Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Brain Health and Fitness Workshops

Today I have an announce­ment to make. You prob­a­bly are seeing all the arti­cles about Brain Fit­ness in the press and wondering, “What is this all about?”, “Can some­one help me nav­i­gate through all the pro­grams out there?”, “How is Brain Fit­ness rel­e­vant to me in my per­son­al life or at work?”. Well…we are deliv­er­ing a series of work­shops to com­pa­nies and orga­ni­za­tions com­bin­ing mod­ules -includ­ing sci­en­tif­ic overview, the indus­try trends and key play­ers, fun team-build­ing exer­cis­es- that can be tai­lored to each organization’s spe­cif­ic needs. Ses­sions last from 1 to 6 hours, depend­ing on the group’s com­po­si­tion and agen­da and are deliv­ered either in per­son or via web con­fer­ence.

We want to be able to reach more orga­ni­za­tions, so please let us know of any ideas!

Some recent examples

1. Man­ag­ing Stress for Peak Per­for­mance (we men­tioned some notes on an Accen­ture ses­sion)

New and chal­leng­ing sit­u­a­tions – such as tak­ing on new respon­si­bil­i­ties– can trig­ger reac­tions in our brain and body that lim­it or even block our deci­sion-mak­ing abil­i­ties. These reac­tions may also harm our long-term brain pow­er and health. Although we can­not avoid change and stress­ful sit­u­a­tions, we can learn how to man­age our stress lev­els to ensure peak per­for­mance-even in tough moments. The lat­est neu­ro­science research proves that stress man­age­ment is a train­able “men­tal mus­cle.” This is true for any high pres­sure pro­fes­sion, be it trad­ing, sports, or sim­ply mod­ern life.

2. The Sci­ence of Brain Health and Brain Fit­ness (sim­i­lar to what I will teach at UC Berke­ley OLLI)

Neu­ro­sci­en­tists have shown how the human brain retains neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty (the abil­i­ty to rewire itself) and neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis (the cre­ation of new neu­rons) dur­ing its full life­time, lead­ing to a new under­stand­ing of what aging means. In this work­shop, we will review the sci­ence behind some of key con­cepts in this field and explore their impli­ca­tions on our lifestyles: con­cepts include neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty and neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis, the Cog­ni­tive Reserve the­o­ry for healthy aging, com­put­er-based cog­ni­tive train­ing pro­grams, emo­tion­al self-reg­u­la­tion, and the 4 pil­lars for life­long Brain Health.

3. Exer­cis­ing Our Brains for Top Health and Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty (like our ses­sion at Cis­co Sys­tems)

Neu­ro­sci­en­tists have final­ly shown that, at any age, our men­tal activ­i­ty influ­ences the gen­er­a­tion of new neu­rons and their con­nec­tions, with clear guide­lines to fol­low. We have all heard “Use it or lose it”. In this work­shop we will learn how to make the most of the lat­est research which sug­gests instead: “Use it and improve it”. We will com­bine both research and fun group activ­i­ties to learn how to exer­cise and improve dif­fer­ent areas of our brains: atten­tion, exec­u­tive func­tions, lan­guage, visu­al skills, lan­guage, mem­o­ry, emo­tions, motor coor­di­na­tion.

And what some clients are saying

Cis­co Sys­tems: “The Sharp­Brains work­shop was one of the most enlight­en­ing and fun team-build­ing activ­i­ties we have had. I also love the tools that help me apply the stress man­age­ment skills we were taught” – Vladimir Todor­ovic, Man­ag­er, Cis­co Sys­tems.

Accen­ture: 46 per­cent of sur­vey respon­dents strong­ly agreed they “gained prac­ti­cal skills and knowl­edge” in the Sharp­Brains work­shop they could “start using imme­di­ate­ly.” 69 per­cent strong­ly agreed “fac­ul­ty was knowl­edge­able and very well informed.” – Sur­vey of par­tic­i­pants at Accenture’s Inter­na­tion­al Women’s Day cel­e­bra­tion.

SFSU Osh­er Life­long Learn­ing Cen­ter: “Inter­ac­tive infor­ma­tion, enter­tain­ing, amus­ing, edu­ca­tion­al, lots of mate­r­i­al cov­ered in short time. Good fun! Mr. Fer­nan­dez is in his ele­ment. Great teacher, wit­ty, his love of his craft is evi­dent.” – Par­tic­i­pant in 2007 “Exer­cis­ing Our Brains” class at SFSU.

Stan­ford Busi­ness School: “I can start see­ing the changes in my stress lev­el take place right in front of my eyes,” said Baba Shiv, a neu­ro­sci­en­tist and pro­fes­sor at Stanford’s Grad­u­ate School of Busi­ness, who uses Freeze-Framer 2.0, one of the pro­grams licensed by Sharp­Brains.” quot­ed in San Fran­cis­co Exam­in­er, 3/19/07.

Traders: “Traders exposed to stress­ful sit­u­a­tions need to man­age lev­els of cog­ni­tive and phys­i­cal arousal for max­i­mum per­for­mance. Through struc­tured prac­tice, we can learn to improve our abil­i­ty to enter and remain in states of calm focus. Sharp­Brains brings togeth­er best prac­tices, insight­ful infor­ma­tion and the tools unique­ly mar­ket­ed to traders.” – Brett Steen­barg­er, Trad­er and Pub­lished Author on the Psy­chol­o­gy of Trad­ing.

If you are inter­est­ed in learn­ing more, please Con­tact Us or just leave a com­ment below. Enjoy the week­end!.

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6 Responses

  1. Mario says:

    This remind­ed me of a recent work­shop that I par­tic­i­pat­ed in — called Movers and Shake­speare. It was a great team build­ing exer­cise for our firm (I work in mar­ket­ing in DC).
    It used shakespeare’s hen­ry the V to bring up some impor­tant lessons about the mod­ern office.

    Does this ring a bell for any­one else? I know the cou­ple that did our pre­sen­ta­tion has been doing this all over the coun­try.

  2. Alvaro says:


    Thanks for shar­ing your expe­ri­ence. It sounds fun. Do you hap­pen to have the con­tact info for the cou­ple who led it? It might be inter­est­ing for us to con­tact them and col­lab­o­rate on future work­shops.

    Also, please count on us as a brain fit­ness and stress man­age­ment resource!

    Kind regards,


  3. Mario says:

    Indeed I do, Alvaro, thanks for ask­ing.

    All the info you need can be found here:

    Let me know what you think!

  4. Alvaro says:

    Thanks Mario, looks like a fun work­shop.

    Can you describe what you learned and what has proven to help you most in your dai­ly work life, months/ years after you took it?


  5. Mario says:

    Well, I just went through the sem­i­nar, so I have a pret­ty fresh per­spec­tive.

    But here are a few gen­er­al take­aways that can be applied to office lead­er­ship:

    -Always turn lia­bil­i­ties into assets.

    -Bring the future into the present.

    -Don’t be afraid to make the tough deci­sion.

    All from Shake­speare!

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

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