Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Contents

SharpBrainsGuide_3D_lowreFore­word from Misha Pavel (2nd edi­tion)

Fore­word from Glo­ria Cavanaugh (1st edi­tion)

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER 1. START WITH THE BRAIN IN MIND

What Does the Brain Do?
What Do Neu­rons Do?
How is the Brain Struc­tured?
The Brain Through­out Life
Life­long Neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty
• How the brain can change at any age – for good, or for bad
• Brain imag­in­ing pro­vides exam­ples of neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty
• Don’t count on mir­a­cles

Inter­views
• Dr. R. Syl­west­er – Cog­ni­tion and brain devel­op­ment.
• Dr. J. Zull – What is learn­ing?
• Dr. M. Pos­ner – What is atten­tion and how to train it.

 

CHAPTER 2. BE A COACH, NOT A PATIENT

The Future is (Almost) Here
Don’t Out­source Your Brain
• What are my pri­or­i­ties?
• Is this rel­e­vant to me?
• Be aware of cog­ni­tive bias­es
The Val­ue of the Sci­en­tif­ic Process
• Obser­va­tion­al and ran­dom­ized con­trolled stud­ies
• The media chal­lenge: BBC ver­sus NIH stud­ies

Inter­views
• Dr. R. Bilder – Why and how to change the brain. Med­i­ta­tion is a good exam­ple.
• Dr. A. Pas­cual-Leone – Under­stand­ing brain health to bet­ter self mon­i­tor.
• Dr. W. Reich­man – Why Brain Health needs to catch up with Car­dio­vas­cu­lar Health.
• Dr. M. Merzenich – How neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty will trans­form brain health and men­tal health.

 

CHAPTER 3. MENS SANA IN CORPORE SANO

How Does Phys­i­cal Exer­cise Affect the Brain?
Stay­ing Fit Improves Cog­ni­tion
Stay­ing Fit is Pre­ven­tive
How Much Exer­cise and What Kind?

Inter­views
• Dr. A. Kramer – Why we need both phys­i­cal and men­tal exer­cise.
• Dr. Y. Stern – How do phys­i­cal and cog­ni­tive exer­cise inter­act?

 

CHAPTER 4. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT AD DRINK (UP TO A POINT)

Food for Thought
Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Nutri­tion
Omega-3 Acids and Antiox­i­dants
Sup­ple­ments: Good, Bad, or Inef­fec­tive?
Does What We Drink Affect the Brain?
Two Health-Relat­ed Fac­tors that Mat­ter: Dia­betes and Smok­ing
Obe­si­ty and Cog­ni­tion

Inter­views
• Dr. L. McCleary – A mul­ti-pronged approach to brain health.

 

CHAPTER 5. OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

Struc­tur­al Ben­e­fits of Men­tal Chal­lenge
• Men­tal activ­i­ty ver­sus men­tal chal­lenge
• Chal­lenge but also vari­ety
Invest in Your Cog­ni­tive or Brain Reserve
Life­long Effects of Cog­ni­tive Exer­cise
Edu­ca­tion and Occu­pa­tion are Pro­tec­tive
Leisure Activ­i­ties to Build Brain Reserve
• Musi­cal train­ing
• Learn­ing a new lan­guage
• How about video games?

Inter­views
• Dr. Y. Stern – The con­nec­tion between build­ing a cog­ni­tive reserve and delay­ing Alzheimer’s symp­toms.
• Dr. E. Zelin­s­ki – Healthy aging and cog­ni­tive enhance­ment.

 

CHAPTER 6. OH, THE PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET!

Ben­e­fits of Social Engage­ment
Why Would Social Engage­ment Boost Brain Func­tions?
What Mat­ters in a Social Net­work?
Expand­ing Social Life
• Vol­un­teer­ing
• Social groups
What About Social Media?

Inter­views
• Dr. O. Ybar­ra – Some social inter­ac­tions, but not all, can boost cog­ni­tion.

 

CHAPTER 7. MANAGE STRESS, BUILD RESILIENCE

Pos­i­tive and Neg­a­tive Stress
The Brain Stress Response
Stress and Depres­sion
Lifestyle Solu­tions Against Stress
Med­i­ta­tion: A Capac­i­ty-Build­ing Tech­nique To Man­age Stress And Build Resilience

Inter­views
• Dr. A. New­berg – The val­ue of med­i­ta­tion.
• Dr. R. Emmons – Enhanced hap­pi­ness and health by cul­ti­vat­ing grat­i­tude.
• Dr. B. Steen­barg­er – Achiev­ing peak per­for­mance in high-pres­sure pro­fes­sions.

 

CHAPTER 8. CROSS-TRAIN YOUR BRAIN

What is Brain Train­ing?
• How is brain train­ing dif­fer­ent from men­tal stim­u­la­tion?
• Under what con­di­tions can brain train­ing work?
The Case for Cross-train­ing
Med­i­ta­tion to Train Emo­tion­al Respons­es and Atten­tion­al focus
Refram­ing Thought Process­es via Cog­ni­tive Behav­ioral Ther­a­py
Cog­ni­tive Train­ing to Opti­mize Tar­get­ed Brain Func­tions
Biofeed­back to Mon­i­tor and Enhance Phys­i­o­log­i­cal Respons­es
Top Brain Train­ing Pro­grams, Based on Sharp­Brains’ Analy­sis and Sur­vey
• Results from the 2012 Sharp­Brains Mar­ket Sur­vey
• Prod­uct Overviews
Sharp­Brains’ Check­list for Eval­u­at­ing Brain Fit­ness Claims

Inter­views
• Dr. J. Beck – The link between brain train­ing and weight loss.
• Dr. M. Buschkuehl – Can intel­li­gence be trained?
• Dr. J. Edwards – Improv­ing dri­ving skills.
• Dr. T. Kling­berg – Expand­ing work­ing mem­o­ry for chil­dren with ADD/ADHD.

 

CHAPTER 9. HOW TO BE YOUR OWN BRAIN FITNESS COACH

How to Pri­or­i­tize
How to Self-Mon­i­tor: Beliefs, Knowl­edge, Behav­ior, and Per­for­mance
How to Plan

After­word from San­dra Bond Chap­man (2nd Edi­tion)
Appen­dix I: 55 Impor­tant Brain Fit­ness Facts

About Sharp­Brains
About the Authors
Acknowl­edge­ments
Glos­sary
Ref­er­ences
Index