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Brain Fitness Newletter: Mid-March edition

Here you are have the bi-month­ly Digest of our 10 most Pop­u­lar blog posts. (Also, remem­ber that you can sub­scribe to receive our blog RSS feed, or to our newslet­ter at the top of this page if you want to receive this digest by email).Crossword Puzzles Brain fitness

We hope you had a great Brain Aware­ness Week.

Brain Fitness Software After many months of work we have just released our inau­gur­al report The State of the Brain Fit­ness Soft­ware Mar­ket 2008 for cor­po­rate exec­u­tives, health care pro­fes­sion­als, and investors. This report defines the emerg­ing brain fit­ness soft­ware mar­ket and ana­lyzes the size and trends of its four cus­tomer seg­ments. For top 10 high­lights and to pur­chase the report at a 10% dis­count (before March 20th) click here: Report: The State of the Brain Fit­ness Soft­ware Mar­ket 2008

Brain Fit­ness News and Events

NEWS FEA­TURE-Brain fit­ness seen as hot indus­try of the future (Reuters 03/12): The most com­pre­hen­sive arti­cle we have seen so far cov­er­ing this emerg­ing field, based on our mar­ket report and with orig­i­nal report­ing. High­ly rec­om­mend­ed read.

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Brain Connection: Eric Jensen on Learning and the Brain

Eric Jensen is a for­mer mid­dle school teacher and for­mer adjunct pro­fes­sor for sev­er­al Eric Jensen Learning and the Brainuni­ver­si­ties includ­ing the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, San Diego. He co-found­ed the Learn­ing Brain Expo, a con­fer­ence for edu­ca­tors, and has writ­ten 21 books on the brain and learn­ing. Jensen is cur­rent­ly com­plet­ing his PhD course­work. His most recent book, Enrich­ing the Brain: How to Max­i­mize Every Learner’s Poten­tial (Jossey-Bass, 2006), is high­ly rec­om­mend­ed for edu­ca­tors and par­ents alike. He wrote this recent arti­cle in Phi Delta Kap­pan in Feb­ru­ary 2008, spark­ing a healthy debate on the val­ue of neu­ro­science applied to edu­ca­tion.Eric, thank you for your time. Can you explain the role that you and your orga­ni­za­tion play?

We act as trans­la­tors between the neu­ro­science and edu­ca­tion fields, help­ing to build a Brain-Based Edu­ca­tion move­ment. We launched the first con­fer­ence that attempt­ed to bridge these two worlds in 1998. The goal of the con­fer­ence, called Learn­ing Expo, was for teach­ers to speak to sci­en­tists, and, equal­ly impor­tant, for sci­en­tists to speak to edu­ca­tors.

Crit­ics say that neu­ro­science research can add lit­tle to edu­ca­tion­al prac­tices. What we say is that, where­as it is true that much needs to be clar­i­fied, there are already clear impli­ca­tions from brain research that edu­ca­tors should be aware of. For exam­ple, four impor­tant ele­ments that are often neglect­ed by edu­ca­tors, giv­en the obses­sive focus on aca­d­e­m­ic scores, are nutri­tion, phys­i­cal exer­cise, stress man­age­ment, and over­all men­tal enrich­ment.

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Learning & The Brain: Interview with Robert Sylwester

Robert SylwesterDr. Robert Syl­west­er is an edu­ca­tor of edu­ca­tors, hav­ing received mul­ti­ple awards dur­ing his long career as a mas­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tor of the impli­ca­tions of brain sci­ence research for edu­ca­tion and learn­ing. He is the author of sev­er­al books and many jour­nal arti­cles, and mem­ber of our Sci­en­tif­ic Advi­so­ry Board. His most recent book is The Ado­les­cent Brain: Reach­ing for Auton­o­my (Cor­win Press, 2007). He is an Emer­i­tus Pro­fes­sor of Edu­ca­tion at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ore­gon.

I am hon­ored to inter­view him today.

Alvaro Fer­nan­dez: Let’s start with that eter­nal source of debate. What do we know about the respec­tive roles of genes and our envi­ron­ment in brain devel­op­ment?

Robert Syl­west­er: Genet­ic and envi­ron­men­tal fac­tors both con­tribute to brain mat­u­ra­tion. Genet­ics prob­a­bly play a stronger role in the ear­ly years, and the envi­ron­ment plays a stronger role in lat­er years. Still the mother’s (envi­ron­men­tal) use of drugs dur­ing the preg­nan­cy could affect the genet­ics of fetal brain devel­op­ment, and some adult ill­ness­es, such as Huntington’s Dis­ease, are genet­i­cal­ly trig­gered.

Nature and nur­ture both require the sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions of the oth­er in most devel­op­men­tal and main­te­nance func­tions. We typ­i­cal­ly think of envi­ron­men­tal fac­tors as things that hap­pen to us, over which we have lit­tle con­trol.

Can’t our own deci­sions have an effect in our own brain devel­op­ment? For exam­ple, what if I choose a career in invest­ment bank­ing, vs. one in jour­nal­ism or teach­ing?

We make our own career deci­sions in life, and most of us make a com­bi­na­tion of good and bad deci­sions, which influ­ence our brain’s mat­u­ra­tion.

My father was very unusu­al in his career tra­jec­to­ry in that he worked at one place through­out his entire adult life, and died three months after he retired at 91. I’ve always thought that it’s a good idea to make a change every ten years or so and do some­thing dif­fer­ent either with­in the same orga­ni­za­tion or to move to anoth­er one.

It’s just as good for orga­ni­za­tions to have some staff turnover as it is for staff to move to new chal­lenges. The time to leave one posi­tion for anoth­er is while you and your employ­er are 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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