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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