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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