Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Study finds clear–yet surprisingly different–benefits in 3 types of meditation-based mental training

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As cit­i­zens of the 21st cen­tu­ry, we face many prob­lems that come with an indus­tri­al­ized and glob­al­ized world. I’m not a lawyer or a politi­cian, but a psy­chol­o­gist and neu­ro­sci­en­tist. So research on how to train help­ful men­tal and social capac­i­ties is my way to con­tribute to a more healthy, com­mu­nal, and coop­er­a­tive civ­i­liza­tion.

For the past five years, that research has tak­en the form of the ReSource Project, one of the longest and most com­pre­hen­sive stud­ies on the effects of med­i­ta­tion-based men­tal train­ing to date. Lots of research treats the con­cept of med­i­ta­tion as a sin­gle prac­tice, when in fact med­i­ta­tion encom­pass­es a diver­si­ty of men­tal prac­tices that train dif­fer­ent skills and dif­fer­ent parts of the brain. Our goal was to study the spe­cif­ic effects of Read the rest of this entry »

The State of Mindfulness Science: 10 Key Research Findings to Encourage and Guide your Meditation Practice in 2018

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Dur­ing the past two decades, more and more sci­en­tists have stud­ied mindfulness—a Bud­dhist-inspired col­lec­tion of prac­tices aimed at help­ing us to cul­ti­vate moment-to-moment aware­ness of our­selves and our envi­ron­ment. Their ear­ly find­ings trig­gered an enor­mous amount of enthu­si­asm for med­i­ta­tion.

Some­times, how­ev­er, jour­nal­ists and even sci­en­tists (who should know bet­ter) have over­stat­ed the phys­i­cal and men­tal health ben­e­fits, which has fed grow­ing skep­ti­cism about mind­ful­ness. Read the rest of this entry »

Pending FDA review and approval, research findings pave way for Akili’s EVO to become first brain training platform prescribed for ADHD

Akili Achieves Pri­ma­ry Effi­ca­cy End­point in ADHD Tri­al (MD mag­a­zine):

Boston-based Akili Inter­ac­tive has announced top-line results from the STARS-ADHD piv­otal study of its inves­ti­ga­tion­al dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tic med­i­cine AKL-T01, in treat­ment of pedi­atric atten­tion-deficit/hy­per­ac­tiv­i­ty dis­or­der (ADHD)…The dig­i­tal med­i­cine, AKL-T01, is a video game for patients to play on tablet devices. It uses the same sto­ry­telling and reward mech­a­nisms as stan­dard videogames; how­ev­er, it fea­tures mech­a­nisms to act on neur­al sys­tems and algo­rithms that dial the lev­el of stim­u­lus up or down, meet­ing the needs of the patient. Read the rest of this entry »

5 quick brain teasers to sharpen two key cognitive skills: attention and working memory

Look­ing for some fun–and free–cognitive stim­u­la­tion over the week­end? Here you have a few quick brain teasers to chal­lenge your atten­tion and your work­ing mem­ory (work­ing mem­ory is the capac­i­ty to keep infor­ma­tion in your mind while work­ing on pro­cess­ing and inte­grat­ing it)

Please give them a try…they are not as easy as they may seem 🙂 Read the rest of this entry »

Tailoring computing experience based on user’s mental state and quality of attention: Key neurotechnology patent #30

Automated selection

– Illus­tra­tive image from U.S. Patent No. 7,395,507

Today we high­light a fas­ci­nat­ing 2008 patent assigned to Microsoft, dis­cussing assess­ment tech­niques such as pupil track­ing or head ori­en­ta­tion sen­sors to iden­ti­fy where and what the user is focused on–and what types of  infor­ma­tion and/ or noti­fi­ca­tions to dis­play accord­ing­ly.

U.S. Patent No. 7,395,507: Auto­mat­ed selec­tion of appro­pri­ate infor­ma­tion based on a com­put­er user’s con­text.

  • Assignee(s): Microsoft Cor­po­ra­tion
  • Inventor(s): James O. Robarts, Dan Newell, Ken­neth H. Abbott
  • Tech­nol­o­gy Cat­e­go­ry: Neu­ro-mon­i­tor­ing
  • Issue Date: July 1, 2008

SharpBrains’ Take:

The ‘507 patent dis­clos­es meth­ods for assess­ing a user’s men­tal state and more broad­ly the user’s con­text, to dis­cern whether or not to present the users with a mes­sage (e.g., an adver­tise­ment). 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 and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

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