Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Cognitive Enhancement and Exercise, by Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg

Dr. Gin­ger Camp­bell just pub­lished a nice pod­cast inter­view with our co-founder and chief sci­en­tif­ic advi­sor Dr. Elkhonon Gold­berg, whom we also inter­viewed some months ago on brain improve­ment research and ideas.

The first half of the 30-minute inter­view is a bit tech­ni­cal, includ­ing a nice intro­duc­tion to the field of neu­ropsy­chol­o­gy as the con­ver­gence of neu­rol­o­gy and psy­chol­o­gy. It starts focus­ing on the role of life­long learn­ing and cog­ni­tive exer­cise at minute 15 or so. Some of the take-aways from the sec­ond half:

  • Giv­en that the brain’s right hemi­sphere seems more focused on deal­ing with nov­el­ty than the left one (more focused on pat­tern recog­ni­tion based on pre-wired neur­al net­works due to pre­vi­ous expe­ri­ences), and that the right hemi­sphere typ­i­cal­ly declines first as we age…we need to ensure a good sup­ply of nov­el chal­lenges to main­tain our brain, includ­ing the right hemi­sphere, sharp.
  • The field of Cog­ni­tive Fit­ness is now emerg­ing because Baby Boomers are more edu­cat­ed, proac­tive and com­put­er-savvy than pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions (as a broad gen­er­al­iza­tion), and there is a grow­ing aware­ness and con­cern about Alzheimer’s dis­ease.
  • There is a grow­ing num­ber of “legit­i­mate” brain fit­ness pro­grams, with dif­fer­ent lev­els of qual­i­ty and which train dif­fer­ent areas. Which is why web­sites like Sharp­Brains act as clear­ing­house for infor­ma­tion and prod­ucts.
  • It is nev­er too late to learn some­thing new. We may not be able to become Mozart if we start play­ing the piano in our 60s…but who cares. What mat­ters is the men­tal exer­cise and chal­lenge of learn­ing some­thing new, what mat­ters is the process, itself, not the result­ing prod­uct.
  • Even if learn­ing any­thing new is good for our brains, well-designed brain exer­cise soft­ware pro­grams can pro­vide a more diverse and com­plete work­out than we can get in our dai­ly lives. It is a com­ple­ment.

Dr. Camp­bell also asked some oth­er good ques­tions where we can offer some addi­tion­al back­ground here:

You can also check Dr. Campbell’s pre­vi­ous pod­cast, The Wis­dom of the Aging Brain, where she reviews Dr. Goldberg’s last book, The Wis­dom Para­dox: How Your Mind Can Grow Stronger As Your Brain Grows Old­er.

I hope you enjoy the inter­view. You can also check oth­er great mate­r­i­al in her Pod­cast Series.

PS: if you are inter­est­ed in a less tech­ni­cal overview of what we can do to nur­ture our brains, you can check our arti­cle on Ten Impor­tant Truths About Aging:

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3 Responses

  1. Thanks for review­ing my pod­cast in so much detail. I should men­tion that it will be eas­i­er for your read­ers to find episodes of the Brain Sci­ence Pod­cast if they go

  2. Renata says:


    Your sub­mis­sion was select­ed!

    The Nat­ur­al Sci­ences Car­ni­val is up here

    Thanks for your con­tri­bu­tion for the Nat­ur­al Sci­ences Car­ni­val 1st edi­tion.

    Link, post, com­ment, spread it!

    And don’t for­get to par­tic­i­pate in our next edi­tion!

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