern California.

Lisa Schoonerman vibrantBrainsLisa Schooner­man is a co-founder at vibrant­Brains. Lisa held a vari­ety of tech­ni­cal and edi­to­r­ial posi­tions with the Thom­son Cor­po­ra­tion in the Legal Pub­lish­ing divi­sion (now Thom­son­Reuters), begin­ning in Rochester, NY and then com­ing to San Fran­cisco to work for what was then Ban­croft Whit­ney. Lisa’s work for Thom­son included a 3-year assign­ment in the UK, where she was Edi­to­r­ial Direc­tor of the group pro­vid­ing con­tent for West­law UK, the first inter­na­tional appli­ca­tion of the West­law database.

James Arp Belmont VillageJames Arp works as the West Regional Direc­tor for Activ­ity and Mem­ory Pro­grams for Bel­mont Vil­lage, where he was involved in a pilot pro­gram using com­put­er­ized cog­ni­tive train­ing. James has also worked as an Admin­is­tra­tor for sev­eral Inter­me­di­ate Care Facil­i­ties for the Devel­op­men­tally Dis­abled and in Guardian­ship, and has a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence Degree in Psy­chol­ogy and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Disorders.

Kari Olson Front PorchKari Olson, Chief Infor­ma­tion Offi­cer of Front Porch, leads all tech­nol­ogy ini­tia­tives for Front Porch and its part­ners. Kari is also the Pres­i­dent of the Front Porch Cen­ter for Tech­nol­ogy Inno­va­tion and Well­be­ing whose mis­sion is to explore inno­v­a­tive uses of tech­nol­ogy to empower indi­vid­u­als to live well, espe­cially in their later years. Kari is actively involved in the Cen­ter for Aging Ser­vices Tech­nolo­gies where she serves as a com­mis­sioner, steer­ing com­mit­tee mem­ber and task group chair for Boomer Tech­nol­ogy Needs Research and co-chair of the Provider Needs Research Work­group. Kari speaks reg­u­larly around the coun­try on tech­nol­ogy for aging ser­vices. Kari holds a BA in eco­nom­ics from Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Los Ange­les and has com­pleted grad­u­ate course work in edu­ca­tion at Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­sity, Los Angeles.

Teri Barr Oakland UnifiedTeri Barr admin­is­ters the brain fit­ness classes for older adults at Oak­land Uni­fied School Dis­trict. She has a BFA from the Art Insti­tute of Chicago and a MSPE from the Uni­ver­sity of Illi­nois. In Illi­nois, she designed and imple­mented well­ness classes in Com­mu­nity Col­lege, Uni­ver­sity and Hos­pi­tal set­tings. Since mov­ing to Cal­i­for­nia, she has worked for OACE (Oak­land Adult and Career Edu­ca­tion) in the Older Adult Pro­gram. She started research for brain health classes in 2006 and began the pro­gram at OACE in 2007.

Shellie Sullivan Lakeview VillageShel­lie Sul­li­van is the Vol­un­teer Coor­di­na­tor at Lake­view Vil­lage, a faith-based, non­profit retire­ment com­mu­nity in Lenexa for 800 seniors offer­ing active liv­ing and sup­ported options. Ms. Sul­li­van coor­di­nated and sup­ported the cog­ni­tive train­ing por­tion of the Phys­i­cal & Cog­ni­tive Train­ing Study in which Lake­view par­tic­i­pated under the super­vi­sion of Dr. Art Kramer, from the Uni­ver­sity of Illi­nois. She admin­is­tered all of the cog­ni­tive pre– and post-assessments to Lake­view Vil­lage res­i­dents and com­mu­nity vol­un­teers and guided par­tic­i­pants using cog­ni­tive train­ing soft­ware through­out the entire study. Ms. Sul­li­van is a grad­u­ate from The Ohio State Uni­ver­sity with a degree in Communications.

Susan Hoffman OLLI@BerkeleySusan E. Hoff­man is the direc­tor of the Osher Life­long Learn­ing Insti­tute within the Vice Provost’s Office for Teach­ing and Learn­ing at UC Berke­ley. For the past fif­teen years she has worked at UC and CSU cam­puses launch­ing new inter­dis­ci­pli­nary and inter­na­tional pro­grams. Before then, she served as the Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the Cal­i­for­nia Con­fed­er­a­tion of the Arts, rep­re­sent­ing Cal­i­for­nia artists, art edu­ca­tors and arts orga­ni­za­tions in Sacra­mento and Wash­ing­ton for a decade. Her cre­ative work includes being a writer and film­maker. Her fac­ulty appoint­ments have been in cre­ative writ­ing, the­atre and polit­i­cal philosophy.

Elizabeth Edgerly Alzheimer's AssociationEliz­a­beth Edgerly, Ph.D., is the Chief Pro­gram Offi­cer for the Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion and national spokesper­son for the Association’s Main­tain Your Brain pro­gram. She over­sees the many pro­grams of the Asso­ci­a­tion for patients, fam­i­lies and health care pro­fes­sion­als. In addi­tion, she staffs the Med­ical Sci­en­tific Advi­sory Coun­cil of the Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion — North­ern Cal­i­for­nia. She received her Ph.D. in clin­i­cal psy­chol­ogy at the State Uni­ver­sity of New York and spe­cial­ized in geropsy­chol­ogy and neu­ropsy­chol­ogy. Dr. Edgerly joined the Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion after com­plet­ing a fel­low­ship in clin­i­cal geropsy­chol­ogy at the Palo Alto VA Hospital.

How to Register

Reg­is­tra­tion fees for Sharp­Brains clients and read­ers are $150 (offi­cial fees are $180) . Fee is for the full day ses­sion and includes up to six hours of CEU cred­its plus book and materials.

You can Reg­is­ter HERE, using Part­ner Orga­ni­za­tion Code: WCSB. 

About the Amer­i­can Soci­ety on Aging

Founded in 1954, the Amer­i­can Soci­ety on Aging is an asso­ci­a­tion of diverse indi­vid­u­als bound by a com­mon goal: to sup­port the com­mit­ment and enhance the knowl­edge and skills of those who seek to improve the qual­ity of life of older adults and their fam­i­lies. The mem­ber­ship of ASA is a mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary array of pro­fes­sion­als who are con­cerned with the phys­i­cal, emo­tional, social, eco­nomic and spir­i­tual aspects of aging. They range from prac­ti­tion­ers, edu­ca­tors, admin­is­tra­tors, pol­i­cy­mak­ers, busi­ness peo­ple, researchers, stu­dents, and more. For more infor­ma­tion, visit

About Sharp­Brains

Sharp­Brains is a mar­ket research & pub­lish­ing firm devoted to help­ing orga­ni­za­tions, pro­fes­sion­als and con­sumers nav­i­gate the brain fit­ness and cog­ni­tive health field. The com­pany was co-founded by exec­u­tive Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, mem­ber of the Global Agenda Coun­cils ini­tia­tive run by the World Eco­nomic Forum, and neu­ro­sci­en­tist Dr. Elkhonon Gold­berg, inter­na­tion­ally renowned for his clin­i­cal work, research, and writ­ing. Sharp­Brains recently released the The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness: 18 Inter­views with Sci­en­tists, Prac­ti­cal Advice, and Prod­uct Reviews, to Keep Your Brain Sharp (May 2009; $24.95). For more infor­ma­tion, visit

News: ASA Brain Health Day, powered by SharpBrains

I  am very excited to pre-announce a col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Amer­i­can Soci­ety on Aging (ASA) to co-produce a Brain Health event, themed “New Tools, New Part­ner­ships”, to take place in Oak­land, CA, on Sep­tem­ber 11th. Read the rest of this entry »

Maintain Your Brain and Stay Sharp: An Upcoming Guide and Resource

You may be read­ing all about brain fit­ness and brain train­ing. It seems every week brings a new bar­rage of arti­cles and stud­ies which often con­tra­dict what you read the month before: Does Gingko Biloba help delay Alzheimer’s Dis­ease? Can phys­i­cal exer­cise help you stay sharp as you age? Which computer-based “brain fit­ness pro­grams”, if any, are worth your money?

All this cov­er­age reflects very excit­ing sci­en­tific find­ings but also poses a key dilemma: How to become an informed life­long learner and con­sumer when there are few and con­tra­dic­tory author­i­ta­tive guidelines?

The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness (to be pub­lished in May 2009; $24.95) aims to fill that void. This guide is the result of over a year of exten­sive research includ­ing more than a hun­dred inter­views with sci­en­tists, pro­fes­sion­als and con­sumers, and a deep lit­er­a­ture review. Below you have some of the main find­ings from our effort. The guide not only cov­ers these aspects in more depth and offers prac­ti­cal guid­ance, but also includes 18 inter­views with promi­nent sci­en­tists to help you under­stand the research better.

Can we intro­duce you to your Brain?

The Guide will start at the obvi­ous start­ing point: The Human Brain. In order to make informed deci­sions about brain health, one needs to first under­stand the basic orga­ni­za­tion of the human brain and how it tends to change as we get older.

* The brain is com­posed of a num­ber of regions serv­ing dis­tinct func­tions. For­get IQ: our life and pro­duc­tiv­ity depend on a vari­ety of brain func­tions, not just one.

* There is noth­ing inher­ently fixed in the tra­jec­tory of how brain func­tions evolve as we age. Your lifestyle, actions, and even thoughts, do matter.

The 4 Pil­lars of Brain Maintenance

Neu­ro­plas­tic­ity is the life­long capac­ity of the brain to change and rewire itself in response to the stim­u­la­tion of learn­ing and expe­ri­ence. The lat­est sci­en­tific research shows that spe­cific lifestyles and actions can, no mat­ter our age, improve the health and level of func­tion­ing of our brains.

What fac­tors seem to have the most influ­ence? Read the rest of this entry »




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