Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Computerized cognitive training as brain training

sFor many years, neu­ropsy­chol­o­gists have helped indi­vid­u­als suf­fer­ing from trau­mat­ic brain injuries relearn how to talk, walk or make deci­sions, etc.  Among oth­er tools, cog­ni­tive exer­cis­es (includ­ing com­put­er-assist­ed strate­gies) have been used to retrain abil­i­ties. How­ev­er these tools are not avail­able to the pub­lic and not every­body can afford a neu­ropsy­chol­o­gist or needs to see one. Things are chang­ing as a vari­ety of com­mer­cial pro­grams is now mak­ing brain train­ing avail­able to the pub­lic. The chal­lenge is to make informed deci­sions on which tools may be appro­pri­ate for spe­cif­ic needs and goals.

Since the launch of the orig­i­nal brain exer­cise hand-held com­put­er game Brain Age (2005 in Japan, 2006 in the USA and Europe), Nin­ten­do has proven that there is a large demand for men­tal­ly stim­u­lat­ing video games. These games can be seen as the next step in the chain after the tra­di­tion­al paper-based games such as cross­words and sudoku puz­zles.

As of the end of Jan­u­ary 2008, Nin­ten­do has sold 17 mil­lion copies of brain exer­cise games world­wide since the launch of Brain Age in June 2005, with sales in the US trail­ing those in Japan and Europe. This suc­cess has attract­ed many imi­ta­tion prod­ucts from oth­er gam­ing com­pa­nies such as Sega (which released their own brain game in Japan before Nin­ten­do, with­out com­pa­ra­ble suc­cess), Majesco and Ubisoft.

Keep learn­ing by read­ing more arti­cles in the Resources sec­tion, and also please con­sid­er join­ing our free month­ly Brain Fit­ness eNewslet­ter

This new online resource is based on the con­tent from the book The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness (May 2009, $19.95), by Alvaro Fer­nan­dez and Dr. Elkhonon Gold­berg.

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About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters, and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm and think tank tracking health and performance applications of brain science.