Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Why I Wrote The Woman Who Changed Her Brain

We have always thought that “our brain shapes us.” I wrote my new book, The Woman Who Changed Her Brain (May 2012; Free Press, Fore­word by Nor­man Doidge), to prove that the reverse is equal­ly true. I want­ed to demon­strate how “we can shape our brains.”

Imag­ine hav­ing a brain that is capa­ble and inca­pable at the same time. Grow­ing up, I had severe learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties. I lived in a world that was con­fus­ing and incom­pre­hen­si­ble. As I was to lat­er dis­cov­er, a crit­i­cal part of my brain was not work­ing prop­er­ly, the end result being that all lan­guage was expe­ri­enced as for­eign and my trans­la­tor was Read the rest of this entry »

Daniel Kahneman on the Need to Think Slow (at times)

So Much for Snap Deci­sions (The Wall Street Jour­nal):
— “How is it that so many peo­ple make deci­sions that, from their per­spec­tive, seem so right—and turn out so wrong? Blame it, in part, on think­ing “fast.”

- “On some occa­sions, when the stakes are high, exam­in­ing the evi­dence more systematically—especially the evi­dence that makes you uncomfortable—is like­ly to be worth­while.”

- “This is how sci­en­tists often oper­ate in eval­u­at­ing their own ideas. They imag­ine a severe review­er who will be search­ing for weak­ness­es in their argu­ment.”

To Learn More:

The Emotional Life of Your Brain: One Brain Does Not Fit All

If you believe most self-help books, pop-psy­chol­o­gy arti­cles, and tele­vi­sion ther­a­pists, then you prob­a­bly assume that how peo­ple respond to sig­nif­i­cant life events is pret­ty pre­dictable.  Most of us, accord­ing to the “experts,” are affect­ed in just about the same way by a giv­en experience—there is a griev­ing process that every­one goes through, there is a sequence of events that hap­pens when we fall in love, there is a stan­dard response to being jilt­ed, and there are fair­ly stan­dard ways almost every nor­mal per­son reacts to the birth of a child, to being unap­pre­ci­at­ed at one’s job, to hav­ing an unbear­able work­load, to the chal­lenges of rais­ing teenagers, and to the inevitable changes that occur with aging.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Business and Ethics of the Brain Fitness Boom — Part 4: The Future

Build­ing Blocks for a Bet­ter Future

The best alter­na­tive for tomor­row should be bet­ter than the best alter­na­tive avail­able today. How do we get there, when “cog­ni­tion” and “brain fit­ness” remain elu­sive con­cepts in pop­u­lar cul­ture? I believe that the lack of pub­lic edu­ca­tion is the major obsta­cle that lim­its the brain fit­ness field’s poten­tial to deliv­er real-world ben­e­fits, since only informed demand will ensure the ongo­ing devel­op­ment of ratio­nal, struc­tured “rules of the road.” What could be done to address this and oth­er par­tic­u­lar obsta­cles? Read the rest of this entry »

The Business and Ethics of the Brain Fitness Boom — Part 3: The Real Need

Engag­ing peo­ple where they are in the life-course

Eighty per­cent of the 38,000 adults over age 50 who were respon­ders in the 2010 AARP Mem­ber Opin­ion Sur­vey indi­cat­ed “stay­ing men­tal­ly sharp” was their top ranked inter­est and con­cern (Dinger, 2010). What exact­ly does this phrase mean? And what role can tech­nol­o­gy play in “stay­ing men­tal­ly sharp”? Intel CEO Paul Otelli­ni has said, “You have to start by think­ing about what peo­ple want to do… and work back­ward.” Read the rest of this entry »

About SharpBrains

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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