Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Brain Quiz: Do You Have a Brain?

Have you already read The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness?

Let’s see…brain health and brain fitness

1. Pick the only part of your body that does not con­tain fat:

a. Arm
b. Thigh
c. Brain
d. None

Answer: d) Fats are also present in the brain: in neu­rons’ mem­branes to keep them flex­i­ble. These fats are the omega 3 and omega 6 fat­ty acids mol­e­cules. (Page 32 of the book)

2. Pick the only food prod­uct that doesn’t con­tain Omega‑3 fat­ty acids

a. Tuna
b. Wal­nut
c. Kiwi
d. Jel­ly Beans

Answer: d) Fat­ty acids can be found in cold-water fish (such as mack­er­el, her­ring, salmon, and tuna), kiwi, and wal­nuts. (Page 33)

3. Pick the only food prod­uct that doesn’t con­tain antiox­i­dants

a. Olive oil
b. Milk
c. Nuts
d. Berries

Answer: b) Antiox­i­dants can be found in veg­etable oils, nuts, green leafy veg­eta­bles (e.g., spinach), cit­rus fruit, and berries. (Page 33)

4. Chron­ic Stress can­not:

a. Pre­vent you from being cre­ative
b. Kill brain cells
c. Pre­vent you from sleep­ing
d. Kill liv­er cells

Answer: d) Pro­longed expo­sure to adren­al steroid hor­mones like cor­ti­sol, which is released into the blood stream when we are stressed, can lead to cell death and block the for­ma­tion of new neu­rons. (Page 35)

5. What type of phys­i­cal exer­cise is the best for your brain health?

a. Weight lift­ing
b. Aer­o­bic exer­cis­es
c. Flex­i­bil­i­ty exer­cis­es

Answer: b) Aer­o­bic exer­cise because it is the type of exer­cise that increas­es blood flow to the brain the most. (Page 38)

6. Pick the abil­i­ty, if any, that can­not be improved as we age:

a. Con­cen­tra­tion
b. Mem­o­ry
c. Lan­guage
d. None

Answer: d) the brain can learn and change even as we get old­er. Stud­ies have shown that mid­dle age as well as old­er indi­vid­u­als can main­tain and improve a vari­ety of cog­ni­tive func­tions. (Page 39)

7. Which of these does NOT affect your risks of devel­op­ing Alzheimer’s?

a. Your fam­i­ly his­to­ry
b. Your edu­ca­tion
c. Your head size

Answer: c) High lev­els of edu­ca­tion are asso­ci­at­ed with low­er risks lev­els for Alzheimer’s dis­ease. It is pos­si­ble that the effect of edu­ca­tion is relat­ed to the effects of intel­lec­tu­al stim­u­la­tion. Well-edu­cat­ed peo­ple are more like­ly to have cog­ni­tive­ly stim­u­lat­ing jobs and stim­u­la­tion helps pro­tect the brain. If one of your rel­a­tives had late onset Alzheimer’s, your risks are increased by 2–3%. (Page 41)

8. Which state­ment should you NOT tell your­self when con­sid­er­ing buy­ing a brain train­ing pro­gram?

a. I would like the exer­cis­es to vary and teach me some­thing new
b. I hope the train­ing will not be too stress­ful
c. I will use the pro­gram with my grand­ma as well
d. I would like it to have an inde­pen­dent assess­ment to mea­sure my progress

Answer: c) The choice of a brain train­ing prod­ucts depends on one’s goals and needs. If one prod­ucts fit your goals, it will not nec­es­sar­i­ly fit the goals of some­body else (here your grand­ma) and may there­fore, not work for this oth­er per­son. (Page 98)

9. What type of brain train­ing has been shown to help peo­ple who are afraid of spi­ders?

a. NovaV­i­sion
b. Cog­ni­tive Ther­a­py
c. EmWave Stress Relief

Answer: b) Cog­ni­tive ther­a­py can help patients with pho­bia to devel­op cog­ni­tive and behav­ioral skills to mod­i­fy dys­func­tion­al think­ing and actions, even influ­enc­ing pat­terns of amyg­dala acti­va­tion. (Page 78)

10. What brain train­ing approach has been sub­ject to mul­ti­ple seri­ous sci­en­tif­ic stud­ies?

a. Cogmed work­ing mem­o­ry train­ing
b. Posit Sci­ence Clas­sic
c. Nin­ten­do Brain Age

Answer: a), b), and d). Those three prod­ucts have been ana­lyzed in mul­ti­ple well-designed clin­i­cal stud­ies, while those by Nin­ten­do haven’t. (Pages 103–105)

How well have you done?

For much more infor­ma­tion on the brain, brain health and cog­ni­tive fit­ness, check out The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness.

Pascale MichelonPas­cale Mich­e­lon, Ph. D., is Sharp­Brains’ Research Man­ag­er for Edu­ca­tion­al Projects. Dr. Mich­e­lon has a Ph.D. in Cog­ni­tive Psy­chol­o­gy and has worked as a Research Sci­en­tist at Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty in Saint Louis, in the Psy­chol­o­gy Depart­ment. She con­duct­ed sev­er­al research projects to under­stand how the brain makes use of visu­al infor­ma­tion and mem­o­rizes facts. She is now an Adjunct Fac­ul­ty at Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty.

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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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