Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Update: A Fresh Look at Enhancing Brain & Mental Health Across the Lifespan

kid brainTime for Sharp­Brains’ May 2013 e-newsletter, which fea­tures a vari­ety of arti­cles offer­ing a more opti­mistic and evidence-based approach to brain and men­tal health than cur­rent practices.

First of all, let us high­light that Sci­en­tific Amer­i­can just pub­lished an excel­lent review of our new book. The author sums it up by say­ing that “…I wish I had read this awe­some guide when I was much younger…I find the emerg­ing field of neu­ro­plas­tic­ity immensely excit­ing, and guides like this one are both hope­ful and rea­son­able.” As a reader points out, the word “awe­some” does not appear often in science-oriented publications…so we are espe­cially proud to see the book merit such treatment.

New think­ing:

New sci­ence:

New tools:

That’s it for now. Have a stim­u­lat­ing June!

Train your brain with targeted videogames, not with crossword puzzles

cognition-road-tour-combinedStudy shows men­tal agility game slows cog­ni­tive decline in older peo­ple (Iowa Now): “Wolin­sky and col­leagues sep­a­rated 681 gen­er­ally healthy med­ical patients in Iowa into four groups—each fur­ther sep­a­rated into those 50 to 64 years of age and those over age 65. One group was given com­put­er­ized cross­word puz­zles, while three other groups were exposed to a video game called Read the rest of this entry »

Debunking 10 Brain Fitness and Brain Training Myths during Brain Awareness Week

brain fitness mythsIn honor of Brain Aware­ness Week, let’s debunk ten myths about brain fit­ness and brain train­ing that remain sur­pris­ingly popular.

Top 10 brain fit­ness and brain train­ing myths, debunked:

Myth 1. Genes deter­mine the fate of our brains.
Fact: Life­long brain plas­tic­ity means that our lifestyles and behav­iors play a sig­nif­i­cant role in how our brains (and there­fore our minds) phys­i­cally evolve.

Myth 2. We are what we eat. Read the rest of this entry »

Neuroscientists: Develop digital games to improve brain function and well-being

interactivemediaAuthors: Develop dig­i­tal games to improve brain func­tion and well-being (UW-Madison News):

Neu­ro­sci­en­tists should help to develop com­pelling dig­i­tal games that boost brain func­tion and improve well-being, say two pro­fes­sors spe­cial­iz­ing in the field in a com­men­tary arti­cle pub­lished in the sci­ence jour­nal Nature. In the Feb. 28 issue, the two — Daphne Bave­lier of the Uni­ver­sity of Rochester and Richard J. David­son of the Uni­ver­sity of Wisconsin-Madison — urge game design­ers and brain sci­en­tists to work together to design new games that train the brain, pro­duc­ing pos­i­tive effects on behav­ior, such as decreas­ing anx­i­ety, sharp­en­ing atten­tion and improv­ing empathy.”

To Learn More:

 

National Science Foundation report: Can interactive media boost attention and well-being?

interactivemediaBehav­ioral train­ing inter­ven­tions have received much inter­est as poten­tially effi­cient and cost-effective ways to main­tain brain fit­ness or enhance skilled per­for­mance with impact rang­ing from health and fit­ness to edu­ca­tion and job train­ing. In par­tic­u­lar, neu­ro­science research has doc­u­mented the impor­tance of explic­itly train­ing (i) atten­tional con­trol, in order to enhance per­cep­tual and cog­ni­tive fit­ness as well as (ii) kind­ness and com­pas­sion, to Read the rest of this entry »

Update: New brain science leads to new tools and to new thinking

We often view mem­ory, think­ing, emo­tions, as com­pletely sep­a­rate enti­ties, but they truly are part of the same process. So, if we want to improve brain health, we need to pay atten­tion to the “weak link” in that process. In today’s soci­ety, man­ag­ing stress and neg­a­tive emo­tions is often that weak link, as we dis­cuss dur­ing Octo­ber Q&A ses­sion with par­tic­i­pants in Sharp­Brains’ new e-course. Time now for Sharp­Brains’ Octo­ber 2012 eNewslet­ter, fea­tur­ing new sci­ence, new resources and new thinking.

New sci­ence:

New tools:

New think­ing:

That’s it for now. Have a Happy Halloween!

Pic cour­tesy of Big­Stock­Photo

Can biofeedback-based videogames help kids regulate anger and emotions?

Video Game With Biofeed­back Teaches Chil­dren to Curb Their Anger (Sci­ence Daily):

Chil­dren with seri­ous anger prob­lems can be helped by a sim­ple video game that hones their abil­ity to reg­u­late their emo­tions, finds a pilot study at Boston Children’s Hos­pi­tal. Results were pub­lished online Octo­ber 24 in the jour­nal Ado­les­cent Psy­chi­a­try Read the rest of this entry »

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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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