The latest on Brain Health and Resilience, plus a few fun Brain Teasers

Wel­come to a new edi­tion of Sharp­Brains’ e‑newsletter, fea­tur­ing fas­ci­nat­ing neu­ro­science find­ings and tips, com­bined with fun brain teasers.

#1. To cel­e­brate this quite-chal­leng­ing Thanks­giv­ing, here are five fun brain teasers that read­ers have enjoyed the most this year so far. It is always good to learn more about (and appre­ci­ate) that most pre­cious resource we all (yes, all) have up there! Five fun brain teasers to thank evo­lu­tion for our human brains and minds

#2. Want more? Ready, Set, Go! A few brain teasers to flex those cog­ni­tive muscles

#3. “[Breath­ing tech­niques] are allow­ing you to con­scious­ly take con­trol of your breath­ing so you can take con­trol of your ner­vous sys­tem so you can take con­trol of your anx­i­ety” — James Nestor, author of Breath: The New Sci­ence of a Lost Art. New book shares sci­ence and tech­niques to breathe bet­ter and pro­mote calm­ness not anxiety

#4. Voice does matter…especially in areas of poten­tial dis­agree­ment. To call, or to text, that is the (men­tal well-being) question

#5. Fas­ci­nat­ing research + inno­va­tion event brought by the Euro­pean Insti­tute of Inno­va­tion & Tech­nol­o­gy (EIT) and mul­ti­ple part­ners. Save the Date: Pro­mot­ing Brain Health for Life, Decem­ber 15–16th, online.

#6. “This isn’t a bat­tle between AI and doc­tors, it’s about how to opti­mize doc­tors’ abil­i­ty to deliv­er bet­ter care” — P. Murali Doraiswamy, direc­tor of the Neu­rocog­ni­tive Dis­or­ders Pro­gram at Duke Uni­ver­si­ty. Next: Ana­lyz­ing typ­ing speed, speech and sleep pat­terns to iden­ti­fy cog­ni­tive decline, demen­tia, Parkinson’s, and more

#7. Google’s X team shares 3 valu­able lessons learned from their ambi­tious and (for the time being) unsuc­cess­ful moon­shot: Alphabet’s X shares Amber EEG sys­tem to expand the quest for men­tal health biomarkers

#8. “An exer­cise pre­scrip­tion is an impor­tant treat­ment option and a great adjunct to med­ica­tions. The key is pre­scrib­ing phys­i­cal activ­i­ty in a way that the patient will com­ply and remain engaged with.” Debate: How should doc­tors pre­scribe exer­cise to ensure com­pli­ance and engagement?

#9. As the study authors note, “The expan­sion of women into the labor force in the mid-20th cen­tu­ry may have pro­vid­ed a new avenue of cog­ni­tive reserve for women via enhanced social stim­u­la­tion and cog­ni­tive engage­ment.” Study: Work in adult­hood seen to sig­nif­i­cant­ly delay mem­o­ry decline after age 60, sup­port­ing the Cog­ni­tive Reserve theory

#10. “Through­out many sub­red­dits, we found sig­nif­i­cant increas­es in the use of tokens relat­ed to iso­la­tion (eg, “lone­ly,” “can’t see any­one,” “quar­an­tine”), eco­nom­ic stress (eg, “rent,” “debt,” “pay the bills”), and home (“fridge,” “pet,” “lease”), and a decrease in the lex­i­con relat­ed to motion (eg, “walk,” “vis­it,” “trav­el”).” Hope­ful­ly the promis­ing vac­cine news helps turn the tide; until then we need to pro­mote men­tal health & resilience hard. Using Red­dit as a pop­u­la­tion-lev­el “men­tal health track­er” dur­ing the COVID pandemic

#11. “BCI devices can be non-inva­sive devices that users wear, or they can be inva­sive devices, which are sur­gi­cal­ly implant­ed,” says Veljko Dublje­vi … “The inva­sive devices are more effi­cient, since they can read sig­nals direct­ly from the brain. How­ev­er, they also raise more eth­i­cal con­cerns. For exam­ple, inva­sive BCI tech­nolo­gies car­ry more asso­ci­at­ed risks such as surgery, infec­tion, and glial scar­ring — and inva­sive BCI devices would be more dif­fi­cult to replace as tech­nol­o­gy improves.” Stud­ies iden­ti­fy key eth­i­cal con­cerns raised by inva­sive and non-inva­sive neurotechnologies

#12. “(the app) uses the Watch’s sen­sors to track the heart rate and move­ment of users as they sleep. After estab­lish­ing a base­line pro­file for the patient with­in one or two nights’ sleep, the machine learn­ing algo­rithm spots heart rate or move­ment abnor­mal­i­ties pre­sum­ably caused by a night­mare. The appli­ca­tion then vibrates the smart­watch just enough to inter­rupt the wearer’s dream­ing, but not enough to wake them up or dis­rupt their cir­ca­di­an sleep cycle.” FDA grants clear­ance for Night­Ware app designed to reduce PTSD-relat­ed nightmares


Wish­ing you a safe and healthy December,

Alvaro Fer­nan­dez and 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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