Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Encephalon #12 is out

and served with a great dose of humor at AlphaPsy blog. Enjoy

Stress Management as part of Brain Fitness Programs

The arti­cle Job Stress Fuels Dis­ease reports on the results from a new study of 677 work­ers that show that “When work stress becomes unman­age­able, job burnout can lead to a com­bi­na­tion of three symptoms:

  • Emo­tional exhaustion
  • Phys­i­cal fatigue or exhaustion
  • Cog­ni­tive weari­ness (slow thinking)”

and that “Stud­ies have shown that work­place stress can lead to an increase in rates of heart dis­ease, flu virus, meta­bolic syn­drome and high blood pressure.”

Which is why we are equally focused on Men­tal Stimulation/ Brain Exer­cise Pro­grams and on Stress Management-both are needed for Brain Fitness.

You can read more on the topic, and learn some tips:

Brain Coach Answers: I’m a mother of 2, with a career. Are there any quick ways to reduce stress?

Good Stress and Bad Stress

Brain Yoga: Stress — Killing You Softly

Lifelong Learning and Brain Training

Very fun ses­sion today at the Osher Life­long Learn­ing Insti­tute, titled Exer­cis­ing our Brains: new Brain Research and impli­ca­tions for our Lives. As usual, we com­bined some research back­ground with many fun group activ­i­ties, such as the ones you will find in our Brain Exer­cises sec­tion (click here).Want to try a brain teaser? Please count the num­ber of times that the let­ter “f” appears in this sentence:

Fin­ished files are the result of years of sci­en­tific study com­bined with the expe­ri­ence of years” (The solu­tion appears as first com­ment for this post).

We reviewed some areas that typ­i­cally improve as we age, such as Self-regulation, Emo­tional func­tion­ing and Wis­dom, defined as Pat­tern recognition build­ing on the accu­mu­la­tion of expe­ri­ences.
Read the rest of this entry »

Brain exercise: more brain connections or leaves in the Amazon?

neural connections QUESTION: How many neu­rons do you have (approx­i­mately? How many con­nec­tions can each have?

ANSWER: Accord­ing to the London-based Sci­ence Museum “Your brain is the hub of your ner­vous sys­tem. It is made up of 100 bil­lion nerve cells — about the same as the num­ber of trees in the Ama­zon rain­for­est. Each cell is con­nected to around 10,000 oth­ers. So the total num­ber of con­nec­tions in your brain is the same as the num­ber of leaves in the rain­for­est — about 1000 trillion”.

PS: Enjoy these 50 brain teasers to test your cog­ni­tive abil­ity. Free, and fun for adults of any age!

About this Blog

Your Win­dow into the Brain Fit­ness Rev­o­lu­tion offers a mix of fun brain teasers and seri­ous com­men­tary, focused on the impli­ca­tions of cog­ni­tive neu­ro­science research on Health, Edu­ca­tion and Cor­po­rate Training.

Sharp­Brains’ Mis­sion is to make Mind Fit­ness avail­able to all by rais­ing pub­lic aware­ness and help­ing bring to mar­ket neuroscience-based prod­ucts and pro­grams, a.k.a. “brain gyms”.


Alvaro Fer­nan­dez is Man­ag­ing Direc­tor of Sharp­Brains, Inc. He holds an MBA and MA in Edu­ca­tion from Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity. Alvaro started his career in McK­in­sey & Com­pany in Europe and has par­tic­i­pated in the launch of online book­store Ber­tels­mann Online, the turn­around of cor­po­rate e-learning com­pany Docent, Inc, and the launch of a new busi­ness unit of Edu­soft, a Houghton Mif­flin com­pany. He enjoys advis­ing the man­age­ment teams at social enter­prises Ashoka, abcd espanol and Arcan­d­ina, and teach­ing the class  Exer­cis­ing Our Brains  at the Bay Area Osher Life­long Learn­ing Center.

alvaro123 (at) sharpbrains456 (dot) com. (Note: Get rid of the numbers.)

Con­tribut­ing Editor:

Car­o­line Latham serves as Direc­tor of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions for Sharp­Brains. She received her under­grad­u­ate degree in exper­i­men­tal psy­chol­ogy from David­son Col­lege and worked in research labs study­ing human mem­ory, pain per­cep­tion, ocu­lo­mo­tor behav­ior, and atten­tion. After sev­eral years work­ing towards a com­bined MD/PhD in neu­ro­surgery and neu­ro­science at the Uni­ver­sity of Texas Med­ical Branch, she launched her career work­ing with med­ical and health-related com­pa­nies and publications.

Advi­sory Board

Dr. Phil Delio, Asso­ciate Direc­tor of Stroke Ser­vices at the Reha­bil­i­ta­tion Insti­tute of Santa Bar­bara. For­mer Chief Neu­rol­ogy Res­i­dent at Stan­ford University.

Dr. David Gamon is a best-selling author focused on mak­ing brain research excit­ing and acces­si­ble to all read­ers. While Build­ing Men­tal Mus­cle is his best-known work, he has authored or co-authored a total of 10 books in the Brain­waves line of pop­u­lar brain sci­ence books. He stud­ied Ger­man lit­er­a­ture at Reed Col­lege and cog­ni­tive sci­ence at U.C. Berke­ley, where he received his Ph.D. in Lin­guis­tics. He serves as con­tribut­ing writer to the Curi­ous Mind newslet­ter and the Sci­ence­Mas­ter sci­ence edu­ca­tion web­site, win­ner of the National Acad­emy Press’s “Coolest Sci­ence Site” award. His cur­rent projects include books about the brain’s con­struc­tion of sen­sory real­ity; humor and the brain; the sci­ence of psy­chopa­thy; and the evo­lu­tion of language.

Dr. Elkhonon Gold­berg is an author, sci­en­tist, edu­ca­tor and clin­i­cian, inter­na­tion­ally renowned for his clin­i­cal work, research, writ­ings and teach­ing in neu­ropsy­chol­ogy and cog­ni­tive neu­ro­science. He is a Clin­i­cal Pro­fes­sor of Neu­rol­ogy at New York Uni­ver­sity School of Med­i­cine, and Diplo­mate of The Amer­i­can Board of Pro­fes­sional Psy­chol­ogy in Clin­i­cal Neu­ropsy­chol­ogy. A stu­dent and close asso­ciate of the great neu­ropsy­chol­o­gist Alexan­der Luria, Dr. Gold­berg has con­tin­ued to advance Luria’s sci­en­tific and clin­i­cal tra­di­tion, and writ­ten pop­u­lar sci­ence books such as The Exec­u­tive Brain and The Wis­dom Paradox.

Susan Hoff­man launched and now leads the San Fran­cisco State University’s Osher Life­long Learn­ing Insti­tute, and is a Board mem­ber of Gate­way High school. Susan’s cre­ative work-screenplays, sto­ries, com­men­taries– has appeared in small press and main­stream pub­li­ca­tions as well as on-screen. For many years, she ran a per­form­ing arts venue at Fort Mason Cen­ter and rep­re­sented arts orga­ni­za­tions in Sacra­mento and Wash­ing­ton as the state’s arts advocate.