Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Important insights on the growing home use of tDCS brain stimulation: older-than-expected users, positive self-reported results for treatment of depression but negative for self-enhancement, and a couple areas of concern (severe burns, frequency)

Dr. Brent Williams is wear­ing a home­made tDCS device while his wife Madge is sport­ing a com­mer­cial mod­el. Pho­to by Kevin Liles/kevindliles.com

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At the 2017 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit last month, researcher and sci­ence writer Dr. Anna Wexler dis­cussed some fas­ci­nat­ing insights from her sur­vey of 339 home (or “do-it-your­self”) users of tDCS (tran­scra­nial direct cur­rent stim­u­la­tion) devices.

The sur­vey results have just been pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Cog­ni­tive Enhance­ment (details below), and pro­vide a use­ful win­dow into who pur­chas­es tDCS devices and why, how they use them and what results they see. Read the rest of this entry »

On the value and the limits of cognitive screening, as seen in President Trump’s examination

Exam­ple clocks, cour­tesy of William Souil­lard-Man­dar et al (2015)

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In the News:

Why you may be mis­un­der­stand­ing the men­tal test that Trump passed with fly­ing col­ors (The Wash­ing­ton Post):

On its sur­face, the Mon­tre­al Cog­ni­tive Assess­ment (MoCA) test seems pret­ty easy. Can you draw a three-dimen­sion­al cube? Can you iden­ti­fy these var­i­ous ani­mals? Can you draw a clock? Can you repeat back the phrase, “The cat always hid under the couch when dogs were in the room”?…The point is not that the test is easy. The point is that an inabil­i­ty to com­plete aspects of the test reveals dif­fer­ent types of men­tal decline. Read the rest of this entry »

Eight Tips To Understand and Remember What You Read — Especially As You Read Nonfiction

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Despite Insta­gram, YouTube, Face­book, Twit­ter, and tele­vi­sion, (or per­haps pre­cise­ly because of all of them) tra­di­tion­al read­ing is still an impor­tant skill. Whether it is mag­a­zines, pro­fes­sion­al man­u­als or fas­ci­nat­ing books, peo­ple still need to read, now and in years ahead. And much of it is non­fic­tion mate­r­i­al, where it’s impor­tant to real­ly under­stand and then remem­ber what you are read­ing.

An unfor­tu­nate rea­son why many peo­ple don’t read much these days is that they don’t read well. Read­ing, for them, is slow, hard work and they don’t remem­ber as much as they should. They often have to read some­thing sev­er­al times before they under­stand and remem­ber what they read.

Why? You would think that every­one learns how to read well at school. Schools do try, but I work with mid­dle-school teach­ers and they tell me that many stu­dents are 2–3 years behind grade lev­el in read­ing pro­fi­cien­cy. Some of the blame can be placed on fads for teach­ing read­ing, such as phon­ics and “whole lan­guage,” which some­times are pro­mot­ed in shal­low ways that don’t respect the need for both approach­es. And much of the blame can be laid at the feet of par­ents who set poor exam­ples and, of course, on the young­sters who are too dis­tract­ed by social media and tele­vi­sion to learn how to read well.

Now the good news. For any­one who missed out on good read­ing skills, it is not too late to improve now. I sum­ma­rize below what I think it takes to read with good speed and com­pre­hen­sion. Read the rest of this entry »

At the frontier of neuroenginnering, brain health and cognitive enhancement with Kernel, UT-Dallas, The Arrowsmith Program and The Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation (ARPF)

Last Decem­ber 7th select­ed Sum­mit Spon­sors and Part­ners show­cased their most promis­ing brain health & enhance­ment ini­tia­tives and solu­tions.

From tomorrow’s neu­ro­engi­neer­ing to today’s brain health (view slid­edeck for all pm ses­sions Here)

  • Dr. Ran­dal Koene, Lead Sci­en­tist at Ker­nel, dis­cuss­es future direc­tions of neu­ro­engin­ner­ing and human com­put­er inter­faces.
  • Dr. Leanne Young, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the Brain Per­for­mance Insti­tute at UT-Dal­las Cen­ter for Brain­Health presents the new 62,000-square-foot Brain Per­for­mance Insti­tute.

Deb­bie Gilmore, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of The Arrow­smith Pro­gram, will present plans to bet­ter equip 100+ schools help­ing stu­dents with spe­cial needs.

Dr. Chris Walling, Chair­man of the Edu­ca­tion­al Advi­so­ry Com­mit­tee at The Alzheimer’s Research and Pre­ven­tion Foun­da­tion (ARPF), will present the new Brain Longevi­ty Ther­a­py Train­ing.

Slid­edeck sup­port­ing ses­sion held dur­ing the 2017 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit: Brain Health & Enhance­ment in the Dig­i­tal Age (Decem­ber 5–7th). All ses­sion record­ings avail­able for pur­chase (50+ Speak­ers, 15+ Hours, $150).

Nissan is developing brainwave technology to read and augment driver’s mind (not replace it)

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This car tech makes you a bet­ter dri­ver by read­ing your mind. We gave it a test dri­ve (The Wash­ing­ton Post):

Might the car of the future be able to read your mind?

At CES, the big tech trade show, cars dom­i­nat­ed much of the con­ver­sa­tion. But one expe­ri­ence stood out because it was so far-out: I donned an exper­i­men­tal cap from Nis­san that inter­pret­ed sig­nals from my brain with the goal of mak­ing me a bet­ter dri­ver. Read the rest of this entry »

All Slidedecks & Recordings Available — click image below

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