Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Icon

Study: Wisdom requires both higher heart rate variability and adopting a third-person perspective

wise reasoning——-

Many cultures consider the human heart to be the seat of wisdom. Now scientists are finding some evidence for this, though the reality may be more complicated than it seems.

Previous research has suggested that higher heart rate variability (HRV)—the variability in the time between our heartbeats Read the rest of this entry »

Should Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (not antidepressant drugs) be the first-line treatment for depression?

CBT_brain

Depression: A change of mind (Nature):

“Cognitive therapy, commonly known as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), aims to help people to identify and change negative, self-destructive thought patterns. And although it does not work for everyone with depression, data have been accumulating in its favour. “CBT is one of the clear success stories in psychotherapy,” says Stefan Hofmann, a psychologist at Boston University in Massachusetts…

Antidepressant drugs are usually the first-line treatment for depression. Read the rest of this entry »

Trend: School-based programs to enhance resilience and emotional/ cognitive flexibility

pressure-performance-curve-400x300

Dozens of programs to encourage resilience have been introduced in schools all over the world, both to help children recover from trauma, but also cope better with their day-to-day stresses. Many use techniques such as Read the rest of this entry »

Use and misuse of ADHD drugs and nootropics among teenagers and toddlers

Human-brain-pillsRitalin may pose brain risks for young people without ADHD, study shows (Fox News):

“Smart” drugs, like Ritalin, also known as nootropics, are known to increase a person’s attention span, memory and ability to stay alert. As a result, they have become increasingly abused by students seeking an extra edge in their studies. According to a report from The Partnership at Drugfree.org and the MetLife Foundation, approximately 1.3 million American teenager Read the rest of this entry »

Can electricity-based brain stimulation harness neuroplasticity safely?

brainstimulationDIY Brain Stimulation Raises Concerns (Medscape Today):

“Recent increased interest in the electricity-based brain stimulation method of transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) as a means of improving cognitive ability has some experts raising concerns about the neuroethical issues surrounding the technique — particularly its ease of use as a make-it-yourself home device…

Those wishing to play it a little safer Read the rest of this entry »

Research on ‘Chemo Brain’: MRI Shows Brain Changes After Chemotherapy

‘Chemo Brain’: MRI Shows Brain Changes After Chemotherapy (Medscape):

– “Breast cancer survivors who have been treated with chemotherapy show significant changes in brain activity, measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), according to a study published in the November issue of the Archives of Neurology.”

– “The finding validates patients’ claims of reduced cognitive function after receiving chemotherapy, a phenomenon referred to as “chemo brain,” said lead author Shelli R. Kesler, PhD, from Stanford University School of Medicine in California.”

Link to study Prefrontal Cortex and Executive Function Impairments in Primary Breast Cancer (Archives of Neurology): Read the rest of this entry »

Promoting Healthy, Meaningful Aging Through Social Involvement: Building an Experience Corps

(Editor’s note: Pathways responsible for higher-order thinking in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), or executive center of the brain, remain vulnerable throughout life—during critical early-life developmental windows, when the PFC fully matures in the early 20s, and finally from declines associated with old age. At all ages, physical activity and PFC-navigated social connections are essential components to maintaining brain health. The Experience Corps, a community-based social-engagement program, partners seniors with local schools to promote purpose-driven involvement. Participating seniors have exhibited immediate short-term gains in brain regions vulnerable to aging, such as the PFC, indicating that people with the most to lose have the most to gain from environmental enrichment.)

Over the last decade, scientists made two key discoveries that reframed our understanding of the adult brain’s potential to benefit from lifelong environmental enrichment. First, they learned that the adult brain remains plastic; it can generate new neurons in response to physical activity and new experiences. Second, they confirmed the importance of social connectedness to late-life cognitive, psychological, and physical health. The integration of these findings with our understanding of individuals’ developmental needs throughout life underscores the importance of the “social brain.” The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is particularly integral to navigating complex social behaviors and hierarchies over the life course. Read the rest of this entry »

Learn more & Register today at early-bird rates

2016 SharpBrains Virtual Summit: Reinventing Brain Health

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.