Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Available: Discussion Guide for The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness

SharpBrainsGuide_3D_compressedWhat bet­ter way to stim­u­late our minds than to explore and dis­cuss the lat­est brain sci­ence and how to apply it to improve our health and our lives?

We are pleased to offer a new dis­cus­sion guide for our new book — The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness: How to Opti­mize Brain Health and Per­for­mance at Any Age (April 2013) — so you can ignite a good con­ver­sa­tion with your friends, col­leagues, stu­dents, in the same way that oth­ers at Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty, UCLA, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Pre­to­ria, The Con­fer­ence Board, Friends Life­Care, CBCra­dio, and more, have already start­ed to.

Below, and in this Dis­cus­sion Guide PDF that you can eas­i­ly print and share, you will find 20 ques­tions designed to elic­it through-pro­vok­ing con­ver­sa­tion on var­i­ous top­ics pre­sent­ed in the book. Feel free to pick and choose the ques­tions that seem best suit­ed for your group, and of course do not hes­i­tate to let the dis­cus­sion guide itself as the con­ver­sa­tion starts to get inter­est­ing!


  1. Pri­or to read­ing this book, what did “Use it or lose it” mean to you? What does it mean to you now?
  2. What have you learned about your brain that has sur­prised you the most?
  3. What have you been doing over the last cou­ple of years to help main­tain your brain in top shape?
  4. How would you define neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty? And, why does it mat­ter?
  5. What are some key brain func­tions to nur­ture and main­tain oth­er than mem­o­ry? And why may attend­ing to some of these oth­er func­tions result in a bet­ter mem­o­ry?
  6. At what age should we start think­ing about brain health and fit­ness? Why?
  7. Is the brain fit­ness val­ue of doing 25 cross­word puz­zles dif­fer­ent depend­ing on whether those are our first ever 25 puz­zles or whether we already have done 10,000 puz­zles before? Why?
  8. What type of evi­dence do book authors use to sup­port the book’s ideas? Does it seem con­vinc­ing? Rel­e­vant?
  9. Why is phys­i­cal exer­cise good for the brain? How do dif­fer­ent types of exer­cise seem to affect the brain?
  10. How are your diet and your brain con­nect­ed? Can you give pre­cise exam­ples of what to do, and what not to do?
  11. What leisure activ­i­ties effec­tive­ly stim­u­late and chal­lenge the mind? Are cross­word puz­zles among them? Why or why not?
  12. Can you explain the mech­a­nisms by which stress may affect the brain and thus cog­ni­tive per­for­mance? Under what cir­cum­stances does stress adverse­ly or ben­e­fi­cial­ly affect the brain?
  13. How is med­i­ta­tion a kind of brain train­ing? Why do you think the prac­tice is not as wide­spread as yoga?
  14. Can you define brain train­ing and com­pare it to men­tal stim­u­la­tion?
  15. Which of the brain train­ing tech­niques that you read about in the book stand out most to you?
  16. Have you tried any of the com­put­er­ized brain train­ing pro­grams dis­cussed in the book? If so, what has your expe­ri­ence been?
  17. Which vignette in Chap­ter 9 did you find most per­son­al­ly rel­e­vant and valu­able?
  18. Which inter­views did you enjoy the most? Which one left you want­i­ng to learn more, and why?
  19. How can the grow­ing field of brain fit­ness affect the way we live our per­son­al and pro­fes­sion­al lives? How may it affect yours?
  20. Do you feel bet­ter equipped now to under­stand, nav­i­gate and dis­cuss new sci­ence and new ways to opti­mize brain health and per­for­mance? How do you plan to stay abreast of this rapid­ly devel­op­ing field?

We hope this pro­vides some stim­u­lat­ing sum­mer read­ing and dis­cus­sion every­where where beau­ti­ful human brains are to be found 🙂

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Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Education & Lifelong Learning, Health & Wellness

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