Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


March/ April Update: Brain Health Status Quo No Longer An Option

The 2011 SharpBrains Virtual Summit (March 30th – April 1st) gath­ered more than 260 research and indus­try lead­ers from 16 countries for 3 days to dis­cuss the chang­ing land­scape of Brain Health and Cognitive Fitness. It was a great success! Find the key lessons and take-home points from the Summit in these 2 articles by Drs. Jamie Wilson and Luc Beaudoin, respectively: 10 Emerging Themes:  Why Brain Health Status Quo is Not an Option and 7 Key Lessons from the SharpBrains Summit.

Consider this: “Col­lab­o­ra­tion is emerg­ing in ways that were unthink­able only a few years ago. Researchers are open­ing up their data and method­olo­gies to gain insights from one another. Com­mer­cial orga­ni­za­tions are part­ner­ing via dig­i­tal chan­nels, con­tent syn­di­ca­tion and other areas of best prac­tice. Social entre­pre­neurs and local prac­ti­tion­ers are shar­ing  moti­va­tional tips and edu­ca­tional resources in their efforts to build pro­grams from the bot­tom up.  Open inno­va­tion is dri­ving a bet­ter mar­ket­place for con­sumers. All these col­lab­o­ra­tive efforts are the seeds of suc­cess­ful inno­va­tion, and despite still being in the foothills, it would seem bet­ter to go hand in hand, than tak­ing a lonely road.”

We hope the articles of this free newsletter will help you think about the future and your own role in shaping it as a professional and/ or a lifelong learner.


Brain and Neuroplasticity

Meditation and the Brain: This article by Greater Good Magazine discusses how med­i­tat­ing can increase the den­sity of gray mat­ter in brain regions asso­ci­ated with mem­ory, stress, and empa­thy. 

The Benefits of a One-Time Cognitive Training Program: They last but wane over time as shown in the 3-month follow-up results of the IMPACT study.

Can Direct Brain Stimulation Boost Performance? The answer seems to be yes, according to three studies using different types of electrical/magnetic brain stimulation.

How the Brain of a Blind Person Rewires Itself: The brain areas devoted to vision in peo­ple with eye sight turn out to be respond­ing to speech in blind people.

How are Young Brains Affected by Stress? An interesting article from the Dana Foundation on the consequences of early life stress.

Can weight loss boost memory? The mem­ory of obese patients undergoing gastric-bypass surgery is shown to improve 12 weeks after surgery.

The Inner Savant In All of Us: Scott Kaufman interviews Dr. Treffert, expect on savantism and autism, tech­ni­cal con­sul­tant to the award-winning movie Rain Man, to discuss the hidden brain potentials that may lie dormant in all of us.


Assessments and Remediation

Driving Safely after a Stroke: Scores for 3 sim­ple cog­ni­tive tests were found to pre­dict the actual dri­ving eval­u­a­tion out­come of many people after a stroke.

Schizophrenia Research is Leading the Way: An interesting review of the dif­fer­ent cog­ni­tive reme­di­a­tion tech­niques used with peo­ple suf­fer­ing from schiz­o­phre­nia.

Virtual Reality Games for Stroke Patients: Promising results show that vir­tual real­ity and other video games involv­ing motion can enhance motor improve­ment after a stroke.



Children’s Self Control and Creativity: Two Seeds of Intelligence: An excerpt from the book Brain Rules for Baby, by John Med­ina, that pro­vides a good sum­mary of the cog­ni­tive sci­ence find­ings shedding light on how a baby’s brain grows from 0 to 5.

Integrative Neuroscience, Personalized Medicine: This book takes an in depth and hard look at the cur­rent sta­tus and future direc­tion of treat­ment pre­dic­tive mark­ers in Per­son­al­ized Med­i­cine for the brain.

The Longevity Project: UC-Riverside researchers Howard Fried­man and Leslie Mar­tin draw key lessons from an eight-decade-long Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity Ter­man study of 1,500 people.

Exploiting Technology and Collaboration to Enable Quality Aging. In this essay, extracted from the book Longevity Rules, Joseph Cough­lin explores the role that tech­nol­ogy can play in aging well.


Brain Teaser

Brain Games to Test Your Memory: Discover how well you can remem­ber ran­dom words and names.

We hope you enjoyed this edition of the SharpBrains eNewsletter. Please do feel free to share this with friends and colleagues. The more, the merrier!

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  1. Jane says:

    It is so important to consider your brain and its health as you grow older. We are all living so much longer that we need to really make sure we are enjoying every year!

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