Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Update: The Challenges of Gerontology

Here you have the twice-a-month newslet­ter with our most pop­u­lar blog posts. Please brainremem­ber that you can sub­scribe to receive this Newslet­ter by email, sim­ply by sub­mit­ting your email at the top of this page.

First, I am pleased to report that have been invited to par­tic­i­pate in a new ini­tia­tive by the World Eco­nomic Forum. Described as “In a global envi­ron­ment marked by short-term ori­en­ta­tion and silo-thinking, Global Agenda Coun­cils will fos­ter inter­dis­ci­pli­nary and long-range think­ing to address the pre­vail­ing chal­lenges on the global agenda”, my spe­cific Coun­cil will focus on the Chal­lenges of Geron­tol­ogy. More infor­ma­tion on the Global Agenda Coun­cils here. Will keep you updated via this blog.

In the News

Yes, It is Smart to Learn New Tricks: a recent Wash­ing­ton Post arti­cle presents a good overview of brain health trends, but framed around a highly arti­fi­cial choice for con­sumers: either you a) do phys­i­cal exer­cise, or b) take part in social inter­ac­tions, or c) engage in men­tal exer­cise. What about switch­ing off those TVs and hav­ing time for all a, b, c, and more?

Mind Games: the August issue of Ven­ture Cap­i­tal Jour­nal brings a very good piece on the emerg­ing brain fit­ness soft­ware cat­e­gory (sub­scrip­tion required), which we enhance by pro­vid­ing a quick overview of the field.

Cog­niFit raises USD 5 mil­lion: if 2007 was the year of brain fit­ness media cov­er­age, 2008 seems to be the year of seri­ous invest­ments. This Cog­niFit round fol­lows other recent ven­ture invest­ments: Dakim ($10.6m), Lumos Labs ($3m). We hear all these com­pa­nies are devot­ing part of these resources to fund clin­i­cal trials…never too late.

Brain Sci­ence and Life­long Learning

Schools as Brain Train­ing Hubs?: in a recent post we asked for sug­ges­tions to refine our pre­dic­tions for the 2007–2015 period. A good num­ber of read­ers con­tributed, and the win­ner of this infor­mal con­test is… Scott Spears, retired pub­lic schools super­in­ten­dent, for his thoughts on the future impli­ca­tions of cog­ni­tive research on schooling.

Neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis and Brain Plas­tic­ity in Adult Brains: while “adults may have a ten­dency to get set in their ways I’ve been doing it this way for a long time and it works, so why change?”, change itself is an excel­lent prac­tice for healthy brain aging, as Lau­rie Bar­tels explains.

A Farewell to Demen­tia?: a fas­ci­nat­ing recent edi­to­r­ial in Archives of Neu­rol­ogy, titled Demen­tia: A Word to be For­got­ten, calls for more con­struc­tive ter­mi­nol­ogy. Dr. Joshua Stein­er­man weighs in.

Other Thought-Provoking Articles

To Think or to Blink?: should Ham­let be liv­ing with us now and read­ing best­sellers, he might be won­der­ing: To Blink or not to Blink? To Think or not to Think? We are pleased to present an arti­cle by Madeleine Van Hecke, offer­ing the “on the other hand” to Mal­colm Gladwell’s Blink argument.

The impact of web 2.0 on health­care: we hosted Med­i­cine 2.0, a bi-weekly col­lec­tion of arti­cles that ana­lyze the cur­rent and poten­tial impact of web 2.0 tech­nolo­gies on med­i­cine and healthcare.

Brain Teasers

Brain Teasers: Spot the Dif­fer­ence: how many dif­fer­ences can you spot (and how many cog­ni­tive func­tions can you engage with this sim­ple exercise?)

I hope you are hav­ing a great August!

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