Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Nintendo BrainAge, Lumosity, Happy Neuron, MyBrainTrainer…

A col­lec­tion of recent announce­ment in the “brain games” or “brain train­ing games” space:

The Wii sets new gen­er­a­tional stan­dards for the videogame industry

  • “The age­ing of the Japan­ese pop­u­la­tion com­pelled gamemaker Nin­tendo to widen its audi­ence. Now, the Wii is lead­ing the indus­try stan­dards. But hard­core gamers are still too impor­tant to be neglected.”

Strain your brain the smart way

  • George Har­ri­son, Nintendo’s senior vice pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing and cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions, has said that more than half of the company’s mar­ket­ing for Wii is aimed at adults. And the sys­tem has been pre­sented at con­ven­tions for the aging “gray gamer” pop­u­la­tion.” and talks about sudoku, Brain Age, Big Brain Acad­emy, and more.

SBT Announces the Acqui­si­tion of Quixit

Exercise and The Brain in Newsweek

The new edi­tion of Newsweek brings us a great cover story titled Stronger, Faster, Smarter. “Exer­cise does more than build mus­cles and help pre­vent heart dis­ease. New sci­ence shows that it also boosts brainpower—and may offer hope in the bat­tle against Alzheimer’s.” Check it out!

We addressed the ques­tion Is phys­i­cal fit­ness impor­tant to your brain fit­ness? recently:

Accord­ing to Fred Gage, PhD, of the Salk Insti­tute for Bio­log­i­cal Stud­ies, “We now know that exer­cise helps gen­er­ate new brain cells, even in the aging brain.

Accord­ing to the research of Richard Smeyne, PhD at Saint Jude Children’s Research Hos­pi­tal in Mem­phis, with just two months of exer­cise there are more brain cells and that higher lev­els of exer­cise were sig­nif­i­cantly more ben­e­fi­cial than lower amounts, although any exer­cise was bet­ter than none. He also found that Read the rest of this entry »

Neurogenesis and How Learning Saves Your Neurons

Jon Barron’s blog high­lighted this recent press release from The Soci­ety for Neu­ro­science.

For decades, it was believed that the adult brain did not pro­duce new neu­rons after birth. But that notion has been dis­pelled by research in the last ten years. It became clear by the mid– to late-1990’s that the brain does, in fact, pro­duce new neu­rons through­out the lifespan.

This phe­nom­e­non, known as neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis, occurs in most species, includ­ing humans, but the degree to which it occurs and the extent to which it occurs is still a mat­ter of some con­tro­versy, says Tracey Shors, PhD, at Rut­gers University.

How­ever, there is no ques­tion that neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis occurs in the hip­pocam­pus, a brain region involved in aspects of learn­ing and mem­ory. Thou­sands of new cells are pro­duced there each day, although many die with weeks of their birth.” Shors’ recent stud­ies have shown a cor­re­la­tion in ani­mal mod­els between learn­ing and cell sur­vival in the hippocampus.

Read the rest of this entry »

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