Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Books

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.

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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,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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