Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Nintendo BrainAge, Lumosity, Happy Neuron, MyBrainTrainer…

A col­lec­tion of recent announce­ment in the “brain games” or “brain train­ing games” space:

The Wii sets new gen­er­a­tional stan­dards for the videogame indus­try

  • “The age­ing of the Japan­ese pop­u­la­tion com­pelled gamemak­er Nin­ten­do to widen its audi­ence. Now, the Wii is lead­ing the indus­try stan­dards. But hard­core gamers are still too impor­tant to be neglect­ed.”

Strain your brain the smart way

  • George Har­ri­son, Nintendo’s senior vice pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing and cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions, has said that more than half of the company’s mar­ket­ing for Wii is aimed at adults. And the sys­tem has been pre­sent­ed at con­ven­tions for the aging “gray gamer” pop­u­la­tion.” and talks about sudoku, Brain Age, Big Brain Acad­e­my, and more.

SBT Announces the Acqui­si­tion of Quix­it

  • Sci­en­tif­ic Brain Train­ing (“SBT”), based in Lyon, France, today has announced that it has acquired all of the out­stand­ing shares of pri­vate­ly held Quix­it, Inc. SBT was pre­vi­ous­ly a minor­i­ty share­hold­er of Quix­it. Effec­tive today, Quix­it will be renamed HAP­PYneu­ron, Inc.”

Lumos Labs just announced the release of lumos­i­ty. MyBrain­Train­er and Brain­Builder are still around.

Let me add our 2 cents to the con­ver­sa­tion:

- Life­long learn­ing and brain exercise/ men­tal stimulation have been shown to reduce the prob­a­bil­i­ty of devel­op­ing Alzheimer’s-related symp­toms as we age. Now, no one spe­cif­ic pro­gram has shown so far that it is bet­ter than anoth­er one in this regard. Some pro­grams have shown good results at train­ing and improv­ing spe­cif­ic cog­ni­tive skills, which is dif­fer­ent. You can learn more at Alzheimer’s Dis­ease: too seri­ous to play with head­lines.

- How can one dis­tin­guish what is enter­tain­ment (which is not bad at all, but has unproven cog­ni­tive enhance­ment ben­e­fits) vs. real brain fit­ness pro­grams? We sug­gest that, before buy­ing any pro­gram, you get clear answers to the ques­tions in the Brain Fit­ness Check­list below. A very impor­tant ques­tion is num­ber 2: if you want pro­grams with sol­id sci­ence behind, look for the name of the sci­en­tist behind in the PubMed data­base, “a ser­vice of the U.S. Nation­al Library of Med­i­cine that includes over 17 mil­lion cita­tions from MEDLINE and oth­er life sci­ence jour­nals for bio­med­ical arti­cles back to the 1950s.” Good qual­i­ty peer-reviewed research will appear there.

10 Ques­tions to Choose the Right Brain Fit­ness Pro­gram for You

 

BASED ON SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

1. Are there sci­en­tists (ide­al­ly neu­ropsy­chol­o­gists) and a sci­en­tif­ic advi­so­ry board behind the pro­gram?
2. Are there pub­lished, peer-reviewed sci­en­tif­ic papers writ­ten by those sci­en­tists? How many?
 

MEASURABLE CLAIMS AND BENEFITS

3. What are the spe­cif­ic ben­e­fits claimed for using this pro­gram?
4. Does the pro­gram tell me what part of my brain or which cog­ni­tive skill I am exer­cis­ing, and is there an inde­pen­dent assess­ment to mea­sure my progress?
5. Is it a struc­tured pro­gram with guid­ance on how many hours per week and days per week to use it?
 

ENSURES CROSS-TRAINING

6. Do the exer­cis­es vary and teach me some­thing new?
 

IS IT EXERCISE — OR ENTERTAINMENT

7. Does the pro­gram chal­lenge and moti­vate me, or does it feel like it would become easy once I learned it?
 

GOOD FIT FOR ME

8. Does the pro­gram fit my per­son­al goals?
9. Does the pro­gram fit my lifestyle?
10. Am I ready and will­ing to do the pro­gram, or would it be too stress­ful?

For more infor­ma­tion on each ques­tion, see:

SharpBrains Checklist 10 Ques­tions to Choose the Right Brain Fit­ness Pro­gram for You
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SharpBrains Checklist Bookmark 10 Ques­tions to Choose the Right Brain Fit­ness Pro­gram for You (book­mark size)
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You can find more infor­ma­tion in our Brain Fit­ness Top­ics sec­tion. Please let us know if you have any sug­ges­tions-thanks!     

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12 Responses

  1. Pat Washburn says:

    Thanks for this post, Alvaro! I’ve includ­ed it in the Med­i­cine 2.0 Blog Car­ni­val at The Health Wis­dom Blog.

  2. Hi, I am cur­rent­ly work­ing on an vr edu­ca­tion game focus­ing on ADHD. I am in search of paid game con­sul­tant that can guide me the right way.
    ivette@anewhuesalon.com

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