Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Mental rotation exercise to challenge your brain’s parietal lobe over the holidays


Mental rotation refers to moving things around in your mind. It is one of the main visuospatial skills we all have…in different degrees, yes.

Here’s an exam­ple. Please pic­ture in your mind an arrow point­ing to the right. Now, turn this arrow so it points to the left. Done? You have just per­formed a men­tal rota­tion. Read the rest of this entry »

Test your concentration and mental self-rotation skills with this quick brainteaser


What is mental self-rotation?

It is the cognitive skill to imagine yourself in different locations in space and to imagine yourself moving accordingly. We need that skill in everyday activities such as reading a map or finding our car in the parking lot. Read the rest of this entry »

Brain teaser to exercise your mental rotation cognitive abilities

Mental self-rotation is the cognitive ability to imagine yourself in different locations in space, and to imagine your body moving in space. We need it for everyday activities such as finding a place or reading a map. The ability involved is technically called egocentric spatial transformations (yes, that is the scientific expression) or mental self rotation, and the brain areas primarily involved are the parietal lobes.

Here’s an example.

mental rotation brain teaser

— Figures above: Read the rest of this entry »

10. Quick brainteaser to test your mental rotation skills

rotatednumbersVisuospatial skills are used everyday in many ways, ranging from going from one room to another in your house to navigating in a new city.

Let’s take an example. Can you picture in your mind an arrow pointing to the right? Now, turn this arrow so it points to the left. Done? Read the rest of this entry »

Max Your Working Memory with Brain Games and Teasers

Draw the letter J on your mental sketchpad. Now draw the letter D. Turn it 90 degrees to the left and put it in top of the J. What does this shape resemble?

An umbrella, of course! You’ve just used your working memory. Our working memory is a crucial part of the memory system, not least because it helps us to figure things out mentally.

Temporary workspace
Not only can we store information in our short-term memory, but we can also manipulate it. This is why short-term memory is sometimes also called working memory. Working memory is our temporary workspace. We use it in everyday tasks ranging from driving (where you need to keep in mind the location of the cars around you as you navigate through traffic), to preparing a budget (where you need to keep in mind one spending category while working on another), to writing a letter (where you need to keep in mind all you want to say while developing each point a sentence at a time). 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?

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