January Newsletter: Let’s Talk Brain Fitness, Neuroplasticity and Cognitive Reserve

Let us first announce an upcom­ing Vir­tu­al Book Club Dis­cus­sion focused on Brain Fit­ness, to take place on Mon­day March 14th in hon­or of Brain Aware­ness Week 2011 (March 14–20th). Let’s dis­cuss burn­ing issues togeth­er: Why care about neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty and the pos­si­bil­i­ties it offers to enrich our qual­i­ty of life? What does cog­ni­tive reserve research mean to the way we learn, work, play, live? What is Brain Train­ing — and what is not? All the con­ver­sa­tion be vir­tu­al, via social media tools. You can learn more here.

This edi­tion of Sharp­Brains month­ly eNewslet­ter brings many arti­cles on those top­ics. Enjoy!

Research Bites

The val­ue of neu­roimag­ing: Researcher Joaquin Anguera from UCSF shares with us what a par­tic­i­pant goes through when vol­un­teering for a neu­ro­science exper­i­ment these days.

How to boost self-con­trol: David DiS­al­vo reviews a study test­ing whether observ­ing some­one else exert self-con­trol boosts or reduces one’s own self-control.

The ben­e­fits of build­ing cog­ni­tive reserve: Using a blood test able to detect beta amy­loid 42 (the pro­tein mak­ing up Alzheimer’s plaque), this new study shows that the asso­ci­a­tion between amy­loid and cog­ni­tive decline can be mod­i­fied by cog­ni­tive reserve.

Why Main­tain­ing Stim­u­lat­ing Rela­tion­ships is Good for You: This Greater Good Mag­a­zine arti­cles sheds some light on what good you can get from stim­u­lat­ing social relationships.

Can Cog­ni­tive Train­ing Improve Phys­i­cal Fit­ness? Indeed — this some­how coun­ter­in­tu­itive study shows how the abil­i­ty to walk and talk at the same time can be enhanced through a com­put­er­ized men­tal work­out. Brain impacts body.

Exer­cise as a Treat­ment for ADHD: And, of course, body impacts brain. Dr. David Rabin­er tells us about a study sug­gest­ing how  phys­i­cal activ­ity may be ben­e­fi­cial to youth with ADHD.

Action Video Games Can Boost Brain Func­tions: Spe­cif­ic video games seem to improve rapid deci­sion-mak­ing used in many basic per­cep­tual and sen­sory tasks.

Books and Events

Stretch and Shape the Brain: This new illus­trat­ed book by Dr. JoAnn Deak explains to chil­dren how the brain changes with expe­ri­ences and how they have some con­trol over their brain pow­er and health.

Neu­ro­science Boot Camp: Orga­nized by The Uni­ver­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia, July 31-August 10, 2011. A great event for any­body for whom it is impor­tant to under­stand, pre­dict or influ­ence human behavior.

What is brain fit­ness? What are main oppor­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges to inno­vate and improve the lives of a large num­ber of peo­ple in the next decade? These are the ques­tions that Alvaro Fer­nan­dez asked to the inno­va­tors, deci­sion-mak­ers and researchers who will speak at the 2011 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit. Read their answers and insights, be inspired!

Brain Teasers

A test of Attrac­tive­ness. An aver­age face (made from sev­eral oth­er faces) is almost always judged as more attrac­tive than its con­stituent faces. Expe­ri­ence this by cre­ating your own aver­age faces.

Test your Mem­o­ry: How many let­ters can you mem­o­rize? A fun way of putting your short-term mem­o­ry skills to test.


Please don’t for­get to engage via Face­book and Twit­ter and spread the word on the March 14th vir­tu­al book club discussion!

– The Sharp­Brains Team

About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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