Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Busy schedules linked to better memory and cognition among middle-aged and older adults



Being Super Busy May* Be Good For Your Brain (Smithsonian Magazine):

“There hasn’t been much scientific research on busyness itself, although it’s something that we talk about so often,” explains Sara Festini, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Texas at Dallas Center for Vital Longevity, a co-author of the new research published this week Read the rest of this entry »

Cognitive Training & Brain Teasers Can Increase Openness Among Older Adults

Brain Teasers Make Seniors More Open to New Ventures (medpage today):

– ” A cognitive training program that included Sudoku and crossword puzzles made older adults more open to new experiences, according to a preliminary study.”

– “Older adults undergo changes in personality, including shifts in openness or willingness to seek out new and cognitively challenging experiences. A number of interventions have been designed to enrich cognitive functioning in older adults, but little has been done to develop openness, the authors explained.” Read the rest of this entry »

Technology Innovation to Enhance Wellbeing: New Model eHealth Community

Front Porch Center for Technology Innovation and Wellbeing Receives Grant for the Model eHealth Community for Aging (press release):

– ” The Front Porch Center for Technology Innovation and Wellbeing (Front Porch Center), a 501(C)(3) founded on the belief that technology innovation plays a vital role in enhancing wellbeing, was awarded eHealth equipment valued at approximately $207,000 through the Model eHealth Communities initiative at UC Davis Health System and the Read the rest of this entry »

New Summit Sponsor and Partners

We’re delighted to add Brain Resource to the roster of Sponsors of the upcoming 2011 SharpBrains Summit, and the Center for  Technology and Aging and the Brain Injury Association of Canada to the roster of Partners. Thank you for your support! Read the rest of this entry »

Digital Games for Physical, Cognitive and Behavioral Health

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) just announced more than 200px-Dance_Dance_Revolution_Extreme_arcade_machine_left_side_stage$1.85 million in grants for research teams to study how digital games can improve players’ health behaviors and outcomes (both brain-based and behavioral).

The press release: Nine Leading Research Teams Selected to Study How Digital Games Improve Players’ Health

  • “Digital games are interactive and experiential, and so they can engage people in powerful ways to enhance learning and health behavior change, especially when they are designed on the basis of well-researched strategies,” said (UC Santa Barbara’s Dr. Debra) Lieberman.
  • “The pace of growth and innovation in digital games is incredible, and we see tremendous potential to design them to help people stay healthy or manage chronic conditions like diabetes or Parkinson’s disease. However, we need to know more about what works and what does not — and why,” said Paul Tarini, team director for RWJF’s Pioneer Portfolio. “Health Games Research is a major investment to build a research base for this dynamic young field. Further, the insights and ideas that flow from this work will help us continue to expand our imagination of what is possible in this arena.”

All 9 studies sound interesting, 3 of them are closer to what we track:

  1. University of California, San Francisco (San Francisco, CA) A Video Game to Enhance Cognitive Health in Older Adults. As people age, they lose some of their ability to sustain their attention and to focus their attention on their main task while ignoring distractions. This study aims to improve these and other related cognitive skills by using a driving game in which Read the rest of this entry »

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