Challenging the outdated “fixed brain” dogma, the cognitive training market keeps growing

brain-scan-impairedThis Man’s Brain Recov­ery Has Baf­fled Sci­en­tists And Pro­vid­ed Hope For Oth­ers (The Telegraph):

…The odds of sur­viv­ing a coma are noto­ri­ous­ly hard to pre­dict, brain injury being the most com­plex of prob­lems afflict­ing the most com­plex organ in the body…In Lewis’s case, it took a vil­lage to rebuild his mind – in his talks he attrib­ut­es his progress to issues as dis­parate as cir­cu­la­tion and jaw align­ment. But he owes much of it to Dr Lois Prov­da, an edu­ca­tion­al ther­a­pist in West Hol­ly­wood – not a ground-break­ing sci­en­tist, or prize-win­ning researcher, just a con­sci­en­tious prac­ti­tion­er who helps those who have slipped down the learn­ing curve…

Until rel­a­tive­ly recent­ly neu­ro­sci­en­tists believed each part of the brain had a well-defined, unchang­ing role; if it was dam­aged there was lit­tle you could do about it, you just had to learn to live with it. But it is now wide­ly acknowl­edged that the brain is more ver­sa­tile than that and that, with the right sort of cog­ni­tive train­ing, it is pos­si­ble to per­suade oth­er areas of the brain to take on, at least to some extent, the tasks for­mer­ly car­ried out by those areas that have been damaged…

In the past decade espe­cial­ly, com­pa­nies such as Lumos­i­ty, Posit, Nin­ten­do and Cogmed have har­nessed the lan­guage of phys­i­cal fit­ness – “it’s a gym for the mind!” – to sell a mul­ti­plic­i­ty of apps, games and dig­i­tal exer­cis­es that promise to, in the words of the Lumos­i­ty pub­lic­i­ty, “build your cog­ni­tive reserve”. Accord­ing to Sharp­Brains, a neu­ro­science mar­ket research con­sul­tan­cy, the glob­al rev­enues of the brain train­ing indus­try increased from $200?million in 2005 to $1.3?billion in 2013…

It’s people’s atti­tudes and sup­port sys­tem that real­ly dis­tin­guish who recov­er well and who don’t,” says Jef­frey Kreutzer…“Recovery isn’t just neu­ronal – it’s a process that involves fam­i­ly sup­port, as well as a pos­i­tive attitude.”

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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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