Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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The need for better education and standards

vBrain train­ing is now a house­hold expres­sion for many fam­i­lies, cour­tesy of Nin­ten­do. What is less vis­i­ble than Nintendo’s suc­cess is the grow­ing num­ber of sci­ence-based com­pa­nies that aim to train spe­cif­ic cog­ni­tive skills. Posit Sci­ence has been get­ting increas­ing lev­els of atten­tion, includ­ing a PBS Spe­cial. Yet, con­sumers strug­gle to under­stand the poten­tial val­ue of this audi­to­ry pro­cess­ing inter­ven­tion as opposed to doing one more cross­word puz­zle, or buy­ing a Nin­ten­do game.

A new gen­er­a­tion of prod­ucts include those by Posit Sci­ence (Brain Fit­ness Pro­gram Clas­sic and Insight), Cog­niFit (Mind­Fit), Lumos Labs (Lumosity.com),Scientific Brain Train­ing (Happy-Neuron.com), and oth­ers, that add options to ear­li­er attempts, such as those by MyBrain­Train­er and Brain­Builder.

There needs to be a com­mon tax­on­o­my, per­haps sim­i­lar to how food labels clar­i­fy the ingre­di­ents, to edu­cate con­sumers on what cog­ni­tive ben­e­fits those prod­ucts are aimed at and with what spe­cif­ic evi­dence.

We believe that over time con­sumers and health­care pro­fes­sion­als will become more sophis­ti­cat­ed in their shop­ping habits. They will eval­u­ate pro­grams using cri­te­ria sim­i­lar to the Sharp­Brains check­list pre­sent­ed in Chap­ter 4. They will also learn to make sure that the prod­uct they are con­sid­er­ing has been val­i­dat­ed via sol­id ran­dom­ized, con­trolled, stud­ies. Impor­tant­ly, brain train­ing users will also learn how to deter­mine what cog­ni­tive enhance­ments they need and which pro­gram may help deliv­er those.

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.