Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Brain Health Newsletter, February Edition, and Brain Awareness Week

We hope you are enjoy­ing the grow­ing cov­er­age of Brain Fit­ness as much as we are. Below you have the Brain Fit­ness Newslet­ter we sent a few days ago-you can sub­scribe to this month­ly email update in the box on the right hand side.

In this post, we will briefly cov­er:

I. Press: see what CBS and Time Mag­a­zine are talk­ing about. Sharp­Brains was intro­duced in the Birm­ing­ham News, Chica­go Tri­bune and in a quick note car­ried by the Amer­i­can Psy­cho­log­i­cal Asso­ci­a­tion news ser­vice.

II. Events: we are out­reach part­ners for the Learn­ing & the Brain con­fer­ence, which will gath­er neu­ro­sci­en­tists and edu­ca­tors, and for the Dana Foundation’s Brain Aware­ness Week.

III. Pro­gram Reviews: The Wall Street Jour­nal reviewed six dif­fer­ent pro­grams for brain exer­cise and aging, and the one we offer is one of the two win­ners. A col­lege-lev­el coun­sel­ing cen­ter starts offer­ing our stress man­age­ment one. And we inter­view a Notre Dame sci­en­tist who has con­duct­ed a repli­ca­tion study for the work­ing mem­o­ry train­ing pro­gram for kids with ADD/ ADHD.

IV. New Offer­ings: we have start­ed to offer two infor­ma­tion pack­ages that can be very use­ful for peo­ple who want to bet­ter under­stand this field before they com­mit to any par­tic­u­lar pro­gram: learn more about our Brain Fit­ness 101 guide and Exer­cise Your Brain DVD.

V. Web­site and Blog Sum­ma­ry: we revamped our home page and have had a very busy month writ­ing many good arti­cles. We also host­ed two “Blog Car­ni­vals”- don’t you want to know what that means?
Read the rest of this entry »

Memory training and attention deficits: interview with Notre Dame’s Bradley Gibson

Bradley S. Gibson, Ph.D.Pro­fes­sor Bradley Gib­son is an Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor in the Depart­ment of Psy­chol­o­gy at Uni­ver­si­ty of Notre Dame, and Direc­tor of the Per­cep­tion and Atten­tion Lab there. He is a cog­ni­tive psy­chol­o­gist with research inter­ests in per­cep­tion, atten­tion, and visu­al cog­ni­tion. Gibson’s research has been pub­lished in a vari­ety of jour­nals, includ­ing Jour­nal of Exper­i­men­tal Psy­chol­o­gy, Human Per­cep­tion and Per­for­mance, Psy­cho­log­i­cal Sci­ence, and Per­cep­tion & Psy­chophysics.

In 2006 he con­duct­ed the first inde­pen­dent repli­ca­tion study based on the Cogmed Work­ing Mem­o­ry Train­ing pro­gram we dis­cussed with Dr. Torkel Kling­berg.

A local news­pa­per intro­duced some pre­lim­i­nary results of the study Atten­tion, please: Mem­o­ry exer­cis­es reduce symp­toms of ADHD. Some quotes from the arti­cles:

- “The com­put­er game has been shown to reduce ADHD symp­toms in chil­dren in exper­i­ments con­duct­ed in Swe­den, where it was devel­oped, and more recent­ly in a Granger school, where it was test­ed by psy­chol­o­gists from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Notre Dame.

- Fif­teen stu­dents at Dis­cov­ery Mid­dle School tried RoboMemo dur­ing a five-week peri­od in Feb­ru­ary and March, said lead researcher Brad Gib­son

- As a result of that expe­ri­ence, symp­toms of inat­ten­tion and hyper­ac­tiv­i­ty were both reduced, accord­ing to reports by teach­ers and par­ents, Gib­son said.

- Oth­er tests found sig­nif­i­cant improve­ment in “work­ing mem­o­ry”, a short-term mem­o­ry func­tion that’s con­sid­ered key to focus­ing atten­tion and con­trol­ling impuls­es.

- RoboMemo’s effec­tive­ness is not as well estab­lished as med­ica­tions, and it’s a lot more work than pop­ping a pill.

- Gib­son said Notre Dame’s study is con­sid­ered pre­lim­i­nary because it involved a small num­ber of stu­dents. Anoth­er lim­i­ta­tion is that the study did not have a con­trol group of stu­dents receiv­ing a place­bo treat­ment.

We feel for­tu­nate to inter­view Dr. Gib­son today.

Alvaro Fer­nan­dez (AF): Dr. Gib­son, thanks for being with us. Could you first tell us about your over­all research inter­ests?

Dr. Bradley Gib­son (BG): Thanks for giv­ing me this oppor­tu­ni­ty. My pri­ma­ry research Read the rest of this entry »

Learning & The Brain Conference, February 15–17th in San Francisco

For infor­ma­tion on the 2008 Con­fer­ence, and the dis­count for Sharp­Brains read­ers, vis­it: Learn­ing & The Brain Con­fer­ence: dis­count for Sharp­Brains read­ers.

The post below refers to the 2007 Con­fer­ence:

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The orga­niz­ers of this amaz­ing con­fer­ence, whose reg­is­tra­tion is about to expire, just extend­ed their very kind offer to Sharp­Brains read­ers: you can reg­is­ter at the reduced price of $475 (right now the nor­mal price is $545) if you do so by Feb­ru­ary 9nd. You can reg­is­ter here http://www.edupr.com/reg.html, mak­ing sure to write SharpBrains1 in the com­ments sec­tion

This is what we wrote about the con­fer­ence:

Talk about neu­ro­science applied to edu­ca­tion: we will be report­ing from a fas­ci­nat­ing con­fer­ence in San Fran­cis­co, Feb­ru­ary 15–17, titled Learn­ing & the Brain: Enhanc­ing Cog­ni­tion and Emo­tions for Learn­ing And Stu­dent Per­for­mance, spon­sored by lead­ing uni­ver­si­ties and the Dana Alliance for Brain Ini­tia­tives.

  • Speak­ers include a tru­ly “Dream Team” of neu­ro­sci­en­tists and edu­ca­tors such as Michael S. Gaz­zani­ga, William C. Mob­ley, John D.E. Gabrieli, Robert M. Sapol­sky, Robert Syl­west­er, and many many oth­ers. You can check the pro­gram here http://www.edupr.com/schedule2.htm.
  • The descrip­tion of the event is: “Use this explo­sion of sci­en­tif­ic knowl­edge to cre­ate new, pow­er­ful par­a­digms for teach­ing and health­care. Cut­ting-edge dis­cov­er­ies in neu­ro­science may soon trans­form edu­ca­tion­al and clin­i­cal inter­ven­tions by enhanc­ing mem­o­ry and cog­ni­tion. Dis­cov­er the influ­ences of emo­tions, gen­der and the arts. Explore new ways to enhance cog­ni­tion and to assess poten­tial ben­e­fits and pit­falls of using phar­ma­col­o­gy, tech­nol­o­gy and ther­a­py to boost per­for­mance.”

Working Memory Training

Reminder: 60 or so sci­ence blog­gers are cel­e­brat­ing the Week of Sci­ence pre­sent­ed at Just Sci­ence, from Mon­day, Feb­ru­ary 5, through Sun­day, Feb­ru­ary 11. We will be writ­ing about “just sci­ence” this week, by dis­cussing peer-reviewed research papers in the field of brain fit­ness.

Yes­ter­day we talked about Cog­ni­tive Reserve and Lifestyle, a paper and research area that helps build the case for men­tal stimulation/ brain exer­cise if we care about long-term healthy aging.

Today we will approach the sub­ject of cog­ni­tive train­ing from the oppo­site cor­ner: we will dis­cuss imme­di­ate ben­e­fits of train­ing for qual­i­ty of life and per­for­mance in chil­dren with ADD/ ADHD. Some of the most promis­ing effects seen are those that show how work­ing mem­o­ry train­ing can gen­er­al­ize into bet­ter com­plex rea­son­ing (mea­sured by Ravens), inhi­bi­tion (Stroop) and ADD/ ADHD symp­toms rat­ings, beyond WM improve­ments.

Our main char­ac­ter: Dr. Torkel Kling­berg, whom we had the for­tune to inter­view last Sep­tem­ber (full notes at Work­ing Mem­o­ry Train­ing and RoboMemo: Inter­view with Dr. Torkel Kling­berg), and who has since received the preti­gious Philip’s Nordic Prize.

We high­light some of the inter­view notes: Read the rest of this entry »

Online Brain Fitness Gym

See our sec­ond press release below, and vis­it our Press Room for the great press we are start­ing to get about our brain fit­ness gym.

Spe­cial Offer: For a lim­it­ed time, you can receive a com­pli­men­ta­ry copy of our Brain Fit­ness 101 e-Guide: Answers to your Top 25 Ques­tions, writ­ten by Dr. Elkhonon Gold­berg and Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, by sub­scrib­ing to our month­ly newslet­ter. You can sub­scribe Here.

Sharp­Brains intro­duces First Online Brain Fit­ness Cen­ter

Unique, Full-Ser­vice, Sci­ence-Based Fit­ness Cen­ter Ush­ers in the Next Work­out Rev­o­lu­tion: Men­tal Exer­cise

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Thirty years after the emer­gence of the exer­cise boom, the fit­ness rev­o­lu­tion has final­ly gone to people’s heads: SharpBrains.com has launched the first online brain fit­ness cen­ter. Com­plete with a vari­ety of sci­ence-based men­tal exer­cise equip­ment, per­son­al brain train­ers, and near­ly 200 arti­cles, inter­ac­tive blog post­ings and inter­views with indus­try experts, Sharp­Brains is spear­head­ing the evo­lu­tion of the fit­ness indus­try to include a sound mind as well as a healthy body.

The new men­tal exer­cise move­ment is found­ed on using struc­tured, com­put­er-based brain fit­ness rou­tines tai­lored to each member’s spe­cif­ic needs and lev­el of abil­i­ty. Just as crunch­es and kick-box­ing tone abs and increase car­dio strength, Read the rest of this entry »

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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 tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

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