Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


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 »

Brainy Haikus for brain training

Thank you to every­one who has writ­ten so many fun haikus over the sum­mer (fol­low­ing the post Top 25 Brain and Mind Haikus. Yours?). These are the 10 I have enjoyed the haikus brainmost:

(Also, Can you write a haiku describ­ing any­thing cross­ing your mind now? Remem­ber the sim­ple rules: write 3 lines, which don’t need to rhyme, con­tain­ing 5,7, and 5 syl­la­bles. You can leave your haiku as a com­ment below for extra points…)

Top 10 Brainy Haikus — enjoy!

- Amit:

Love, col­lege, career.
A new world of tran­si­tions.
Will I sur­vive? Yes.

- Kathy:

My release tech­nique,
For­give, for­get, love all,
Med­i­tate on that!

- Alan:

Through the micro­scope,
slice of brain stains pink and blue,
the won­der of thought.

- Justin:

Justin the genieus
Must spell check the word genius
to post this Haiku

- Tim: Read the rest of this entry »

Posit Science Brain Fitness Program 2.0: Open Questions

Posit Science Brain Fitness Program 2.0 QuestionsOver the last few days we have seen an engag­ing con­ver­sa­tion going on. In a cou­ple of posts, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Posit Sci­ence brain fit­ness gym have left com­ments that have prompted me to ask a series of detailed ques­tions. I will present those ques­tions in a post, so they are eas­ier to find.

Eric, Henry: please address these ques­tions, so we all con­tribute to help­ing con­sumers and insti­tu­tions nav­i­gate through this emerg­ing land­scape of “brain fit­ness gyms” and sep­a­rate what is real today from what is promis­ing and may be real tomor­row. Read the rest of this entry »

Traveler IQ Brain Teaser

Just came across this very stim­u­lat­ing and fun Trav­eler IQ inter­ac­tive game…enjoy!

Link: Trav­eler IQ Challenge

Note: at the bot­tom of the page you can select a vari­ety of chal­lenges (flags of the world, UNESCO sites, North Amer­ica…) My favourite: Pho­tos of the World.

Brain Fitness Program: How to Evaluate and Choose One

The hol­i­days are approach­ing and you can expect many soft­ware and game devel­op­ers to adver­tise their prod­ucts SharpBrains Checklistaggres­sively, try­ing to get you buy their “brain train­ing” prod­ucts for you or as a gift for a loved one.

The good news is that there are more and more tools we can use to keep men­tally stim­u­lated and even train and improve spe­cific cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties (like pro­cess­ing speed, short-term mem­ory…). You may be read­ing about Nin­tendo Brain Age, Posit Sci­ence, Fast For­Word, Mind­Fit, Lumos­ity, Happy Neu­ron, MyBrain­Trainer, emWave, StressEraser and more. And, of course, there are also non-technology based interventions.

The bad news is that it is dif­fi­cult to sep­a­rate mar­ket­ing from sci­en­tific claims, and to under­stand which one, if any, may be a good com­ple­ment to other healthy lifestyle choices.

To help you nav­i­gate this process, we are pub­lish­ing the Sharp­Brains Check­list below, based on dozens of inter­views with sci­en­tists, experts and consumers:

10 Ques­tions to Choose the Right Brain Fit­ness Pro­gram for You (and a brief expla­na­tion of why each ques­tion is important)

* 1. Are there sci­en­tists, ide­ally neu­ropsy­chol­o­gists, and a sci­en­tific advi­sory board Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Teasers and Games for the Brain: Test your Brain

Frontal LobesIt is always good to stim­u­late our minds and to learn a bit about how our brains work. Here you have a selec­tion of the 50 Brain Teasers that peo­ple have enjoyed the most in our blog and speak­ing engagements.

Fun exper­i­ments on how our brains work

1. Do you think you know the col­ors?: try the Stroop Test.

2. Can you count?: Bas­ket­ball atten­tion exper­i­ment (Interactive).

3. Who is this?: A very impor­tant lit­tle guy (Interactive).

4. How is this pos­si­ble?.

5. Take the Senses Chal­lenge (Interactive).

6. Are there more brain con­nec­tions or leaves in the Ama­zon?.

Atten­tionTwo In One Task

7. How are your divided atten­tion skills? check out “Inside and Out­side” (Inter­ac­tive, from Mind­Fit).

8. Can you walk and chew gum at the same time? try “Two in One” (Inter­ac­tive, from Mind­Fit)

9. Count the Fs in this sen­tence.

10. What do you see? can you alter­nate between 2 views?.

Mem­oryPicasso Task

11. Easy one…draw the face of a penny, please. Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Fitness Software and Training Games

Unless you have been liv­ing in a cave, you have read by now mul­ti­ple arti­cles about the brain train­ing and brain exer­cise craze: sudoku, Nin­tendo BrainAge, mul­ti­ple online games, soft­ware like Mind­Fit and Posit Science…

If you are look­ing for some fun men­tal stim­u­la­tion now, here you have our selec­tion of Brain Teasers.

Now, how do you know which of the new pro­grams can help you more, or whether you need any of them? which ones are sim­ply enter­tain­ing Games vs. which ones look like “Games” but are really Train­ing, improv­ing, spe­cific cog­ni­tive and emo­tional skills? Well, that’s why we are pub­lish­ing the Sharp­Brains Check­list below, to help you nav­i­gate through the over­whelm­ing and con­flict­ing media reports and com­pany announcements.

We have spent over 18 months inter­view­ing sci­en­tists and review­ing avail­able Brain Fit­ness and Exer­cise Pro­grams world­wide, and want to share with you, right now, the research-based cri­te­ria we use to eval­u­ate them.

10 Ques­tions to Choose the Right Brain Fit­ness Pro­gram for You (and a brief expla­na­tion of why each ques­tion is important)

* 1. Are there sci­en­tists, ide­ally neu­ropsy­chol­o­gists, and a sci­en­tific advi­sory board behind the program?

(Neu­ropsy­chol­o­gists spe­cial­ize in mea­sur­ing and under­stand­ing human cog­ni­tion and brain struc­ture and function.)

* 2. Are there pub­lished, peer-reviewed sci­en­tific papers in PubMed writ­ten by those sci­en­tists? How many?

(Pubmed is a ser­vice of the U.S. National Library of Med­i­cine that includes mil­lions of cita­tions sci­ence jour­nals. If a sci­en­tist has not pub­lished a paper that appears in that data­base, he or she can­not make sci­en­tific claims.)

* 3. What are the spe­cific ben­e­fits claimed for using this pro­gram? Read the rest of this entry »


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