Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Update: Time to become mental capitalists and invest in our brains?

Time for the Novem­ber edi­tion of the monthly Sharp­Brains eNewslet­ter, fea­tur­ing a wealth of resources and insights on how to invest in our brains, includ­ing top­ics such as brain health, med­i­ta­tion, neu­ropsy­chol­ogy, brain train­ing games, chemo brain, dyslexia, neu­ro­plas­tic­ity, cog­ni­tive biases, stress, and more. Not to for­get a cou­ple of fun teasers. Enjoy!

Brain Fit­ness Q&A Sessions:

The Big Picture:

New Research:

New Books:

Brain Teasers:

Thank you for your inter­est and atten­tion and have a great December.

A Course Correction for Positive Psychology: A Review of Martin Seligman’s Latest Book

(Editor’s Note: we are pleased to bring you this arti­cle thanks to our col­lab­o­ra­tion with Greater Good Sci­ence Cen­ter).

A Course Cor­rec­tion for Pos­i­tive Psychology

A review of Mar­tin Seligman’s lat­est book, Flour­ish: A Vision­ary New Under­stand­ing of Hap­pi­ness and Well-Being.

- By Jill Suttie

As pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can Psy­cho­log­i­cal Asso­ci­a­tion in 1998, Mar­tin Selig­man chal­lenged the psy­cho­log­i­cal com­mu­nity to rad­i­cally change its approach. For too long, he charged, psy­chol­ogy had been pre­oc­cu­pied solely with reliev­ing symp­toms of men­tal ill­ness; instead, he believed it should explore how to thrive in life, not just sur­vive it. He called for a psy­chol­ogy that would uncover what makes peo­ple cre­ative, resilient, opti­mistic, and, ulti­mately, happy. The “pos­i­tive psy­chol­ogy” move­ment was born.

Yet in his lat­est book, Flour­ish, Selig­man tries to pro­vide some­thing of a course cor­rec­tion for pos­i­tive psy­chol­ogy. Read the rest of this entry »

Gabrielle Giffords’ recovery and Cognitive Rehab Insurance Coverage Gap

Gif­fords’ recov­ery renews focus on cov­er­age gap for vet­er­ans (Miami Herald):

- “Doc­tors and reha­bil­i­ta­tion spe­cial­ists have learned a great deal from the treat­ment of trau­matic brain injuries in com­bat vet­er­ans of Iraq and Afghanistan. One in five vet­er­ans of those wars has suf­fered some form of trau­matic brain injury, most com­monly con­cus­sions from road­side bombs.”

- “Yet vet­er­ans’ health care doesn’t con­sis­tently cover cog­ni­tive reha­bil­i­ta­tion ther­apy, the same ther­apy that’s helped Gif­fords and other well-known fig­ures — such as Sen. Tim John­son of South Dakota and ABC News cor­re­spon­dent Bob Woodruff — get their lives back to nor­mal after major brain traumas.”

- “Cog­ni­tive reha­bil­i­ta­tion can include speech and com­mu­ni­ca­tion ther­a­pies, and ther­a­pies to boost mem­ory and social skills and relearn rou­tine tasks such as get­ting dressed and shop­ping at the gro­cery store.”

Related resources:

Can Brain Fitness Innovation Enhance Cognitive Rehab and Driving Safety?

Today we share must-read insights from  Kather­ine Sul­li­van, Direc­tor of the Brain Fit­ness Cen­ter at Wal­ter Reed Army Med­ical Cen­ter, and Peter Kissinger, Pres­i­dent of the AAA Foun­da­tion for Traf­fic Safety. Both of them will dis­cuss their ongo­ing work and lessons learned at the upcom­ing 2011 Sharp­Brains Sum­mit (March 30th — April 1st, 2011). The inter­views below were con­ducted via email.

Kather­ine Sul­li­van is the Direc­tor of the Brain Fit­ness Cen­ter at Wal­ter Reed Army Med­ical Center.

1. Kather­ine, how would you define “brain fit­ness” vs. “phys­i­cal fitness”?

In our con­text (help­ing active duty ser­vice mem­bers and vet­er­ans recover from cog­ni­tive dys­func­tion most asso­ci­ated with trau­matic brain injury), I’d say brain fit­ness is the out­come we work towards: the cog­ni­tive resources required to return to duty or rein­te­grate into daily and pro­fes­sional lives as much as pos­si­ble. In this sense, Read the rest of this entry »

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