Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Cognitive News November-December 2008

Here you have sev­er­al recent arti­cles and devel­op­ments wor­thy of atten­tion:Brain Health News

1) Boom times for brain train­ing games (CNN)
2) Nav­i­gat­ing the brain fit­ness land­scape: do’s and don’ts (McK­night’s Long Term Care News)
3) USA Hock­ey and Intel­li­gym (press release)
4) Brain Fit­ness at New York Pub­lic Library (NYPL blog)
5) McDon­nell Foun­da­tion grant har­ness­es cog­ni­tive sci­ence to improve stu­dent learn­ing (press release)
6) Health insur­ance firms offer­ing online cog­ni­tive ther­a­py for insom­nia (Los Ange­les Times)
7) Head­Min­der Cog­ni­tive Sta­bil­i­ty Index: Com­put­er­ized Neu­rocog­ni­tive … (Press release)
8) THE AGE OF MASS INTELLIGENCE (Intel­li­gent Life)
9) Work­ing Lat­er in Life May Facil­i­tate Neur­al Health (Cere­brum)
10) The Cool Fac­tor: Nev­er Let Them See You Sweat (New York Times)

Links, select­ed quotes and com­men­tary: Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Training New Frontier: Ice Hockey!

USA Hock­ey Inc., is the nation­al gov­ern­ing body for the sport of ice hock­ey in the Unit­ed States. As such, its mis­sion is to pro­mote the growth of hock­ey and pro­vide the best Ice Hockeypos­si­ble expe­ri­ence for all par­tic­i­pants by encour­ag­ing, devel­op­ing, advanc­ing and admin­is­ter­ing the sport.”

Why do we talk about ice hock­ey in a  brain fit­ness blog?

Well, we recent­ly announced this very inno­v­a­tive ini­tia­tive, and now can offer more con­text:

USA Hock­ey and Intel­li­gym:

- “USA Hock­ey, with part­ners ACE (Applied Cog­ni­tive Engi­neer­ing) and the BIRD (Bina­tion­al Indus­tri­al Research and Devel­op­ment) Foun­da­tion, have announced plans to devel­op a rev­o­lu­tion­ary prod­uct that will, for the first time ever, pro­vide play­ers a train­ing tool to devel­op “hock­ey sense.”

- “To be called Hock­ey Intel­li­Gym, the soft­ware-based prod­uct will fur­nish play­ers with a high­ly effec­tive train­ing tool to devel­op per­cep­tion and deci­sion-mak­ing skills. Fur­ther, it will Read the rest of this entry »

IntelliGym cognitive simulation for Ice Hockey players

Very inter­est­ing new mar­ket devel­op­ment:

The Mark­er, Israel - Oct 28, 2008, Sharp­Brains,

In oth­er words, Applied Cog­ni­tive Engi­neer­ing (ACE) and USA Hock­ey have part­nered to bring to mar­ket a cog­ni­tive sim­u­la­tion game to improve the per­for­mance of ice hock­ey play­ers — sim­i­lar to what  ACE has been offer­ing to pro­fes­sion­al and ama­teur bas­ket­ball play­ers.

ACE has raised $2.5M, and ACE and USA Hock­ey have received a joint $800k devel­op­ment grant from the BIRD Foun­da­tion for the co-devel­op­ment of a train­ing sys­tem for Ice Hock­ey play­ers. (The arti­cle men­tions Sharp­Brains’ Mar­ket Report as a sign of how the mar­ket is grow­ing, since we cov­er ACE).

For more con­text on cog­ni­tive sim­u­la­tions, you will enjoy this Inter­view with Prof. Daniel Gopher:

Alvaro Fer­nan­dez: Tell us a bit about your over­all research inter­ests.

Daniel Gopher: My main inter­est has been how to expand the lim­its of human atten­tion, infor­ma­tion pro­cess­ing and response capa­bil­i­ties which are crit­i­cal in com­plex, real-time deci­sion-mak­ing, high-demand tasks such as fly­ing a mil­i­tary jet or play­ing pro­fes­sion­al bas­ket­ball. Using a ten­nis anal­o­gy, my goal has been, and is, how to help devel­op many “Wim­ble­don-like cham­pi­ons. Each with their own styles, but per­form­ing to their max­i­mum capac­i­ty to suc­ceed in their envi­ron­ments.

What research over the last 15–20 years has shown is that cog­ni­tion, or what we call think­ing and per­for­mance, is real­ly a set of skills that we can train sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly. And Read the rest of this entry »

The Brain Fitness/ Training Market: An Executive Summary

Over the next weeks we are going to be shar­ing the Exec­u­tive Sum­ma­ry of our mar­ket report The State of the Brain Fit­ness Soft­ware Mar­ket 2008 with mem­bers and clients of sev­er­al part­ner orga­ni­za­tions (the British Colum­bia Seniors Liv­ing Asso­ci­a­tion, where I will be speak­ing this Thurs­day, Neu­rotech Reports, where I will speak on Octo­ber 24th, and the Health 2.0 con­fer­ence, where we are spon­sor­ing a pan­el on gam­ing for health), so it is only fair that we first share it with our own read­ers.

Exec­u­tive Sum­ma­ry

A spate of recent glob­al news cov­er­age on brain fit­ness and brain train­ing reflects a grow­ing inter­est in nat­ur­al, non drug-based inter­ven­tions to keep our brains sharp as we age. This inter­est is very time­ly, giv­en an aging pop­u­la­tion, increas­ing preva­lence of Alzheimer’s rates, and soar­ing health care costs in the US that place more empha­sis than ever on pre­ven­tion and lifestyle changes.

US brain fit­ness mar­ket: sig­nif­i­cant and grow­ing

We esti­mate the size of the US brain fit­ness mar­ket was $225m in 2007 – more than dou­ble what it was in 2005. Where­as K12 school sys­tems were the largest buy­ers in 2005, con­sumers were respon­si­ble for most of the growth from 2005 to 2007. We esti­mate that the con­sumer seg­ment grew from a few mil­lion in 2005 to $80m in 2007, and fore­see sig­nif­i­cant mar­ket growth dri­ven not only by con­sumers but also by health­care and insur­ance providers.

Mar­ket dynam­ics

As we speak to diverse audi­ences about this emerg­ing field around the coun­try we are fre­quent­ly asked the fol­low­ing ques­tions:

- Why are we talk­ing about the brain fit­ness field at all?

Over the past decade, teams backed by neu­ro­sci­en­tists around the world Read the rest of this entry »

Resource for Brain Fitness Centers

Our Mar­ket Report has received some recent addi­tion­al acco­lades:

In a wide­ly scat­tered and unreg­u­lat­ed field, this clear, cred­i­ble doc­u­ment
is a first-class, pio­neer­ing com­pendi­um that’s like­ly to become indus­try-stan­dard
for all of us in this field. Well done!”
— Eric Jensen, Founder of Jensen Learn­ing Cor­po­ra­tion.

This is the first clear, con­cise and com­pre­hen­sive overview and analy­sis I have seen of Brain Fitness Market Reportthe emerg­ing Brain-Train­ing mar­ket­place. It is a great mar­ket research for every investor, entre­pre­neur, man­ag­er, researcher and oth­ers who seek an under­stand­ing of the sub­ject. Per­son­al­ly, I was wait­ing such a review for quite a while. The Sharp­Brains staff, led by Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, real­ly did a great job here.”

– Dan­ny Dankn­er, CEO, Applied Cog­ni­tive Engi­neer­ing (ACE).

Neu­ro­science is at a cross­roads, and The State of the Brain Fit­ness Soft­ware Mar­ket 2008 by Sharp­Brains, points the way for­ward. Our under­stand­ing of how the brain works is just begin­ning to yield real fruit in the form of prod­ucts that tru­ly improve the func­tion of the brain. This reports gives any­one inter­est­ed in how to under­stand which prod­ucts are tru­ly in a posi­tion to make a dif­fer­ence in brain func­tion, and which mar­kets will be inter­est­ed and prof­itable for such prod­ucts an invalu­able guide. We found the analy­sis clear, pre­cise, loaded with sub­stan­tive insight. One would be fool­hardy not to use this pub­li­ca­tion as the best guide to this mar­ket.”

– Dr. Arthur Lavin, Asso­ciate Clin­i­cal Pro­fes­sor of Pedi­atrics, Case Med­ical School, and Med­ical Direc­tor of A Work­ing Mind.

As we begin the task of devel­op­ing a Brain Fit­ness Cen­ter at our Sun­rise Senior Liv­ing Com­mu­ni­ty, this Brain Fit­ness Mar­ket Report is prov­ing 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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