Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Mindfulness and Meditation in Schools: Mindful Kids, Peaceful Schools

Mindful Kids, Peaceful Schools

With eyes closed and deep breaths, students are learning a new method to reduce anxiety, conflict, and attention disorders. But don’t call it meditation.

— By Jill Suttie

At Toluca Lake elementary school in Los Angeles, a cyclone fence encloses the asphalt blacktop, which is teeming with kids. It’s recess time and the kids, who are mostly mindfulness exercises for teenagersLatino, are playing tag, yelling, throwing balls, and jumping rope. When the bell rings, they reluctantly stop and head back to their classrooms except for Daniel Murphy’s second grade class.

Murphy’s students file into the school auditorium, each carrying a round blue pillow decorated with white stars. They enter giggling and chatting, but soon they are seated in a circle on their cushions, eyes closed, quiet and concentrating. Two teachers give the children instructions on how to pay attention to their breathing, telling them to notice the rise and fall of their bellies and chests, the passage of air in and out of their noses. Though the room is chilly the heating system broke down earlier that day the children appear comfortable, many with Read the rest of this entry »

Books on neuroplasticity and memory training

Neuroplasticity: the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new connections throughout life. (see more concepts in our Glossary).

We coudn’t be happier about the growing number of books popularizing the key lessons about brain training that Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg has been researching and writing about for years, and that motivated us to embark ourselves in the SharpBrains adventure.

Discover Magazine presents a great article, Rewiring the Brain, reviewing two recent books.

  • The subtitle is “Neuroplasticity can allow for treatment of senility, post-traumatic stress, ­obsessive-compulsive disorder, and depression and Buddhists have been capitalizing on it for millenia.” I would add that the strong value of lifelong learning present in jesuit and jewish traditions reflects the same wisdom. Some quotes:
  • “Two new books, Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain (Ballantine Books, $24.95) by science journalist Sharon Begley and The Brain That Changes Itself (Viking, $24.95) by psychiatrist Norman Doidge, offer masterfully guided tours through the burgeoning field of neuroplasticity research. Each has its own style and emphasis; both are excellent.”
  • “Finally, both authors conclude that adult neuroplasticity is a vastly undertapped resource, one with which Western medicine and psychology are just now coming to grips. An important emerging research agenda is to Read the rest of this entry »

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