Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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The Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation (CC-ABHI) launches funding program to spark R&D and commercialization initiatives

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Up to $500,000 Available Through Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation’s Spark Program to Fund New Innovations (Baycrest press release):

The Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation (CC-ABHI) announced today the launch of its Spark Program, an initiative designed to provide point-of-care workers in the healthcare delivery or service industry in North America with as much as 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.

Neurogenesis and Brain Plasticity in Adult Brains

Back in July, I wrote a post entitled 10 Brain Tips To Teach and Learn. Those tips apply to students of any age, including adults, for ideally adults are still learners. Why is adult learning relevant in a brain-focused blog, you may wonder:

The short of it

As we age, our brain:

still forms new brain cells
can change its structure & function
finds positive stress can be beneficial; negative stress can be detrimental
can thrive on novel challenges
needs to be exercised, just like our bodies

The long of it

Adults may have a tendency to get set in their ways have been doing it this way for a long time and it works, so why change? Turns out, though, that change can be a way to keep aging brains healthy. At the April Learning & the Brain conference, the theme of which was neuroplasticity, I attended several sessions on adult learning. Here’s what the experts are saying.

Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Fitness Newsletter: mid-February Edition

Brain exercise, brain exercisesOur January Newsletter received a good deal of feedback from many readers. Based on it, our new approach is to select the top 10 most important articles every other week. Please take a look at this first experiment, and let us know you feedback.

(Also, remember that you can subscribe to receive our blog RSS feed, or to our monthly newsletter at the top of this page if you want to receive this newsletter by email).

Top 10 Articles February 1st-15th:

News and Events

Stress Management is Key Factor For Cognitive Fitness: a great cover story in US News & World Report, and an excellent article in Prevention Magazine that was highlighted on the Today Show this week, both feature the importance of Read the rest of this entry »

Mental Imagery and Spatial Rotation Brain Teaser

Here’s a fun puzzle that a friend gave me over dinner a few days ago …

How do you cut a cake into eight equal pieces with only three cuts?
the cake in the puzzle is not necessarily the one pictured below

mental rotation task

You have to use your mental rotation and mental imagery skills to visualize the answer for this puzzle. In doing so, you are using your visual cortex in the occipital lobes, your somatosensory cortex in your parietal lobes, and your executive functions in your frontal lobes to help create and evaluate your hypotheses.

Answer: Use two cuts to cut the cake into four equal pieces. Stack the four pieces vertically, and use your third cut to cut the four pieces in half horizontally.

Next brain teaser:

Learn more & Register today at early-bird rates

2016 SharpBrains Virtual Summit: Reinventing Brain Health in the Digital Age

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