Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Cognitive maintenance 2.0: From crossword puzzles to targeted mental stimulation

neuroimagingThe Sil­ver Econ­omy: Brain train­ing fired up by hard evi­dence (Finan­cial Times):

Not so long ago, peo­ple kept age­ing brains active through read­ing and writ­ing, talk­ing with friends and fam­ily, and per­haps play­ing cards or doing puz­zles. Now a rapidly grow­ing num­ber are tak­ing a high-tech approach to cog­ni­tive main­te­nance, through com­puter pro­grams designed to stim­u­late the brain… Read the rest of this entry »

Update: How Stress and Emotions Impact Brain Performance

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Time for the Octo­ber edi­tion of the monthly Sharp­Brains eNewslet­ter, fea­tur­ing this time sev­eral arti­cles on the impact of stress, emo­tions, and self-regulation, on our brain’s struc­ture and performance.

We are pleased to bring to Sharp­Brains read­ers a new 6-part series on the Neu­ro­bi­ol­ogy of Stress, based on a recent book by Sharp­Brains con­trib­u­tor Dr. Jerome Schultz. The first two parts are already avail­able: Part 1 — The Human Brain and How It Responds to Stress and Part 2 — Gray Mat­ters.

Brain Study Links Emo­tional Self-Regulation and Math Per­for­mance: A new study strongly sug­gests the need to “help stu­dents reap­praise the sit­u­a­tion and con­trol emo­tions before they even get into a task”. While the study focused on math anx­i­ety and per­for­mance, the impli­ca­tions are rel­e­vant out­side the class­room too.

Reminder: Brain Fit­ness Q&A Ses­sions in Novem­ber: As we announced a few weeks ago, we are hon­ored to present an upcom­ing Brain Fit­ness Q&A Series. The first ses­sion, fea­tur­ing Dr. Gary Small, will take place Novem­ber 1st, 2011, 2-3pm US Eeast­ern Time. Please mark your cal­en­dar and join us at sharpbrains.com then! (no need to do any­thing prior to the session).

Music Train­ing Can Enhance Ver­bal Intel­li­gence and Exec­u­tive Func­tion: Very inter­est­ing new study pub­lished in Psy­cho­log­i­cal Sci­ence on the value of music train­ing (vs. sim­ply lis­ten­ing to music).

Gam­ing and Neu­ro­science: Oppor­tu­ni­ties and Chal­lenges: A sum­mary of impres­sions by researcher  Aki Niko­laidis based on his par­tic­i­pa­tion in the recent con­fer­ence Enter­tain­ment Soft­ware and Cog­ni­tive Neu­rother­a­peu­tics Con­fer­ence (ESCoNS) at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia San Francisco.

Fam­i­lies’ Per­spec­tives on ADHD and its Treat­ment: Dr. David Rabiner presents new data on fam­i­lies’ expe­ri­ence with ADHD and its treatment.

Brain Games and Opti­cal Illu­sions @ National Geo­graphic: Sev­eral Sharp­Brains friends rec­om­mend this recent 3-part National Geo­graphic TV mini-series.

Math Brain Teaser for Kids and Adults: Archimedes Grave: A fun puz­zle to exer­cise our brains a bit, sub­mit­ted by new con­trib­u­tor Maria Lando. Enjoy!

Upcoming Talks on Applied Neuroscience, Brain Fitness and Adaptive Organizations

A quick FYI — I will be speak­ing at the fol­low­ing events. Please do come and say Hello if you get the chance!

> Sep­tem­ber 19-20th, San Fran­cisco, CA: Trans­lat­ing Neu­ro­science Into Mar­ketable Ther­a­peu­tic Inter­ven­tions, at the Enter­tain­ment Soft­ware and Cog­ni­tive Neu­rother­a­peu­tics Soci­ety (ESCoNS). Details Here.

> Sep­tem­ber 23rd, Los Gatos, CA: The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness, at Los Gatos Pub­lic Library. Details Here.

> Novem­ber 8th, San Fran­cisco, CA: Brain Fit­ness for Adap­tive Orga­ni­za­tions, at the 2011 Neu­roLead­er­ship Sum­mit. Details Here.

Learning with Video Games: A Revolution in Education and Training?

In recent years, we have wit­nessed the begin­nings of a rev­o­lu­tion in edu­ca­tion.  Tech­nol­ogy has fun­da­men­tally altered the way we do many things in daily life, but it is just start­ing to make head­way in chang­ing the way we teach.  Just as tele­vi­sion shows like Sesame Street enhanced the pas­sive learn­ing of infor­ma­tion for kids by teach­ing in a fun for­mat, elec­tronic games offer to greatly enhance the way kids and adults are taught by actively engag­ing them in the process. Read the rest of this entry »

Update: Preparing Society for the Cognitive Age, and Industry Webinar

Here you have the August edi­tion of our monthly newslet­ter cov­er­ing cog­ni­tive health and Brain Fitnessbrain fit­ness top­ics. Please remem­ber that you can sub­scribe to receive this Newslet­ter by email, using the box at the top of this page.

Sci­en­tific pub­li­ca­tion Fron­tiers in Neu­ro­science recently pub­lished a spe­cial issue on Aug­ment­ing Cog­ni­tion, and invited me to con­tribute with an arti­cle titled Prepar­ing Soci­ety for the Cog­ni­tive Age. Ground­break­ing brain research has occurred over the last 20 years. The oppor­tu­nity to improve brain health and per­for­mance is immense, but we need to ensure the mar­ket­place matures in a ratio­nal and sus­tain­able man­ner, both through health­care and non-healthcare chan­nels. Click Here to read my article.

Announce­ments

In May 2009 Sharp­Brains pub­lished The State of the Brain Fit­ness Soft­ware Mar­ket 2009, the main indus­try report for lead­ing orga­ni­za­tions prepar­ing their mem­bers, their clients, and their patients for the cog­ni­tive age. 150-pages long, the report includes a mar­ket sur­vey with 2,000+ respon­dents, detailed analy­sis of 20+ ven­dors, research briefs writ­ten by 12 lead­ing sci­en­tists and data and trends for 4 major cus­tomer segments.webinar

Below we share the full Exec­u­tive Sum­mary of the report and announce an exclu­sive webi­nar on Sep­tem­ber 29th to dis­cuss the State of the Mar­ket in more depth with buy­ers of the report.

To order the report and access both the report and the webi­nar, you can click Here. (Only $975 –a 25% dis­count– using Dis­count Code Frontiers2009 before Sep­tem­ber 28th).

State of the Mar­ket

The brain fit­ness field holds excit­ing promise for the future while pre­sent­ing clear oppor­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges today. The good news is that there are more tools avail­able than ever before to assess and train a vari­ety of cog­ni­tive skills. The bad news is that there are no magic pills and that con­sumers, while sat­is­fied over­all, seem con­fused by com­pet­ing claims on how to reduce one’s “brain age.” We do see signs that this early-stage mar­ket can mature in a more ratio­nal, struc­tured man­ner; but there is much work to be done. We esti­mate that the size of the U.S. brain fit­ness soft­ware (i.e., appli­ca­tions designed to assess or enhance cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties) mar­ket in 2008 was Read the rest of this entry »

First Book Review is in…Two Stethoscopes Up!

The San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle brings two great pieces today — includ­ing an excel­lent review of our new Book!

Is Your Brain A Couch Potato? (online book review)

At 165 pages, we’re talk­ing a short, sweet, enter­tain­ing read of a com­plex topic, with timely (writ­ten in 1/09) reviews of 21 top tech­nol­ogy prod­ucts, as well as informed and expert pre­dic­tions of where this bur­geon­ing brain-fitness field is headed. More impor­tantly, after you read it, you’ll have a good, detailed sense of where you, per­son­ally, can act to improve your own couch-potato brain — and how to keep it fit and flex­i­ble your whole life. The Sharp­Brains Guide To Brain Fit­ness reminds of us all why books (and not just googling a topic) can be well worth your time and money. Two Stetho­scopes Up — check it out.”

Soft­ware designed to make older dri­vers sharper (arti­cle in print ver­sion)

- “All­state is exper­i­ment­ing with the soft­ware because it wants its cus­tomers who are over 50 to become bet­ter dri­vers so they have fewer acci­dents and can drive longer, per­haps in return for lower pre­mi­ums, said Tom War­den, an assis­tant vice pres­i­dent in Allstate’s research and plan­ning center.”

- “All­state found Posit after the insur­ance company’s own sci­en­tists, who were work­ing on the phys­i­ol­ogy and psy­chol­ogy of good dri­vers, dis­cov­ered research done by Visual Aware­ness, a com­pany in Alabama that has worked with State Farm and var­i­ous state motor vehi­cle depart­ments on expand­ing dri­vers’ fields of view. Posit acquired Visual Aware­ness last year.”

Stanford and Max Planck on Mental Fitness

Stan­ford Issues Find­ings from Cog­ni­tive and Brain Experts Urg­ing Con­sumer Cau­tion on Mem­ory Fit­ness Prod­ucts (press release)

- “Fear of mem­ory loss, men­tal impair­ment and Alzheimer’s dis­ease lead many con­sumers to search for prod­ucts — from sup­ple­ments to soft­ware — that claim to ward off such ail­ments,” Laura L. Carstensen, found­ing direc­tor of the Stan­ford Cen­ter on Longevity, said. “Such prod­ucts are becom­ing more pro­lific, but this bur­geon­ing indus­try is com­pletely unreg­u­lated and the claims can range from rea­son­able though untested, to bla­tantly false. It is impor­tant for con­sumers to pro­ceed with cau­tion before buy­ing into many of these prod­uct claims. There is no magic bul­let solu­tion for cog­ni­tive decline.”

- The Summit’s (Note: held in April 2008) state­ment points out that “it would be wrong to con­clude that noth­ing can be done to improve men­tal fit­ness.” But goes on to “strongly encour­age research that com­pares the effi­cacy and the cost-effectiveness of dif­fer­ent approaches to main­tain­ing cog­ni­tive fitness.”

Welcome to SharpBrains.com

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Jour­nal, CNN and more, Sharp­Brains is an inde­pen­dent mar­ket research firm track­ing health and well­ness appli­ca­tions of brain science.
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