Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Brain Games for Kids, Adults…and Chimps

examples of working memoryDid you read about the recent experiment where young chimps displayed amazing visual working memory capability, beating humans? You can watch a short video about it 

And, you can now test your own skills with the Chimp Game!

 

PS: Enjoy these 50 brain teasers to test your cognitive ability.

 

Every man can, if he so desires, sculpt his own brain

Santiago Ramon y CajalA Spanish friend and neuroscientist just reminded me of a great quote by Santiago Ramon y Cajal (1852-1934): “todo hombre puede ser, si se lo propone, escultor de su propio cerebro“.

Which means: “Every man can, if he so desires, become the sculptor his own brain“.

Which really means: “Each of us can literally refine the structure and function of our brains, the same way we can do so with the rest of our body muscles” (my 2 cents…).

Our daily thoughts and actions, learnings, meditation, cognitive therapy, the growing number of software-based programs, and more, are “sculpting” tools…no more no less than tools. Good for some goals and contexts, like improving concentration and memory, becoming “sharper”, helping protect our minds from decline, or manage stress better.

I just bought Cajal’s autobiography, titled Recollections of My Life (thanks, Mind Hacks). Will be writing about it in a month or so-I have too many books on the table now, and only one brain.

If you want to read some good neuroscience blog posts, you can find a nice collection in the latest edition of Encephalon, hosted by Dr Deborah Serani.

For general science ones, try Tangled Bank. For education, enjoy The Education Carnival.

Finally, I will be hosting the next edition of Carnival of the Capitalists (I don’t really love the name…but it is the oldest and best blog carnival for business and economics). If you have some good posts, please submit them here.

For some additional thoughts on sculpting brains, intelligence, and becoming smarter, you can check this post.

Brain Fitness news.

A couple of good recent articles:

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Brain Games will give adults all the challenge they can handle

Baltimore Sun, MD. Mar 22, 2007.The reporter provides a great survey of products. The only parts I find missing are:

1) what specific cognitive skill/s is/are being trained by each product? if we understand that the brain has a variety of structural and functional areas, it becomes evident that different programs may be training different “mental muscles”.

2) How does each program enable the user measure progress in an objective way? I’d say this is the main difference between “games” and brain fitness programs. If you have a wildly different brain age everytime you try…that so-called brain age is not very credible.

Does brain exercise fight dementia?
Minneapolis Star Tribune (subscription), MN. Mar 18, 2007.As the article mentions, no program can claim to “prevent Alzheimer’s”. And I haven’t seen Posit Science (or us) claim such a thing, or imply it. But what can be claimed is meaningful: Read the rest of this entry »

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