Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Test your cognitive skills with visual brain teasers

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

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? 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…

Not all mental activity is created equal (quick brain teaser)

Quick! Say aloud what color you see in every word — DON“T just read each word.

 

Not easy, right! The Stroop test is used in neu­ropsy­cho­log­i­cal eval­u­a­tions to mea­sure men­tal vital­ity and flex­i­bil­ity, since per­form­ing well requires strong atten­tion and self-regulation capa­bil­ity. We used this lit­tle brain test/ teaser in our online course this Wednes­day to make the point that not all men­tal activ­ity is cre­ated  equal, which is why the “Use It or Lose It”, while a great start­ing point, must be expanded to pro­vide bet­ter guide­lines on the How to use it.

You can enjoy many other Mind and Brain Teasers.

Brain Teaser to Stimulate your Concentration Skills

Learn­ing can be inci­den­tal. We all mem­o­rize facts with­out pay­ing much atten­tion to these facts or with­out will­ing to mem­o­rize them. How­ever, when one really wants to mem­o­rize a fact, it is cru­cial to pay atten­tion. Many stud­ies have shown that com­pared to full atten­tion con­di­tions, divid­ing atten­tion dur­ing study time leads to poor mem­ory performance.

This exer­cise will help you prac­tice focus­ing your attention.

It may seem easy but make sure you count twice!

Count the num­ber of “Y” in this text:

Yes­ter­day, Lucy went all the way to Boston. She wanted to buy new shoes. She had to go in many shops before she found the shoes she wanted. She was happy to stop at a restau­rant to have some tea and cook­ies before she took the train back home.

Count the num­ber of “F” in this text:

Fin­ished files are the result of years of sci­en­tific study com­bined with the expe­ri­ence of years.

Count the num­ber of “E” in this text:

Last sum­mer, Jean and Har­riet spent their vaca­tion in Michi­gan. They rented a cabin on the lake. The cabin had two bed­rooms and a nice deck. They used to spend a lot of time on the deck, just look­ing at how the light would change on the water. Sev­eral times, they bor­rowed bikes from their neigh­bors and spent a few hours explor­ing the vil­lages not far from their cabin.


Solu­tions

There are 7 “Y” in the first text.

There are 6 “F” in the sec­ond text (got them?)

There are 38 “E” in the third text.

For many other Brain Teasers, click Here.
For many other teasers and arti­cles by Dr. Mich­e­lon, click Here.

Pascale MichelonPas­cale Mich­e­lon, Ph. D., is Sharp­Brains’ Research Man­ager for Edu­ca­tional Projects. Dr. Mich­e­lon has a Ph.D. in Cog­ni­tive Psy­chol­ogy and has worked as a Research Sci­en­tist at Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­sity in Saint Louis, in the Psy­chol­ogy Depart­ment. She con­ducted sev­eral research projects to under­stand how the brain makes use of visual infor­ma­tion and mem­o­rizes facts. She is now an Adjunct Fac­ulty at Wash­ing­ton University.

Update: Learning about Learning/ more on Brain Age

Here you have the Jan­u­ary edi­tion of our monthly newslet­ter cov­er­ing cog­ni­tive Brain Fitnesshealth and brain fit­ness top­ics. Please remem­ber that you can sub­scribe to receive this Newslet­ter by email, sim­ply by sub­mit­ting your email at the top of this page.

Bird’s Eye View

Brain fit­ness heads towards its tip­ping point: How do you know when some­thing is mov­ing towards a Glad­wellian tip­ping point? When health insur­ance com­pa­nies and pub­lic pol­icy mak­ers launch sig­nif­i­cant ini­tia­tives. Dr. Ger­ard Finnemore pro­vides a mar­ket overview, based on Sharp­Brains’ client webi­nar held last December.

Ten Reflec­tions on Cog­ni­tive Health and Assess­ments: Here are 10 high­lights from sev­eral stim­u­lat­ing Jan­u­ary events:  Sym­po­sium on Adap­tive Tech­nol­ogy for the Aging (by Ari­zona State Uni­ver­sity), Health Blog­gers’ Sum­mit (by Con­sumer Reports), Trau­matic Brain Injury (by Vet­eran Affairs in Palo Alto), and a new Alzheimer’s/ Demen­tia Expert Panel orga­nized by the city of San Francisco.

News and Events

Nin­tendo Brain Age vs. Cross­word Puz­zles: we need much pub­lic edu­ca­tion in order to help con­sumers sep­a­rate real­ity from hope from hype. Nin­tendo is not help­ing, nei­ther is media reporting.

Col­lec­tion of recent news: includ­ing train­ing for senior fit­ness train­ers, reports on the impor­tance of pur­pose,  on older dri­ver safety, and more.

Upcom­ing events: I will be speak­ing soon at the New York Acad­emy of Med­i­cine, the Amer­i­can Soci­ety on Aging/ NCOA con­fer­ence, and the Sil­ver­ing Work­force Sum­mit at the Uni­ver­sity of North Car­olina. Let me know if you are attend­ing any.

Edu­ca­tion and Learning

Learn­ing about Learn­ing: an Inter­view with Joshua Wait­zkin: Scott Barry Kauf­man inter­views “child prodigy” Joshua Wait­zkin on The Art of Learn­ing. Many fas­ci­nat­ing insights, includ­ing “I think los­ing my first National Chess Cham­pi­onship was the great­est thing that ever hap­pened to me, because it helped me avoid many of the psy­cho­log­i­cal traps…(associated with being called a “child prodigy”)”.

Resources to help stu­dents build emo­tional intel­li­gence: Daniel Gole­man intro­duces edu­ca­tors and par­ents to a new book that “adds an impor­tant tool to the emo­tional intel­li­gence kit: mind­ful­ness, a moment-by-moment aware­ness of one’s inter­nal state and exter­nal environment.”

Resources

Top 10 Cog­ni­tive Health and Brain Fit­ness Books: Here you have The 10 Most Pop­u­lar Brain Fit­ness & Cog­ni­tive Health Books, based on book pur­chases by Sharp­Brains’ read­ers dur­ing 2008.

10-Question Pro­gram Eval­u­a­tion Check­list: To help con­sumers and pro­fes­sion­als nav­i­gate through the grow­ing num­ber of pro­grams mak­ing “brain fit­ness” or “brain train­ing” claims, we pub­lished last year this Eval­u­a­tion Check­list. Now we are mak­ing the Check­list avail­able as a Book­mark given recent requests by uni­ver­si­ties and con­fer­ence organizers.

Brain Teaser

Brain Teaser to Exer­cise your Mem­ory and Rea­son­ing Skills: Dr. Pas­cale Mich­e­lon offers a stim­u­lat­ing teaser that not only helps exer­cise our brain but also edu­cates us on how and why the same activ­ity may exer­cise dif­fer­ent brains dif­fer­ently — depend­ing on where we are from.

Brain Teaser to Exercise your Memory and Reasoning Skills

Mem­ory relies mostly on some tem­po­ral (in green) and frontal (in red) areas of the brain. Temporal lobe Frontal LobeThese may be the areas that will get stim­u­lated when you (assum­ing you are Amer­i­can or have lived in the US for long) try to remem­ber the miss­ing words in the Amer­i­can proverbs below.

How­ever when it comes to inter­na­tion­als proverbs below you may have to use your rea­son­ing skills more than your mem­ory skills, as it is likely that you do not know these proverbs. In this case, the frontal exer­cise is more intense. Try to guess what the final words of each inter­na­tional proverb might be. Use your log­i­cal skills.

If you live out­side the USA, your expe­ri­ence will prob­a­bly be the reverse.

US proverbs

1. The early bird gets the ___________.
2. After all is _______ and done, more is said than __________.
3. From ___________ begin­nings come great ____________. Read the rest of this entry »

Brain teasers and games: ready for a mental workout?

You may have already seen that our Teasers sec­tion con­tains not only our selec­tion of Top 50 Brain Teasers and Games, but also a reg­u­larly updated page with lat­est Games for the Brain.

Below you have the brain games and teasers we have added in 2008 so far. Ready? brain teasers job interview
– Octo­ber 2008: Top Brainy Haikus. Yours?.

- Sep­tem­ber 2008: What is going on with these pictures?.

- Sep­tem­ber 2008: 7 Brain­teasers for Job Interviews.

- August 2008: Can you use men­tal self rota­tion to read a map?.

- August 2008: Spot the Dif­fer­ences! how many are there?.

- July 2008 Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome to SharpBrains.com

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.
FIRST-TIME VISITOR? Dis­cover HERE the most pop­u­lar resources at SharpBrains.com

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