Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Update: Work as a Brain Fitness Program

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.

There is one type of “brain fit­ness pro­gram” which is not only free but also pays you back. You guessed it, that pro­gram is your “job”. Our occu­pa­tions can pro­vide ben­e­fi­cial men­tal exer­cise if they incor­po­rate the key ingre­di­ents of nov­elty, vari­ety, and chal­lenge, and are not a source of chronic stress.

We start today’s newslet­ter with two arti­cles related to the brain value of hav­ing men­tally stim­u­lat­ing jobs.

Your Brain At Work

Your Brain At Work Brochure: Aren’t “tal­ent” and “human cap­i­tal” all about brain fit­ness and cog­ni­tive per­for­mance, really? Indi­vid­u­als and Human Resources depart­ments can access excel­lent cog­ni­tive fit­ness tips, an action plan, and a great brochure pro­vided by the Dana Alliance for Brain Ini­tia­tives and the Con­fer­ence Board for our readers.

ABC Reporter Bob Woodruff’s Recov­ery from Trau­matic Brain Injury: For­mer US pres­i­den­tial con­tender and Sen­a­tor John Edwards recently granted an inter­view to reporter Bob Woodruff. The most remark­able aspect of the inter­view? Bob Woodruff’s spec­tac­u­lar recov­ery from the trau­matic brain injury he suf­fered in Iraq 2 years ago. You can’t miss this inter­view with his wife Lee, where we dis­cuss Bob’s recov­ery process (includ­ing mak­ing a doc­u­men­tary, co-writing a book and other projects at ABC), the Bob Woodruff Foun­da­tion, and the over­all chal­lenge of cog­ni­tive reha­bil­i­ta­tion fol­low­ing trau­matic brain injuries.

Research

San­ti­ago Ramon y Cajal’s “Rec­ol­lec­tions of My Life”: Remark­able and can­did views on neu­ro­plas­tic­ity, learn­ing, aging and life, straight from the auto­bi­og­ra­phy of one of the founders of mod­ern neu­ro­science, who once said “Every man can, if he so desires, become the sculp­tor of his own brain.”

Can food improve brain health?: Dr. Pas­cale Mich­e­lon pro­vides an overview of the effects of food on the brain, build­ing on Fer­nando Gomez-Pinilla’s recent study in Nature Reviews Neu­ro­science. Can­di­dates for “brainy” foods con­tain: Omega-3 fatty acid, folic acid, flavonoids, anti-oxidant foods. Please note her warn­ing, though: most of the stud­ies show­ing pos­i­tive effects have been con­ducted in mice.

The biol­ogy of aging: A monthly vir­tual gath­er­ing of blog­gers to dis­cuss Biol­ogy of Aging top­ics includ­ing research, pol­icy, lifestyle guid­ance, and open ques­tions. We are aware that “aging” may not be the sex­i­est  of words in our vocab­u­lary… unless you con­sider the most com­mon alter­na­tive.

Tech­nol­ogy

Brain Fit­ness Cen­ters in Senior Hous­ing — A Field in the Mak­ing: The Amer­i­can Seniors Hous­ing Asso­ci­a­tion (ASHA) has released an Spe­cial Issue Brief pre­pared by Sharp­Brains to pro­vide qual­ity infor­ma­tion on mar­ket trends, best prac­tices by lead­ing seniors hous­ing and long-term care orga­ni­za­tions, lessons from pilot stud­ies, nav­i­ga­tional guid­ance, and more. If you are a pro­fes­sional or exec­u­tive in the sec­tor, please con­sider pur­chas­ing a copy.

The Future of Computer-assisted Cog­ni­tive Ther­apy: Cog­ni­tive ther­apy is one of the most researched types of brain train­ing, espe­cially in deal­ing with depres­sion and anx­i­ety. Why don’t more peo­ple ben­e­fit today from it? The lack of a scal­able dis­tri­b­u­tion model may per­haps explain that. We pre­dict that tech­nol­ogy will help com­ple­ment the role of ther­a­pists, help­ing more peo­ple bet­ter cope with change, life, anx­i­ety, and a range of cog­ni­tive and emo­tional chal­lenges. With­out any stigma. Just as nat­u­rally as one trains abdom­i­nal mus­cles today.

Brain Teaser
Games for the Brain: Quick, can you iden­tify what is going on in these photographs?

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We hope you enjoyed this edi­tion. As always, you are wel­come to share these arti­cles with friends, and to give us feed­back, for extra brain workout.

Your Brain At Work, by the Dana Alliance and The Conference Board

Sev­eral months ago we came across an excel­lent resource for cognitive/ brain fit­ness aimed at help­ing com­pa­nies offer qual­ity brain health infor­ma­tion to their employees.

While it is true that we often tend to believe all this “brain fit­ness” stuff is most rel­e­vant to our par­ents and/ or grand­par­ents, trust me, if you are read­ing this, you need it. Every­one with a brain can ben­e­fit from learn­ing about how his or her brain works and how to main­tain it with proper care.

And, from a company’s point of view, aren’t “tal­ent” and “human cap­i­tal” really all about brain fit­ness and cog­ni­tive performance?

Your Brain At Work - Dana Foundation and the Conference BoardThe Con­fer­ence Board and the Dana Alliance for Brain Ini­tia­tives (descrip­tions below) pub­lished in 2008 a 44-page book­let to “teach sim­ple, prac­ti­cal strate­gies for incor­po­rat­ing brain-friendly prac­tices into day-to-day life”.  Your Brain at work: Mak­ing the sci­ence of cog­ni­tive fit­ness to work for you is the first of three planned book­lets on cog­ni­tive fitness.

The Con­fer­ence Board and the Dana Alliance have allowed Sharp­Brains to share the fol­low­ing Action Plan with our read­ers, straight from Your Brain at work brochure. At the bot­tom of this post we also share instruc­tions on how indi­vid­u­als and com­pa­nies can get their own copies of this excel­lent brochure. Read the rest of this entry »

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