Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Suzhou Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Technology (SIBET) to host “brain-imaging factory” enabling large-scale, standardized data generation

Reconstructed image showing how long-range neurons extend across a mouse brain. Luo Q. M./Sci Sin Vitae

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China launches brain-imaging factory (Nature):

“Neuroscientists who painstakingly map the twists and turns of neural circuitry through the brain are about to see their field expand to an industrial scale. A huge facility set to open in Suzhou, China, next month should transform high-resolution brain mapping, its developers say. Read the rest of this entry »

Study issues warning: Opioid inhibitor naltrexone (often used to treat addictions) can reduce feelings of social connection

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Science has long known that having positive social connection is important to a happy and healthy life. But less is understood about how our brains support and encourage connecting with others.

While prior research has suggested oxytocin plays a role in nurturing and trusting others, thereby strengthening social bonds, many researchers also suspect that brain opioids are important to social connection. Read the rest of this entry »

Trend: Biopharma embraces digital cognitive assessments to identify behavioral health biomarkers

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The hunt for behavioral health biomarkers is harnessing digital health at the research stage (MedCity News):

“Digital health companies are going through an interesting transformation as research institutions realize the benefit of their technology to collect and manage data for a host of studies. The biopharma industry’s embrace of some digital health tools to manage the costs of drug development has led to more frequent collaborations with Read the rest of this entry »

AARP survey finds most common barrier for adults to add more mentally-stimulating activities: Knowing where to start

2017 AARP Cognitive Activity and Brain Health Survey (AARP Research):

“AARP conducted a study of adults age 40+ to characterize participation in cognitively stimulating activities (CSAs)…Key findings include: Read the rest of this entry »

Kids for life? Pros and cons of lifelong neuroplasticity, as seen via our emotional development

— Windows of plasticity in brain development. Adapted from Hensch T.K. (2005). Critical period plasticity in local cortical circuits. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 6(11), 877-888

The Brain’s Emotional Development (Dana Foundation’s Cerebrum):

“Humans are likely the most emotionally regulated creatures on earth. Compared to other animal species, we can modulate and modify emotional reactions and experiences, even very intense ones, through a large and sophisticated emotion regulation repertoire that includes skills of distraction, reappraisal, language, prediction, social interaction, suppression, and more. At times, these skills require effort, and at other times, they seem reflexive and automatic. Read the rest of this entry »

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