Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Top 10 recent scientific studies on the value of mindfulness in education

mindfulness_schools

More and more stud­ies are show­ing the poten­tial ben­e­fits of mind­ful­ness prac­tices for stu­dents –to improve phys­i­cal health, psy­cho­log­i­cal well-being, social skills, even aca­d­e­mic per­for­mance in some cases– as well as for teach­ers and admin­is­tra­tors –pri­mar­ily to reduce stress and burnout–.

To give you an update on the land­scape of sci­en­tific research about the role of mind­ful­ness in edu­ca­tion, here goes our selec­tion of ten recent stud­ies, all of them recent ran­dom­ized con­trolled tri­als, with brief descrip­tions of each Read the rest of this entry »

Update: Alzheimer’s Disease population to triple — unless we prevent or delay it

Time for Sharp­Brains’ Feb­ru­ary 2013 eNewslet­ter, fea­tur­ing this time new sci­ence and analy­sis on Alzheimer’s Dis­ease, ADHD, men­tal well-being, brain health, and more. Enjoy!

New sci­ence:

New analy­sis:

Upcom­ing events:

Have a great month of March.

Mindfulness training for children with ADHD and their parents

MeditationMind­ful­ness train­ing is an approach for enhanc­ing men­tal health and alle­vi­at­ing men­tal health dif­fi­cul­ties that is based on east­ern med­i­ta­tion tech­niques. The focus of mind­ful­ness train­ing is to increase one’s aware­ness of the present moment, enhance the non-judgmental obser­va­tion of one’s sur­round­ings, and decrease impul­sive and Read the rest of this entry »

Dr. Chapman Q&A Transcript: Best Brain Health Fitness Tip? “Never let status quo be an option”

Here’s the lightly edited tran­script of the Jan­u­ary 4th online Q&A ses­sion with Dr. San­dra Chap­man, Direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Brain­Health at UT-Dallas and author of the new book Make Your Brain Smarter (Free Press; Jan­u­ary 2013). Enjoy!

1:59

AlvaroF: You can start writ­ing ques­tions so we have a few to choose from as we start in a cou­ple of min­utes. Thank you!

2:03
AlvaroF: Just one sec­ond and we’ll be ready. Already get­ting great questions!

2:05
AlvaroF: Let me first thank Dr. San­dra Chap­man for being with us today. She was one of the best speak­ers at our 2012 Sum­mit, and since then we wanted to share her research and think­ing with all Sharp­Brains read­ers. Read the rest of this entry »

Daniel Goleman: Yes, You Can Build Willpower (meditate on neuroplasticity!)

(Editor’s note: Daniel Gole­man is now con­duct­ing a series of audio inter­views includ­ing a great one with Richard David­son on Train­ing the Brain. We are hon­ored to bring you this guest post by Daniel Gole­man, thanks to our col­lab­o­ra­tion with Greater Good Mag­a­zine.)

Yes, You Can:

New research sug­gests we can build our willpower

– By Daniel Goleman

Those of us who strug­gle to resist junk foods or oth­er­wise suf­fer a lack of willpower will be heart­ened by some good news from neu­ro­science. But there’s some bad news, too.

First, the bad news. A slew of stud­ies sug­gest that we each have a fixed neural reser­voir of willpower, and that if we use it on one thing, we have less for oth­ers. Tasks that demand some self-control make it harder for us to do the next thing that takes willpower.

In a typ­i­cal exper­i­ment on this effect, one group of peo­ple was made to watch a video of a bor­ing scene; another was not. Then both groups had to cir­cle every “e” in a long pas­sage of writ­ing. The result? The peo­ple who had to first sit through the bor­ing video gave up faster. The same loss of per­sis­tence has been found when peo­ple try to resist tempt­ing foods, sup­press emo­tional reac­tions, or even make the effort to try to impress someone.

This all sug­gests we have a fixed willpower bud­get, one we should be care­ful in spend­ing. Some neu­ro­sci­en­tists sus­pect that self-control con­sumes blood sugar, which takes a while to build up again; thus, the deple­tion effect.

But the good news is that we can grow our willpower; like a mus­cle, the more we use it, the more it grad­u­ally increases over time. But doing this takes, of all things, willpower.

As the mus­cle of will grows, the larger our reser­voir of self-discipline becomes. So peo­ple who are able to Read the rest of this entry »

Mindfulness Meditation for Adults & Teens with ADHD

We have talked about the value of med­i­ta­tion before (see Mind­ful­ness and Med­i­ta­tion in meditationSchools), as a form of well-directed men­tal exer­cise than can help train atten­tion and emo­tional self-regulation.  Which other stud­ies have shown how it strength­ens spe­cific parts of the brain, mainly in the frontal lobe.

Dr. Rabiner shares with us, below, an excel­lent review of a new study that ana­lyzes the ben­e­fits of mind­ful­ness for ado­les­cents and adults with atten­tion deficits. He writes that “although this is clearly a pre­lim­i­nary study, the results are both inter­est­ing and encouraging.”

- Alvaro

Does Mind­ful­ness Med­i­ta­tion Help Adults & Teens with ADHD

– By Dr. David Rabiner

Although med­ica­tion treat­ment is effec­tive for many indi­vid­u­als with ADHD, includ­ing ado­les­cents adults, there remains an under­stand­able need to explore and develop inter­ven­tions that can com­ple­ment or even sub­sti­tute for med­ica­tion. This is true for a vari­ety of rea­sons includ­ing:
1) Not all adults with ADHD ben­e­fit from med­ica­tion.
2) Among those who ben­e­fit, many have resid­ual dif­fi­cul­ties that need to be addressed via other means.
3) Some adults with ADHD expe­ri­ence adverse effects that pre­vent them from remain­ing on medication.

Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Exercise and Brain Fitness July Monthly Digest

We often are told that we offer too much con­tent for you to read given var­i­ous time pres­sures… but it is tough for us to write less given the wealth of areas we cover around cog­ni­tive and emo­tional training.

To make your life eas­ier (and please feel free to give us feed­back!), what we will do is to offer a Monthly Digest of Most Pop­u­lar Blog Posts. Today, August 1st, we will list the most pop­u­lar July posts. Con­sider it your monthly Brain Exer­cise Mag­a­zine :-)

(Also, remem­ber that you can sub­scribe to receive our RSS feed, check our Top­ics sec­tion, and sub­scribe to our monthly newslet­ter at the top of this page).

News you can use

Trad­ing per­for­mance psy­chol­ogy and self-talk

Stress Man­age­ment for Lawyers

Men­tal Train­ing for Grat­i­tude and Altruism

Brain Fitness/ Train­ing Mar­ket News

Mar­ket­Watch on Beat­ing for­get­ful­ness and boost­ing the brain

Nin­tendo BrainAge, Lumos­ity, Happy Neu­ron, MyBrainTrainer…

Brain Health through Seri­ous Games and Brain Exercise

Brain Fit­ness Workshops

Osher Life­long Learn­ing Insti­tute Brain Fit­ness class at UC Berkeley

Healthy Aging

Inter­view with Neu­ro­sci­en­tist Yaakov Stern: Build Your Cog­ni­tive Reserve

Jud­son Laipply’s Danc­ing Brain

Jack and Elaine LaLanne and Brain Health

Exer­cise Your Brain! Enjoy Learning!

Atten­tion Deficits

Read the rest of this entry »

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