Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Update: For brain training to work, it must induce neuroplasticity in regions that matter

connectome_mediumTime for Sharp­Brains’ May 2014 e-newsletter. If you’re look­ing for new think­ing, research and tools to enhance life­long brain health and per­for­mance, you’re in the right place…

New think­ing:

New research:

New tools:

 

Have a great month of June! To start on the right foot, you may want to tease your mind with this visual illu­sion

Cheers,

 

The Sharp­Brains Team

Brain teasers for teens and adults to test and train cognitive skills

BrainFiringMind games that can sharpen the brain (Miami Herald):

A great resource for find­ing “mind games,” or what’s pop­u­larly know as “brain train­ing,” is the web­site of Sharp­Brains, a com­pany that tracks health and well­ness appli­ca­tions of brain sci­ence. Its founder and CEO, Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, writes in his blog that, “Any­thing we do involv­ing nov­elty, vari­ety and chal­lenge stim­u­lates the brain and can con­tribute to build­ing capac­ity and brain reserve.”

Fer­nan­dez advises choos­ing a game “that exer­cises a core brain-based capac­ity … that is rel­e­vant to real-life out­comes.” For exam­ple, in his list of the “ Top 50 Brain Teasers and Games” that his read­ers have enjoyed the most Read the rest of this entry »

From crosswords and sudoku to individualized brain training

brainsMind Games? Gyms For The Brain Avail­able Online (Investor’s Busi­ness Daily):

  • If your New Year’s res­o­lu­tion is exer­cise — exer­cise your brain, that is — then cyber­space might be just the place for you… Read the rest of this entry »

Top brain teasers to test your mind

brainstormingWe just selected and cat­e­go­rized the Top 50 Brain Teasers and Games that Sharp­Brains read­ers have been enjoy­ing the most.

Here are a few samples…

Fun exper­i­ments on how our brains work

1. You think you know the col­ors? Try the Stroop Test

3. Take the Senses Chal­lenge (Interactive)

Atten­tion and memoryTwo In One Task

7. Count the Fs in this sentence

9. Proud of your visual mem­ory? Give a try at “Picasso” (Interactive)

10. Is your atten­tion bet­ter than a chimp’s? (Interactive)

–> For more, visit these  Top 50 Brain Teasers and Games and test your per­cep­tual and cog­ni­tive abilities…

Brain Teaser: Test your mental rotation skills

Are you famil­iar with men­tal rota­tion? It refers to mov­ing things around in your head. It is one of the numer­ous visu­ospa­tial skills that we all have.

Let’s take an exam­ple. Can you pic­ture in your head an arrow point­ing to the right? Now, turn this arrow so it points to the left. Done? You have just per­formed a men­tal rota­tion. Although it is rare to con­sciously imag­ine objects mov­ing, peo­ple auto­mat­i­cally use this abil­ity when they read maps, use tools, play chess, arrange fur­ni­ture, drive in traf­fic, etc.

Men­tal rota­tion relies mostly on the pari­etal areas of your brain (yel­low sec­tion in the brain image above).

Here is a brain exer­cise to stim­u­late your men­tal rota­tion skills.

  • The top shape is your model.
  • Among the 3 shapes below the model, only one matches the model. To fig­ure out which one does you will prob­a­bly have to move the shapes around in your head.
  • Move the shapes from left to right or right to left but DO NOT FLIP them around.

First set

Sec­ond set

Third Set

To see the cor­rect answers click here: Read the rest of this entry »

Optical illusions and brain teasers

Quick note: Yahoo! has cre­ated an expanded sec­tion with opti­cal illu­sions and brain teasers, and we were glad to con­tribute to it. You can enjoy it Here.

Once you are done, you can find many more brain teasers here.

Update: Public Libraries as Health Clubs for the Brain

Here you have the July edi­tion of our monthly newslet­ter cov­er­ing cog­ni­tive health and Brain Fitnessbrain fit­ness top­ics. Please remem­ber that you can sub­scribe to receive this Newslet­ter by email, using the box at the top of this page.

Pub­lic libraries have long offered the pub­lic more than books. And now, recent demo­graphic and sci­en­tific trends are con­verg­ing to fun­da­men­tally trans­form the role of libraries in our cul­ture. You may enjoy read­ing this recent arti­cle I wrote for the May-June 2009 Issue of Aging Today, the bimonthly pub­li­ca­tion of the Amer­i­can Soci­ety on Aging: Pub­lic Libraries: Community-Based Health Clubs for the Brain.

The Big Picture

Can You Out­smart Your Genes? An Inter­view with Author Richard Nis­bett: David DiS­alvo inter­views Richard Nis­bett, the author of Intel­li­gence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cul­tures Count, who has emerged as a per­sua­sive voice mar­shalling evi­dence to dis­prove the heredity-is-destiny argument.

Yes, You Can Build Willpower: Daniel Gole­man dis­cusses how the brain makes about 10,000 new cells every day, how they migrate to where they are needed, and how each cell can make around 10,000 con­nec­tions to other brain cells. Impli­ca­tion? Med­i­tate, mind­fully, and build pos­i­tive habits.

Bird’s Eye View of Cog­ni­tive Health Inno­va­tion: Alvaro Fer­nan­dez opened the Cog­ni­tive Health Track dur­ing the Games for Health Con­fer­ence (June 11-12th, Boston) with an overview of the seri­ous games, soft­ware and online appli­ca­tions that can help assess and train cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties. The pre­sen­ta­tion is avail­able Here.

Brain Tests and Myths

The Best Mem­ory Tests, from the Alzheimer’s Action Plan: Dr. Murali Doraiswamy dis­cusses the Pros and Cons of the most com­mon assess­ments to iden­tify cog­ni­tive prob­lems, includ­ing what the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) does and doesn´t, and inno­v­a­tive com­put­er­ized neu­ropsy­cho­log­i­cal tests.

Debunk­ing 10 Brain Health Myths: Does your brain have a “Brain Age”? Is a Magic Pill to “pre­vent mem­ory prob­lems” right around the cor­ner? Does “aging” equal “decline”? Check out the facts to debunk 10 com­mon myths on brain health.

Resources

Free Webi­nar: On July 21st, 10am Pacific Time/ 1pm East­ern Time, Dr. Elkhonon Gold­berg and Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, co-authors of The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness, will cover the main high­lights from this new book and address the ques­tions sub­mit­ted by read­ers. You can learn more and reg­is­ter HERE.

Research Ref­er­ences:  This is a par­tial list of the sci­en­tific stud­ies reviewed dur­ing the research phase of SharpBrains’s new book, orga­nized by rel­e­vant chap­ter, for those of you who like to explore top­ics in depth by read­ing orig­i­nal research (per­haps PubMed should pro­mote itself as a never end­ing source of men­tal stimulation?).

Brain Teasers

Brain Teasers on Brain Fit­ness: Are you ready to test your knowl­edge of sev­eral key brain fit­ness met­rics? For exam­ple: How many sol­diers in the US Army have gone through com­put­er­ized cog­ni­tive test­ing before being deployed, and why?
Finally, a request: if you have already read The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness, and could write a brief cus­tomer review at Amazon.com, we would surely appre­ci­ate! The Amazon.com book page is Here.

Best regards, and enjoy the month

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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