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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