Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Understand your connectome, understand yourself

connectome—–

NO ROAD, NO trail can penetrate this forest. The long and delicate branches of its trees lie everywhere, choking space with their exuberant growth. No sunbeam can fly a path tortuous enough to navigate the narrow spaces between these entangled branches. All the trees of this dark forest grew from 100 billion seeds planted together. And, all in one day, every tree is destined to die.

This forest is majestic, but also comic and even tragic. It is all of these things. Indeed, sometimes I think it is everything. Every novel and every symphony, every cruel murder and every act of mercy, every love affair and every quarrel, every joke and every sorrow — all these things come from the forest. Read the rest of this entry »

Is Mental Health ready to start transitioning towards measurable brain circuits, away from subjective symptoms?

mental-healthTo Diagnose Mental Illness, Read the Brain (Scientific American):

Although scientists have learned a lot about the brain in the last few decades, approaches to treating mental illnesses have not kept up. As neuroscientists learn more about brain circuits, Stanford psychiatrist Amit Etkin foresees a time when diagnoses will be based on brain scans rather than symptoms Read the rest of this entry »

Too early? Brain stimulation device Thync fails to get traction in the minds of consumers

thync-vibes-wellnessHow Thync, Startup Behind Brain-Zapping Gadget, Almost Died (Bloomberg):

“In 2014, Silicon Valley startup Thync had sold technology enthusiasts and venture capitalists on the idea of strapping a device to your forehead that sends electric shocks to the brain. The wearable gadget garnered attention for its futuristic promises of brain stimulation, Read the rest of this entry »

On “ethical placebos,” Medicine, and Mind/ Body interactions: A book review

Cure_bookWhen I was 10 years old, I hated doing the dishes. In an attempt to talk my parents out of making me do this hated chore, I pretended to be ill by hanging my head, sighing, sniffling, and walking lethargically to my bedroom, all to no avail—I still had to do those dishes.

But, the next day, I woke up with the flu —a 104-degree fever and stomach pains to match. Boy, were my parents surprised! And, so was I. But, how many of us have had similar experiences, where our minds seemed to somehow impact our bodies in weird, unexplainable ways? How many of us have made doctors’ appointments only to watch our fevers drop or held our children close and stopped their coughing fits? Clearly, something is going on, isn’t it? Read the rest of this entry »

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

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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 »

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