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Top 30 Highlights from the 2013 SharpBrains Virtual Summit: The latest on Brain Research, Health and Innovation

2013 SharpBrains SummitOver 30 speakers and 170 registered participants discussed the latest on brain research, health and innovation at the fourth annual SharpBrains Virtual Summit, held in September 2013. Here are some of the fascinating highlights* that can help identify emerging opportunities and prepare for significant changes likely to occur in the next 3-5 years.

What surprised/ impressed us the most (in brackets, the Speaker who prompted the highlight):

  1. How the Human Brain Project is building a comprehensive brain simulation web portal for hundreds of neuroscientists to find principles that can not only optimize brain health but also computing, manufacturing and IT networks. (Sean Hill)
  2. How different Brain Health will look in 2020. i.e. we may well see a “self-administered annual brain health check-up” (Alvaro Fernandez) building on current tablet-based cognitive baseline tests. (Joan Severson)
  3. Two billion people worldwide suffer from brain based health and productivity challenges, and many could benefit from evidence-based interventions delivered over the web via computers/ mobile. (Alvaro Fernandez)
  4. The increasing role positive psychology is playing in leadership and wellness initiatives of large organizations. Many companies are using meditation programs at work, helping place the human brain at the center of the human resources equation. (Hyong Un)
  5. How health providers can expand focus to include emotional and cognitive health. Kaiser Permanente’s simple and powerful posters are beautiful and inspiring. (Alexandra Morehouse) Read the rest of this entry »

Three Insights from the Frontiers of Positive Psychology

future-300x225In late June, the third World Congress on Positive Psychology convened leading scientists to explore the keys to a happy and meaningful life. Here are three of the most striking and practical insights from the conference. Read the rest of this entry »

How Do Words, such as Yes and No, Change Our Brains and Lives?

The neuroscience of language, consciousness, and communication raises many fundamental questions, the answers to which consistently defy definition. For example: when we speak, where do our words come from? Our brain, or our mind? And what do we mean by mind? Similar dilemmas arise when we try to study the nature of consciousness. What is it, and where is it? Is it generated solely by neural activity, or is it a separate force that influences the activity of the brain? Hypotheses abound, but nobody seems to know for certain.

However, we do have a few clues that illuminate the relationship between the brain, the mind, and Read the rest of this entry »

Update: On Brain Training, Positive Psychology and the FDA

Time for the September edi­tion of the monthly Sharp­Brains eNewslet­ter, start­ing with a good brief New Scientist article, Maker of cognitive training game seeks FDA approval: Imag­ine walk­ing away from a doctor’s office with a pre­scrip­tion to play a video game. Brain Plas­tic­ity, the devel­oper of a cog­ni­tive train­ing game, has begun talks with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to mar­ket the game as a ther­a­peu­tic drug.

A Course Correction for Positive Psychology: A Review of Martin Seligman’s Latest Book: As pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can Psy­cho­log­i­cal Asso­ci­a­tion in 1998, Mar­tin Selig­man chal­lenged the psy­cho­log­i­cal com­mu­nity to rad­i­cally change its approach. For too long, he charged, psy­chol­ogy had been pre­oc­cu­pied solely with reliev­ing symp­toms of men­tal ill­ness; instead, he believed it should explore how to thrive in life, not just sur­vive it.

Study: Cognitive Markers or Biomarkers to manage Cognitive Health across the Lifespan? Mea­sur­ing people’s changes in cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties is a bet­ter pre­dic­tor of Alzheimer’s dis­ease than changes in bio­mark­ers, researchers from the Ben­ito Menni Com­plex Assis­ten­cial en Salut Men­tal, Barcelona, Spain, reported in Archives of Gen­eral Psy­chi­a­try, a JAMA journal.

Brain Training for Babies: Hope, Hype, Both? We should expect that the brain of a baby could be eas­ily trained. This is what Wass and his col­leagues recently demon­strated in a new study with 11-month-old babies.

Brain Development Through Bilingual Education and Activities Requiring Self-Control: Kids who learn two lan­guages young are bet­ter able to learn abstract rules and to reverse rules that they’ve already learned.

Who Says This is The Classroom of the Future? What if we ques­tioned the very premise behind nam­ing some class­rooms the “class­rooms of the future” sim­ply because they have been adding tech­nol­ogy in lit­er­ally mind­less ways?

AARP’s Best Brain Fitness Books: We are hon­ored to announce that AARP has included our very own book The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness (182 pages; $14.95) in its new List of Best Books on Brain Fit­ness.

Interactive Human Brain in 3D: Here’s a cool inter­ac­tive Human Brain in 3D you can play with.

Have a great month of October and, as always, feel free to share this enewslet­ter with friends and col­leagues.

PS: Did you miss the 2011 SharpBrains Summit: Retooling Brain Health for the 21st Century (Mar 30 – Apr 1, 2011)? Here you can learn more about how to access the recordings.

A Course Correction for Positive Psychology: A Review of Martin Seligman’s Latest Book

(Editor’s Note: we are pleased to bring you this arti­cle thanks to our col­lab­o­ra­tion with Greater Good Science Center).

A Course Correction for Positive Psychology

A review of Martin Seligman’s latest book, Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being.

– By Jill Suttie

As president of the American Psychological Association in 1998, Martin Seligman challenged the psychological community to radically change its approach. For too long, he charged, psychology had been preoccupied solely with relieving symptoms of mental illness; instead, he believed it should explore how to thrive in life, not just survive it. He called for a psychology that would uncover what makes people creative, resilient, optimistic, and, ultimately, happy. The “positive psychology” movement was born.

Yet in his latest book, Flourish, Seligman tries to provide something of a course correction for positive psychology. Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 Cognitive Health and Brain Fitness Books

Here you have The 10 Most Popular Brain Fitness & Cognitive Health Books, based on book purchases by SharpBrains’ readers during 2008.

Enjoy!

Brain Rules-John Medina
1. Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School (Pear Press, March 2008)
– Dr. John Medina, Director of the Brain Center for Applied Learning Research at Seattle Pacific University, writes an engaging and comprehensive introduction to the many daily implications of recent brain research. He wrote the article Brain Rules: science and practice for SharpBrains readers.
2. The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person (Oxmoor House, March 2007)
– Dr. Judith Beck, Director of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research, connects the world of research-based cognitive therapy with a mainstream application: maintaining weight-loss. Interview notes here.
3. The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science (Viking, March 2007)
– Dr. Norman Doidge, psychiatrist and author of this New York Times bestseller, brings us “a compelling collection of tales about the amazing abilities of the brain to rewire, readjust and relearn”. Laurie Bartels reviews the book review here.
Spark John Ratey
4. Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain(Little, Brown and Company, January 2008)
– Dr. John Ratey, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, summarizes the growing research on the brain benefits of physical exercise. Laurie Bartels puts this research in perspective here.
5. The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning (Stylus Publishing, October 2002)
– Dr. James Zull, Director Emeritus of the University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education at Case Western Reserve University, writes a must-read for educators and lifelong learners. Interview notes here.
6. Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves (Ballantine Books, January 2007)
– Sharon Begley, Newsweek’ excellent science writer, provides an in-depth introduction to the research on neuroplasticity based on a Mind & Life Institute event.
7. Thanks: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier (Houghton Mifflin, August 2007)
– Prof. Robert Emmons, Professor of Psychology at UC Davis and Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Positive Psychology, writes a solid book that combines a research-based synthesis of the topic as well as practical suggestions. Interview notes here.
8. The Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes and the Civilized Mind (Oxford University Press, January 2001)
– Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg, clinical professor of neurology at New York University School of Medicine, provides a fascinating perspective on the role of the frontal roles and executive functions through the lifespan. Interview notes here.
Brain Trust Program 9. The Brain Trust Program: A Scientifically Based Three-Part Plan to Improve Memory (Perigee Trade, September 2007)
– Dr. Larry McCleary, former acting Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Denver Children’s Hospital, covers many lifestyle recommendations for brain health in this practical book. He wrote the article Brain Evolution and Health for SharpBrains.
10. A User’s Guide to the Brain: Perception, Attention, and the Four Theaters of the Brain (Pantheon, January 2001)
– In this book (previous to Spark), Dr. John Ratey provides a stimulating description of how the brain works. An excellent Brain 101 book to anyone new to the field.

Encephalon #50 Edition: Brain & Mind Research

Welcome to Encephalon 50th edition, where you will find another superb collection of blog posts on all things Brain and Mind.Encephalon brain and mind blog carnival

Enjoy these contributions:

Science & Technology

Mind Hacks reports that Facebook ate my psychiatrist. We can learn about the benefits of social networking sites like Facebook, bringing great perspective to recent and misguided media speculation (fuelled by a recent talk at the Royal College of Psychiatrists). Vaughan, will you please report on the benefits of participating (and, better, hosting) Encephalon?.

Dungeons And Dragons – Or Mazes And Monsters?: PodBlack Cat offers a thought-provoking review of the therapy (including self-therapy) applications of role-playing games such as the classic Dungeons And Dragons and the more recent massively multiplayer online games.

Cognitive Daily covers another type of game. Read the rest of this entry »

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2016 SharpBrains Virtual Summit: Reinventing Brain Health

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