Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Witnessing an explosion of consumer-facing neurotechnologies to (potentially) harness lifelong neuroplasticity

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Last week I shared some key scientific, technological and investment trends revolutionizing Brain Health, based on my participation at the 2016 SharpBrains Virtual Summit, and promised a second article more focused on the technology side of things.

Here it is 🙂

Just a few weeks after the SharpBrains Summit I also attended CES 2017. While I enjoyed the myriad emerging technologies –autonomous vehicles, robotics, drones, augmented and virtual reality headsets, voice activated everything– I was mostly struck by a firm named Halo Neuroscience. They have a fascinating wearable product, Halo Sport, claiming to accelerate gains in strength, explosiveness, endurance, and muscle memory, improving the brain’s response to athletic training. It uses tDCS (transcranial direct current stimulation), essentially priming movement-related circuits of the brain to become more receptive to stimuli, helping the brain wire in the practice for improved future response.

The cutting edge of applied neuroplasticity

Both conferences allowed me to see the cutting edge of Read the rest of this entry »

Why I Wrote The Woman Who Changed Her Brain

We have always thought that “our brain shapes us.” I wrote my new book, The Woman Who Changed Her Brain (May 2012; Free Press, Foreword by Norman Doidge), to prove that the reverse is equally true. I wanted to demonstrate how “we can shape our brains.”

Imagine having a brain that is capable and incapable at the same time. Growing up, I had severe learning disabilities. I lived in a world that was confusing and incomprehensible. As I was to later discover, a critical part of my brain was not working properly, the end result being that all language was experienced as foreign and my translator was Read the rest of this entry »

Unlocking Dyslexia in Japanese

Great article in the Wall Street Journal today: Unlocking Dyslexia in Japanese. Quotes:

– “Experiences like that of the Lundays are providing scientists and educators with clues about how people with dyslexia learn and how best to teach them. Researchers have long observed that some dyslexics have an easier time with languages like Japanese and Chinese, in which characters represent complete words or ideas, than they Read the rest of this entry »

Using Brain Plasticity to help Children with Learning Disabilities

Did you read The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science, the great book on neuroplasticity by Norman Doidge? If  so, you will have heard about the Arrowsmith School/ Program, which was also one of the Top Ten Finalists in 2010 Brain Fitness Innovation Awards.  The following is an excerpt from Brain School: Stories of children with learning disabilities and attention disorders who changed their lives by improving their cognitive functioning (November 2010; $22), a new book from Eaton Arrowsmith School’s (EAS) founder and director, Howard Eaton. It tells the story of how children with learning disabilities (dyslexia, ADHD, etc.) can overcome educational obstacles by reorganizing their brains. An inspiring book about how cognitive programs can result in both academic and social success.  Read the rest of this entry »

New Report Finds A Brain Health Revolution in the Making, Driven by Digital Technology and Neuroplasticity Research

2010MarketReportIn spite of the recent economic downturn, revenues for digital technologies to assess, enhance and treat cognition, or digital brain health and fitness tools, grew 35% in 2009. “The convergence of demographic and policy trends with cognitive neuroscience discoveries and technological innovation is giving birth to a nascent marketplace that can fundamentally transform what brain health is, how it is measured, and how it is done,” says Alvaro Fernandez, member of the World Economic Forum’s Council on the Aging Society and Editor-in-Chief of the report. “This groundbreaking report can help pioneers shape the emerging toolkit to benefit an aging society that increasingly seeks new ways to enhance cognitive functionality and mental wellness across the lifespan.”

“As the brain is thrust into the center of the healthcare ecosystem, innovative cognitive health and brain fitness applications will play an increasingly important role in defining neurocentric health,” adds Jake Dunagan, Research Director at the Institute For The Future.

Report: Transforming Brain Health with Digital Tools to Assess, Enhance and Treat Cognition across the Lifespan: The State of the Brain Fitness Market 2010.

A majority among the 1,900+ decision-makers and early-adopters surveyed said they trusted the effectiveness of non-invasive options above invasive options to enhance critical brain functionality. Professional and intellectual challenges were rated very effective by 61% of respondents, aerobic exercise and reading books by 42%, meditation by 38%, computerized brain training by 26%, taking prescription drugs by 13%, taking supplements by 12%, and self-medicating with drugs by 1%.

These are among the key findings of a 207-page market report released today by SharpBrains and prepared in collaboration with 24 leading scientists and 10 innovative organizations — the most comprehensive such research study done to analyze emerging research, technologies and marketplace.

“We must do for brain health in the 21st century what we largely accomplished in cardiovascular health in the past century. It’s time to take scientific insights out of the lab and to identify practical applications, making the maintenance of good brain fitness a public health priority,” indicates William Reichman, MD, President and CEO of Baycrest.

Other Report Highlights are: Read the rest of this entry »

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.

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