Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Update: 2009 Market Report Finds Growth, Promise and Confusion

Here you have the April 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.

We are excited to release our 2009 market report The State of the Brain Fitness Software Market 2009. To be formally released on May 4th but available now for our clients and readers, this report aims to inform decision-makers at healthcare, insurance, research, public policy, investment and technology organizations about important developments in the brain fitness and cognitive health space.

2009 Market Report

The State of the Brain Fitness Software Market 2009: This new 150-page report finds The State of the Brain Fitness/ Training Software Market 2009 reportsustained growth in the brain fitness software market (from $225m in 2007 to $265m in 2008) and promising seeds for future growth, combined with increased confusion given aggressive marketing claims and lack of education and standards. The report includes, for the first time, a Market & Research Momentum Matrix to categorize 21 key vendors, 10 Research Executive Briefs written by 12 leading scientists, and the complete results of our market survey with 2,000+ respondents. You can learn more, and acquire the report, Here.

News and Resources

Cognitive Health News April Round-Up: New cognitive track at the Games for Health conference, bilingual brains, poverty’s effect on the brain and working memory due to stress, diabetes, neuroenhancing drugs, Kellogg’s settlement with the FTC, neurocognitive testing in the military.

Normal Aging vs. Alzheimer’s Disease: Dr. Murali Doraiswamy shares his very insightful views on the key question, “How can we help the public at large to distinguish Alzheimer’s Disease from normal aging — so that an interest in early identification doesn’t translate into unneeded worries?”, based on his recent book The Alzheimer’s Action Plan.

Upcoming Guide

The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness: It seems every week brings a new barrage of articles and studies which often contradict what you read the month before: Does Gingko Biloba improve memory? Can physical exercise help you stay sharp as you age? Which brain fitness program”, if any, is worth your money? Why is managing stress so important for memory and the brain?. This new book (available both in print and Kindle versions) aims to answer those questions -and more. We will send you an email announcement when the book is ready for purchase, in late May.

The Big Picture

Do Art Classes Boost Test Scores? Is there a “Mozart Effect?”: Some researchers suggest so; others are not convinced. Karin Evans, through our collaboration with Greater Good Magazine, offers a very thoughtful review of the evidence. She also challenges us by asking, “Now, is this the right question?”

Improving the world, and one’s brain, at the same time: The Goldman Environmental Prize recently recognized seven social entrepreneurs who are clearly helping improve the state of the world. Now, the “state of the world” does include their very own brains – as you may have seen in a recent study.

Brain Teasers

Brain plasticity and daily live: If you lived in London, and wanted to grow your hippocampus, which job would you choose?

Stimulate your Concentration Skills: when one really wants to memorize a fact, it is crucial to pay attention. Dr. Pascale Michelon challenges you to count a few simple letters.

Have a great May

Cognitive Health and Development: April Round-Up

Round-up of April articles and news on neuroscience, brain development and cognitive health:

Games for Health Conferences to host new Cognitive Health Track:

For the first time, a new Cognitive Health track -Powered by SharpBrains- will cover eleven brain fitness and cognitive health topics during the 5th Annual Games for Health Conference. The current price is $379, with a 15% discount if you use code “sharp09” (without quotation) when you register Here. Details: June 11-12th at the Hyatt Harborside Hotel in Boston, MA.

Bilingual Babies Get Head Start — Before They Can Talk:

– “Unlike the monolingual group, the bilingual group was able to successfully learn a new sound type and use it to predict where each character would pop up…The bilingual babies’ skill applies to more than just switching between languages. Mehler likened this apparently enhanced cognitive ability to a brain selecting “the right tool for the right operation”—also called executive function.”

– “In this basic process, the brain, ever flexible, nimbly switches from one learned response to another as situations change…Monolingual babies hone this ability later in their young lives, Mehler suggests.”

Study shows how kids’ stress hurts memory:

“Now, research is providing what could be crucial clues to explain how childhood poverty translates into dimmer chances of success: Read the rest of this entry »

Brain/ Cognitive Enhancement with drugs… and cereal?

Several recent articles and news:

Brain Gain: the underground world of “neuroenhancing” drugs (The New Yorker)

– “Alex remains enthusiastic about Adderall, but he also has a slightly jaundiced critique of it. “It only works as a cognitive enhancer insofar as you are dedicated to accomplishing the task at hand,” he said. “The number of times I’ve taken Adderall late at night and decided that, rather than starting my paper, hey, I’ll organize my entire music library! I’ve seen people obsessively cleaning their rooms on it.” Alex thought that generally the drug helped him to bear down on his work, but it also tended to produce writing with a characteristic flaw. “Often, I’ve looked back at papers I’ve written on Adderall, and they’re verbose. They’re belaboring a point, trying to create this airtight argument, when if you just got to your point in a more direct manner it would be stronger. But with Adderall I’d produce two pages on something that could be said in a couple of sentences.” Nevertheless, his Adderall-assisted papers usually earned him at least a B. They got the job done. As Alex put it, “Productivity is a good thing.”

Eschew Enhancement: Memory-boosting drugs should not be made available to the general public (Technology Review)

– “Who might use them? Students will be tempted, as might players of any game involving counting or remembering (chess, bridge, and even poker and blackjack). Certain professionals might desire a boost in attention or memory”

– “But these potentially powerful medicines should not be made available to everyone, for two reasons. The first is safety. The last several years have provided many examples of side effects, some life-threatening…The second reason is that we still know relatively little about learning and memory and how they are integrated to make judgments and decisions.”

Kellogg Settles with FTC over Health Claims on Cereal (Promo Magazine)

– “The FTC said that Kellogg promoted the cereal as “clinically shown to improve kids’ attentiveness by nearly 20%,” when in fact the study referred to in the ads showed different results.”

– “The study found that only about half the children who ate Frosted Mini-Wheats for breakfast showed any improvement in attentiveness, and only about one in nine improved by 20% or more, the FTC said.”

Brain shock: The new Gulf War syndrome (New Scientist)

– “The US army also screens for symptoms of mTBI when soldiers return from a tour of duty, and again three months later. The army is also carrying out neurocognitive tests on recruits before they are sent into combat so that doctors can check for deterioration in later tests.”

– “When it comes to combat trauma, unpicking the physical from the psychological is bound to be highly complex. As Barth says, perhaps the greatest danger could be in trying to simplify the picture too much. “I recommend that we get comfortable with the complexity,” he says, “and treat it as a challenge.”

Learn more & Register

2016 SharpBrains Virtual Summit: Reinventing Brain Health in the Digital Age

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking applied brain science. Explore our most popular resources HERE.

Search for anything brain-related in our article archives

Enter Your Email to receive Sharp­Brains free, monthly eNewslet­ter:
Join more than 50,000 Sub­scribers and stay informed and engaged.