Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Brain Fitness Update: Why We Need Walking Book Clubs

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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, and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm and think tank tracking health and performance applications of brain science.