Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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3 ways to manage smartphone use and improve quality of life

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As psy­chol­o­gist Chris Willard often says, our phones can be our great­est ene­my or great­est friend. While they can save us time and ener­gy, edu­cate and enter­tain us, and keep us safe in emer­gen­cies, they can also dis­tract us from the things we need in life to stay hap­py and healthy. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

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