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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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