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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 »

Hourglass #3: the biology of aging

Wel­come to the third edi­tion of Hour­glass, the month­ly vir­tu­al gath­er­ing of blog­gers to Hourglassdis­cuss the Biol­o­gy of Aging.

For today’s edi­tion, let’s imag­ine all par­tic­i­pants sit­ting around a table lead­ing a live­ly Ques­tions & Answers ses­sion, dis­cussing as a group, lis­ten­ing, talk­ing. (And, well, aging.)

Q: What is aging?
Ms. Wikipedia: “Age­ing or aging (Amer­i­can Eng­lish) is the accu­mu­la­tion of changes in an organ­ism or object over time. Age­ing in humans refers to a mul­ti­di­men­sion­al process of phys­i­cal, psy­cho­log­i­cal, and social change. Some dimen­sions of age­ing grow and expand over time, while oth­ers decline. Reac­tion time, for exam­ple, may slow with age, while knowl­edge of world events and wis­dom may expand.”

Aging may not be the sex­i­est  of words in our vocab­u­lary. Unless, of course (as I heard some­where recent­ly but can’t prop­er­ly cred­it), you con­sid­er the most com­mon alter­na­tive.

Q: If the objec­tive of anti-aging research is to extend lifes­pan, isn’t there a risk that we may neglect qual­i­ty of life. After all, would peo­ple real­ly like to spend more years afflict­ed by the dis­eases and the decline that often come with age?
Ed (dragged to the dis­cus­sion by Chris and Alvaro): I have rel­a­tive­ly good news to share. A recent Uni­ver­si­ty of South­ern Den­mark found that the pro­por­tion of elder­ly Danes who man­age to remain inde­pen­dent holds steady at Read the rest of this entry »

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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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