Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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News on physical, cognitive and emotional fitness

Brain Health NewsNice week­end read­ing mate­r­i­al — recent news reiforc­ing emerg­ing trends on phys­i­cal, cog­ni­tive and emo­tion­al fit­ness, but with new twists.

Fit teens could be smarter teens

Researchers from Swe­den and USC exam­ined data on 1.2 mil­lion Swedish men born between 1950 and 1976 who also enlist­ed for the country’s manda­to­ry mil­i­tary ser­vice. They looked at the par­tic­i­pants’ glob­al intel­li­gence scores as well as log­i­cal, visu­ospa­tial, ver­bal and tech­ni­cal scores. The greater the car­dio­vas­cu­lar fit­ness, the high­er the cog­ni­tive scores at age 18. The asso­ci­a­tion between mus­cle strength and glob­al intel­li­gence, in con­trast, was weak.”

UPMC Health Plan Offers Brain Fit­ness Soft­ware to Improve Health

UPMC Health Plan announced today that it has signed an agree­ment to offer award-win­ning brain fit­ness soft­ware from Posit Sci­ence®, at no cost, to all UPMC for Life Medicare Advan­tage mem­bers. This brain train­ing pro­gram is a new part of the UPMC Health Plan well­ness ser­vices, which focus on both mind and body fit­ness.

The brain fit­ness soft­ware, known as the Insight™ Brain Fit­ness Pro­gram, is a suite of five game-like com­put­er exer­cis­es that make brain train­ing chal­leng­ing and effec­tive. The pro­gram engages the brain’s nat­ur­al plas­tic­i­ty (the brain’s abil­i­ty to rewire itself) to improve basic brain func­tion.”

Brain-fit­ness indus­try grows as baby-boomers work to stay sharp.

When we’re younger we’re learn­ing quite inten­sive­ly,” she said. “By mid­dle age, we’re not learn­ing inten­sive­ly any­more and just using skills we’ve already mas­tered. That’s why it’s impor­tant to stretch your brain.”

Brain fit­ness games also have the poten­tial to improve one’s emo­tion­al health, said Mark Bald­win, a psy­chol­o­gy pro­fes­sor at McGill Uni­ver­si­ty in Mon­tre­al.

Bald­win has devel­oped a num­ber of com­put­er games based on keep­ing a brain active phys­i­o­log­i­cal­ly, to improve it psy­cho­log­i­cal­ly.

It’s about prac­tis­ing or using games to train ben­e­fi­cial habits of thought, ” he said.

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About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

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