Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Transcript: Alvaro Fernandez on Brain Health and Non-invasive Cognitive Enhancement

Below you can find the full tran­script of our engag­ing Q&A ses­sion yes­ter­day on life­long cog­ni­tive fit­ness, “men­tal cap­i­tal­ism”, and more,  with Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, co-author of The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness, mod­er­ated by Harry Moody, Direc­tor of Aca­d­e­mic Affairs at AARP.

Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 Brain Training Trends — Putting our Cognitive Reserve to Work

Yes­ter­day I had the chance to chat with Yaakov Stern, lead­ing Cog­ni­tive Reserve researcher at Colum­bia Uni­ver­sity, and then with a group of 25 life­long learn­ers in Ari­zona who attended a brain fit­ness class (hello, Robert and friends!) based on our con­sumer guide The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness. On reflec­tion, I found both con­ver­sa­tions to be very stim­u­lat­ing for the same rea­son: they were forward-looking, focused not so much on sta­tus quo but on how emerg­ing research, tech­nol­ogy and trends may impact our soci­ety and lives in years to come. Let’s con­tinue the con­ver­sa­tion. Let me share the 10 main trends that we analyzed/ fore­casted in our book, and then ask you, sharp read­ers, to add your own 2 cents to the dis­cus­sion. Read the rest of this entry »

Top Ten Brain Teasers and Games for Kids and Adults alike

Over the last Hourglass four years we have posted over 100 puz­zles, teasers, rid­dles, illu­sions, and every form of men­tal exer­cise that both chal­lenges and enlight­ens our minds.

Below you have a selec­tion of the ten most pop­u­lar ones among Sharp­Brains read­ers. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

Update: Mind. Learn. Eat. Shape. Play

You may find that too much media cov­er­age on how to take good care of our brains is con­fus­ing, if not poten­tially mis­lead­ing. In The True Story — is men­tal exer­cise good, bad, or irrel­e­vantDr. Pas­cale Mich­e­lon dis­sects for you a recent large study which was largely reported as bad news when in fact it brings good news (no mir­a­cles, but good news).  We hope you enjoy her insight­ful analy­sis — and all the excel­lent arti­cles that fol­low in the Sep­tem­ber edi­tion of our monthly eNewslet­ter cov­er­ing cog­ni­tive health and brain fit­ness top­ics. Please remem­ber that you can use the box in the right col­umn to sub­scribe and receive this newslet­ter via email.

Do you Mind

Dear sapi­ens sapi­ens, do you mind: Dr. Joshua Stein­er­man encour­ages you to 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? Plus, why we need a new lex­i­con for pos­i­tive cog­ni­tion interventions.

Time for a Cog­ni­tive Reserve Day: with 36 mil­lion peo­ple world­wide with demen­tia today and related care costs around 1 per­cent of the world’s gross domes­tic prod­uct (GDP), and grow­ing fast, may it be time to com­ple­ment World Alzheimer’s Day with Word Cog­ni­tive Reserve’s Day?

Food for Thought

Debunk­ing learn­ing styles: a recent arti­cle in The New York Times debunks many old myths about learn­ing and learn­ing styles, sum­ma­riz­ing emerg­ing cog­ni­tive neu­ro­science findings.

Sci­ence for the Peo­ple: quick now — think of a ques­tion, any ques­tion, that comes to mind. Chances are some one in the excel­lent ros­ter of 28 sci­ence blog­gers who took part in Sharp­Brains’ edi­tion of Sci­en­tia Pro Pub­lica blog car­ni­val answered it.

Food for Thought — II

‘West­ern’ Style Diet Increases Risk of ADHD: Dr. David Rabiner reports how, on the one hand, a recent large study track­ing 1172 Aus­tralian ado­les­cents and their par­ents found that dietary fac­tors can play an impor­tant role in the devel­op­ment of atten­tion deficits, at least for some children.

A Con­trolled Trial of Herbal Treat­ment for ADHD: on the other hand, Dr. Rabiner adds, a recent randomized-controlled trial sup­ports the idea that appro­pri­ately pre­pared and tar­geted herbal com­pounds have the poten­tial to be ther­a­peu­tic and reduce atten­tion deficit symptoms.

Shap­ing the Future

Q&A about the new Sharp­Brains Coun­cil for Brain Fit­ness Inno­va­tion: we have received many good ques­tions about the new Sharp­Brains Coun­cil … here you are our answers.

Meet the Experts: since 2006 we have inter­viewed dozens of experts on the future of cog­ni­tive enhance­ment and men­tal health, build­ing up the foun­da­tion for the type of inno­va­tion the Sharp­Brains Coun­cil wants to fos­ter. Here you can find what 26 leading-edge sci­en­tists and experts believe and why.

Get­ting ther­apy through your iPhone: The Daily Beast (a great new media out­let) just pub­lished this excel­lent arti­cle on an emerg­ing “small rev­o­lu­tion” in men­tal health care.

Brain Teaser

Brain Teaser: are you ready to test your men­tal rota­tion skills?

Please feel free to share this monthly eNewslet­ter to friends and col­leagues. Have a great month of October!

Brain Fitness Book: talks, interviews, reviews

Next Tues­day, Novem­ber 3rd: I’ll be pre­sent­ing the Sharp­Brains Guide to a business/ entre­pre­neur­ial audi­ence at the San Fran­cisco Chap­ter of the Asso­ci­a­tion for Cor­po­rate Growth (you can reg­is­ter online).

Descrip­tion: While most of us have heard the phrase “use it or lose it,” very few under­stand what “it” means, or how to prop­erly “use it” in order to improve brain func­tion and fit­ness. This talk 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 new book The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness. We will debunk 10 com­mon 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 prac­ti­cal ways to inte­grate this research into our work and lives for max­i­mum brain health and performance.

To order book: Here. (has been among Amazon.com’s Top 10 Pre­ven­tive Med­i­cine books basi­cally since publication!)

Over the last few weeks I have given a cou­ple of Alvaro presenting 2AARP-sponsored talks, both in Eng­lish and in Span­ish (this was my first Span­ish pre­sen­ta­tion on a topic I mostly dis­cuss in Eng­lish, so I did get some extra brain points by try­ing to trans­late “neu­ro­plas­tic­ity” and “hip­pocam­pus” on the fly), and had a great cou­ple of meet­ings with AARP staff to explore col­lab­o­ra­tions. AARP can obvi­ously play a major role in how ratio­nally this whole cat­e­gory of “brain fit­ness” evolves.

Here you have a cou­ple of my favorite recent media interviews:

4-minute Video inter­view on the Gilbert Guide:
Book Reveals Secrets Once Only Known to Scientists

30-minute radio inter­view on WMBR (MIT cam­pus radio sta­tion):
Par­a­digm Shifts: Brain Fit­ness (mine is the sec­ond inter­view, starts around the middle)

Finally, a grow­ing num­ber of blog­gers are review­ing the book. This is what they say:

You can order The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness here.

Brain Fitness at New York Public Library, next week

Title: The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness — Prac­ti­cal Advice to Keep Your Brain Sharp NYPL

- Two community-based book talks hosted by New York Pub­lic Library and sup­ported by the Ein­stein Aging Study at Albert Ein­stein Col­lege of Medicine.

Descrip­tion: A fit brain? Can you exer­cise your brain and become men­tally fit? Einstein Aging StudyCan you con­tinue to learn and increase your brain’s capac­ity at any age? Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, CEO and Co-Founder of Sharp­Brains, says Yes!, and in this pro­gram he will show you how. Based on research com­piled from lead­ing sci­en­tists in fields of Neu­ro­science, Geron­tol­ogy, and Cog­ni­tive Sci­ence, and pre­sented in his book “The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness”, Alvaro Fer­nan­dez will pro­vide ways to main­tain and improve your cog­ni­tive health.

He will:
– Debunk 10 Myths of Brain Fit­ness
– Exam­ine the 4 Pil­lars of Brain Main­te­nance
– Dis­cuss the dif­fer­ence between Men­tal Exer­cise and Men­tal Activ­ity
– Eval­u­ate Brain Train­ing Soft­ware
– Explore emerg­ing trends

Book and Bio: Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, CEO and Co-Founder of Sharp­Brains, teaches “Sci­ence of Brain Health and Brain Fit­ness” at UC-Berkeley and San Fran­cisco State Uni­ver­sity. He is the co-author of The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness.

When and where:
> Sep­tem­ber 23rd, 10am, New York Pub­lic Library, Bronx Library Cen­ter. 310 East Kings­bridge Road. (718) 579‑4244. More infor­ma­tion here.

> Sep­tem­ber 25rd, 1pm, New York Pub­lic Library, Stephen Schwarz­man Build­ing Audi­to­rium. Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street. 917-ASK-NYPL (917–275-6975). More infor­ma­tion here.

The SharpBrains Guide Book Tour!

After a sur­pris­ingly calm sum­mer, I am get­ting my brain, throat, and pre­sen­ta­tion, ready for the book tour to pro­mote The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness. The tour includes two talks at New York Pub­lic Library!

These are the events dur­ing Sep­tem­ber and Octo­ber — please let me know if you plan to attend any.
And, of course, if you haven’t ordered your copy yet, Amazon.com is here to help you…

Order Book at Amazon.com
SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness. The Book Click

Here

to order at Amazon.com.
Print Edi­tion, $24.95

Order Kin­dle eBook
SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness. The Book Click

Here

to order at Amazon.com,
Kin­dle Edi­tion, $9.99

> Sep­tem­ber 8th, Petaluma, Cal­i­for­nia: Phys­i­cal and Men­tal Exer­cise for Brain Fit­ness, at the Club One Fit­ness Cen­ter. More infor­ma­tion here.

> Sep­tem­ber 9th, San Fran­cisco: The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness, at San Fran­cisco State Uni­ver­sity Osher Life­long Learn­ing Insti­tute (OLLI). More infor­ma­tion here.

> Sep­tem­ber 11th, Oak­land, Cal­i­for­nia: The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness, at ASA Brain Health Day

> Sep­tem­ber 23rd, New York Pub­lic Library, Bronx Library Cen­ter: The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness. More infor­ma­tion here.

> Sep­tem­ber 25rd, New York Pub­lic Library, Stephen Schwarz­man Build­ing: The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness. More infor­ma­tion here.

> Octo­ber 6th, Palo Alto, CA: Brain Fit­ness — Fad or Rev­o­lu­tion?, Smart­Sil­vers MIT North­ern Cal­i­for­nia event. More infor­ma­tion here.

> Octo­ber 14th, Berke­ley, CA: Do’s and Don’ts of Brain Fit­ness for Life, at UC-Berkeley Osher Life­long Learn­ing Insti­tute. More infor­ma­tion here.

> Octo­ber 21th, New York City: Brain Fit­ness For All, at Glen Cove Senior Center.

Reminder: you can Order your copy Here!

Learn about the 2014 SharpBrains Summit in 2 minutes

Watch Larry King’s interview

» Click HERE in the USA, or HERE else­where (opens 28-min program)

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Jour­nal, CNN and more, Sharp­Brains is an inde­pen­dent mar­ket research firm track­ing health and well­ness appli­ca­tions of brain science.
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