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Brain Fitness Update: Why We Need Walking Book Clubs

Here you are have the twice-a-month newslet­ter with our most pop­u­lar blog posts. Please brainremem­ber that you can sub­scribe to receive this Newslet­ter by email, sim­ply by sub­mit­ting your email at the top of this page.

News

CNN: Aging boomers fuel ‘brain fit­ness’ explo­sion: An excel­lent arti­cle via Asso­ci­at­ed Press explor­ing why the brain fit­ness mar­ket passed a tip­ping point in 2007 and pre­dict­ing future trends build­ing on our mar­ket report.

Brain Age: Great Game, Wrong Con­cept: One rea­son why we believe the field will keep grow­ing is because we are see­ing more tools avail­able than ever before to assess and train a vari­ety of cog­ni­tive skills. The bad news (is this real­ly news?) is that we should­n’t be expect­ing mag­ic pills and that “brain age” is a fic­tion.

Why a Walk­ing Book Club?

Art Kramer on Why We Need Walk­ing Book Clubs: Neu­ro­sci­en­tist Art Kramer, in per­haps the most fas­ci­nat­ing inter­view we have had so far, would like every­one to com­bine both phys­i­cal and men­tal stim­u­la­tion along with social inter­ac­tions, sug­gest­ing, “Why not take a good walk with friends to dis­cuss a book?”. He also pre­views high­ly thought-pro­vok­ing research. If you can only read one arti­cle in this newslet­ter, read this.

Phys­i­cal Exer­cise and Brain Health: Dr. Pas­cale Mich­e­lon reviews the sci­en­tif­ic lit­er­a­ture on the ben­e­fits of phys­i­cal exer­cise on cog­ni­tive health, and finds many. She adds that “the effects of cog­ni­tive and fit­ness train­ing may be addi­tive.”

Ideas for the Book Club

A Mul­ti-Pronged Approach to Brain Health: Try eat­ing food with one chop stick. It is pos­si­ble, for cer­tain types of food. But prob­a­bly not the best approach. Dr. Lar­ry McCleary explains in The Brain Trust Pro­gram that phys­i­cal and men­tal exer­cise, as impor­tant as they are, are not the only fac­tors to con­sid­er to nour­ish our brains.

Why Smart Brains Make Stu­pid Deci­sions: In his recent­ly released book Sway, Ori Braf­man explains why “we have a ten­den­cy to think that our deci­sions are ratio­nal, when in fact, dif­fer­ent sways may have informed the deci­sion” and, more intrigu­ing­ly, why Har­vard Busi­ness School stu­dents paid $204 for a twen­ty-dol­lar bill. (Ori, who attend­ed Stan­ford, may be biased.)

Brain Teas­er

Con­sid­er Lin­da, a 31-year-old woman, sin­gle and bright. As a stu­dent, she was deeply con­cerned with dis­crim­i­na­tion and social jus­tice and also par­tic­i­pat­ed in anti-nuclear protests. Which is more prob­a­ble? (a) Lin­da is today a bank teller; (b) Lin­da is a bank teller and active in the fem­i­nist move­ment. Check here for the answer.

Enjoy the week…and, per­haps, ask your­self, “Who will I invite to a Walk­ing Book Club?”

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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