Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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What is Brain fitness? What are Future Opportunities? Experts Answer.

What is brain fit­ness real­ly? What will hap­pen in terms of brain fit­ness inno­va­tion in the next decade? What’s the biggest chal­lenge?

Who could answer these ques­tions bet­ter than the expert Sharp­Brains 2011 Sum­mit speak­ers? Dis­cov­er below the answers of 7 of them.

.1. How would you define “brain fit­ness” vs. “phys­i­cal fit­ness”?
Alvaro Pas­cual-Leone, Har­vard Med­ical School: Phys­i­cal fit­ness can refer to an over­all or gen­eral state of health and well-being. How­ever, it is also often used more specif­i­cally to refer to the abil­ity to per­form a giv­en activ­ity, occu­pa­tion, or sport. Sim­i­larly brain fit­ness might be used to refer to a gen­eral state of healthy, opti­mized brain func­tion, or a more spe­cific brain-based abil­ity to process cer­tain, spe­cific infor­ma­tion, enable cer­tain motor actions, or sup­port cer­tain cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties. Impor­tantly though, I would argue that phys­i­cal fit­ness REQUIRES brain fit­ness, while brain fit­ness ben­e­fits from, but does not require phys­i­cal fit­ness.

Ken­neth Kosik, UC San­ta Bar­bara: The brain is sim­ply an organ in the body with all the health require­ments of any oth­er organ. There­fore, I am trou­bled by the “ver­sus” in your ques­tion. Why set up an unnec­es­sary dual­ism? Read the rest of this entry »

Lessons from the SharpBrains Summit: Status Quo Not an Option

The 2011 Sharp­Brains Sum­mit gath­ered  more than 260 research and indus­try lead­ers in 16 coun­tries for 3 days to dis­cuss the chang­ing land­scape. Held online, par­tic­i­pants from all over the globe  attend­ed to hear more than 40 thought lead­ers, sci­en­tists, entre­pre­neurs and pol­i­cy mak­ers out­line the evolv­ing mar­ket­place. Dis­cus­sion moved from cog­ni­tive fit­ness to neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty, across reg­u­la­to­ry and pol­i­cy trends, and new prod­uct launch­es by new and estab­lished play­ers  What did we take home from the Sharp­Brains Sum­mit? Was it nov­el con­sumer insights aris­ing from a new retail land­scape? What of pol­i­cy ini­tia­tives from inno­va­tion clus­ters around the globe? Do you see a future pop­u­lat­ed by neu­ro­science toolk­its, dri­ven by the inex­orable demo­graph­ic changes set to occur in the com­ing decades? Or was it a look “under the hood” of tech­nol­o­gy plat­forms devel­oped by cat­e­go­ry lead­ers that sharp­ened our insight? Here are 10 emerg­ing themes:

1. The Need for Stan­dard­iza­tion of method­olo­gies

A pro­fu­sion of cog­ni­tive and emo­tion­al health tests, bat­ter­ies and new tech­nolo­gies are crowd­ing the research envi­ron­ment. The NIH tool­box for the assess­ment of a broad range of cog­ni­tive domains Read the rest of this entry »

Meet the 16 Judges of the 2010 Brain Fitness Innovation Awards

We are hon­ored to count on such a dis­tin­guished, inter­dis­ci­pli­nary and for­ward-look­ing Inno­va­tion Awards Judg­ing Pan­el (please judge for your­self!), thanks to the par­tic­i­pa­tion of:

shiv-babaBaba Shiv, Pro­fes­sor at Stan­ford Busi­ness School, con­ducts research on con­sumer deci­sion mak­ing and deci­sion neu­ro­science, with spe­cif­ic empha­sis on the neu­ro­log­i­cal under­pin­nings of emo­tion and moti­va­tion in deci­sion mak­ing. His recent work exam­ines the poten­tial for non­con­scious place­bo effects relat­ed to pric­ing. He is cur­rent­ly the edi­tor of the Jour­nal of Con­sumer Research and sits on the edi­to­r­i­al board of the Jour­nal of Con­sumer Psy­chol­o­gy and the Jour­nal of Mar­ket­ing Research.

Bill0828Bill Tuck­er, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor at Edu­ca­tion Sec­tor, is a social entre­pre­neur who has found­ed and led both non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tions and for-prof­it com­pa­nies. He is respon­si­ble for man­ag­ing the day-to-day oper­a­tions of Edu­ca­tion Sec­tor, and also leads pol­i­cy work focused on tech­nol­o­gy and inno­va­tion. His involve­ment in edu­ca­tion dates to ear­ly in his career, when he man­aged a middle/high school stu­dent vol­un­teer and ser­vice learn­ing pro­gram, work­ing with 22 schools and over 75 non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tions, and served as a com­mu­ni­ty orga­niz­er for an adult lit­er­a­cy pro­gram. He is a grad­u­ate of Duke Uni­ver­si­ty and has both an MBA and a Master’s of Edu­ca­tion from Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty.

murphyBri­an Mur­phy, Pres­i­dent of De Anza Col­lege, has led De Anza Col­lege since 2004 with a key focus on the prepa­ra­tion of stu­dents to be active, involved cit­i­zens com­mit­ted to trans­form­ing their com­mu­ni­ties. Pre­vi­ous­ly, Pres­i­dent Mur­phy served for 12 years as exec­u­tive direc­tor of the San Fran­cis­co Urban Insti­tute at San Fran­cis­co State Uni­ver­si­ty, and was chief con­sul­tant to the Cal­i­for­nia State Legislature’s reviews of the Mas­ter Plan for High­er Edu­ca­tion and the com­mu­ni­ty col­lege reform process in the late 1980s. He has taught polit­i­cal the­o­ry and Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, San­ta Cruz, San­ta Clara Uni­ver­si­ty and San Fran­cis­co State Uni­ver­si­ty.

jenningsCharles Jen­nings, Direc­tor of the McGov­ern Insti­tute Neu­rotech­nol­o­gy Pro­gram, MIT, became an edi­tor with the sci­en­tif­ic jour­nal Nature fol­low­ing post­doc­tor­al stud­ies in devel­op­men­tal biol­o­gy at Har­vard and MIT. He was the found­ing edi­tor of Nature Neu­ro­science, wide­ly con­sid­ered a lead­ing jour­nal in its field. More recent­ly, he was the first exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Har­vard Stem Cell Insti­tute, and he con­tin­ues to serve as an advi­sor to the Con­necti­cut Stem Cell Research Pro­gram.

house_for-webChuck House, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of Stan­ford Media X, leads Stan­ford University’s Indus­try Affil­i­ate research pro­gram on media and tech­nol­o­gy, and is a senior research schol­ar in the Human Sci­ences and Tech­nol­o­gy Advanced Research divi­sion at Stan­ford. Pre­vi­ous­ly, he was the direc­tor of Soci­etal Impact of Tech­nol­o­gy for Intel Cor­po­ra­tion, and the first Direc­tor of Intel’s Vir­tu­al Research Col­lab­o­ra­to­ry. He recent­ly co-authored The HP Phe­nom­e­non: Inno­va­tion and Busi­ness Trans­for­ma­tion (Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty Press, Octo­ber 2009).

colinmilnerCol­in Mil­ner, Founder and CEO of the Inter­na­tion­al Coun­cil on Active Aging (ICAA), is one of the world’s vision­ar­ies on the health and well-being of the old­er adult. Mil­ner is a mem­ber of the Glob­al Agen­da Coun­cils ini­tia­tive run by the World Eco­nom­ic Forum, the active-aging spokesper­son for the Cana­di­an Asso­ci­a­tion of Fit­ness Pro­fes­sion­als, and the res­i­dent indus­try expert on aging for the Inter­na­tion­al Health, Rac­quet and Sports­club Asso­ci­a­tion. An award-win­ning writer, Mil­ner has authored more than 200 arti­cles on aging-relat­ed issues.

elizabeth_edgerly-head-shot-1Eliz­a­beth Edger­ly, Nation­al Spokesper­son for Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion “Main­tain Your Brain”, is the Chief Pro­gram Offi­cer for the Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion and nation­al spokesper­son for the Association’s Main­tain Your Brain pro­gram. She over­sees the many pro­grams of the Asso­ci­a­tion for patients, fam­i­lies and health care pro­fes­sion­als. In addi­tion, she staffs the Med­ical Sci­en­tif­ic Advi­so­ry Coun­cil of the Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion – North­ern Cal­i­for­nia. She received her Ph.D. in clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gy at the State Uni­ver­si­ty of New York and spe­cial­ized in geropsy­chol­o­gy and neu­ropsy­chol­o­gy. Dr. Edger­ly joined the Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion after com­plet­ing a fel­low­ship in clin­i­cal geropsy­chol­o­gy at the Palo Alto VA Hos­pi­tal. Read the rest of this entry »

United BioSource Corporation Announces Acquisition of Cognitive Drug Research (computerized cognitive testing)

Press release: “Leader in cog­ni­tion mea­sure­ment inte­grates into UBC to max­i­mize mea­sure­ment pre­ci­sion of piv­otal end­points and ensure data integri­ty. Unit­ed BioSource Cor­po­ra­tion (UBC) today announced the acqui­si­tion of CDR”

Press release (09/10/09): Here

Analy­sis for mem­bers of Sharp­Brains Net­work for Brain Fit­ness Inno­va­tion: Here

For con­text, see our pre­vi­ous arti­cle titled Com­put­er­ized Cog­ni­tive Assess­ments: oppor­tu­ni­ties and con­cerns, focused on the OptumHealth — Brain­Re­source part­ner­ship and inno­v­a­tive work by the US Army.

Update: Retooling Use It or Lose It at New York Public Library

Here you have the Sep­tem­ber edi­tion of our month­ly newslet­ter cov­er­ing cog­ni­tive health Brain Fitnessand brain fit­ness top­ics. Please remem­ber that you can sub­scribe to receive this Newslet­ter by email, using the box at the top of this page.

In the cur­rent edi­tion of The Jour­nal on Active Aging, I dis­cuss why we need to Retool “Use it or lose it”, and why rou­tine, doing things inside our com­fort zones, is the most com­mon ene­my of the nov­el­ty, vari­ety and chal­lenge our brains need. You can read the full arti­cle for free Here.

Book Tour

We are glad to report that The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness con­tin­ues to obtain excel­lent endorse­ments:

This is the only book that I know of that seam­less­ly inte­grates lat­est infor­ma­tion about cog­ni­tive health across the lifes­pan. Very use­ful to any­one inter­est­ed in brain care.”

–Arthur Kramer, Ph. D., Pro­fes­sor of Psy­chol­o­gy at Uni­ver­si­ty of Illi­nois

…we now have a rock sol­id primer on brain health that we can rec­om­mend with confidence…I found it par­tic­u­lar­ly effec­tive to start the book with a list of ten brain myths that need debunk­ing.”
–Michael C. Pat­ter­son, for­mer Man­ag­er NRTA/ Stay­ing Sharp at AARP

The offi­cial book tour starts this week, and includes New York Pub­lic Library!
09/08: Club One Fit­ness Cen­ter, Petaluma, CA
09/09: San Fran­cis­co State Uni­ver­si­ty OLLI
09/11: ASA Brain Health Day, Oak­land, CA
09/23: New York Pub­lic Library, Bronx Library Cen­ter
09/25: New York Pub­lic Library, Stephen Schwarz­man Build­ing
10/06, Smart­Sil­vers MIT North­ern Cal­i­for­nia, Palo Alto, CA
10/14: UC-Berke­ley OLLI, CA

You can find all the details here. If you haven’t read the book yet, you can order it via Ama­zon Here (print book) or Here (Kin­dle edi­tion). Or ask your local book­store or library.

Brain Reserve

Edu­ca­tion AND Life­long Cog­ni­tive Activ­i­ties Delay Mem­o­ry Loss: Dr. Pas­cale Mich­e­lon reports how a recent fol­low-up to the Bronx Aging Study, where 488 ini­tial­ly healthy adults have been tracked over 20 years, shows that every addi­tion­al cog­ni­tive “activ­i­ty day” (par­tic­i­pat­ing in one activ­i­ty for one day a week) helps delay for about two months the onset of rapid mem­o­ry loss as we grow old­er.
Need ideas for extra activ­i­ties?

Chang­ing our Minds…by Read­ing Fic­tion: What about get­ting a nov­el in your hands (or writ­ing one)? By imag­in­ing many pos­si­ble worlds, argues psy­chol­o­gist Kei­th Oat­ley, fic­tion gives us the sur­prise which can help expand our under­stand­ing of our­selves and the social world.

Sharp­Brains Fan Page in Face­book: What about par­tic­i­pat­ing in our new Fan Page at Face­book? You can not only receive lat­est updates but com­ment on your favorite arti­cles and teasers, and dis­cuss your own ideas and resources.

Med­ica­tion and Train­ing

Cog­ni­tive Enhance­ment via Phar­ma­col­o­gy AND Neu­ropsy­chol­o­gy: our co-founder Dr. Elkhonon Gold­berg inte­grates three appar­ent­ly sep­a­rate worlds -cog­ni­tive enhance­ment via drugs, brain fit­ness train­ing soft­ware, com­put­er­ized neu­rocog­ni­tive assess­ments-, in a much updat­ed new edi­tion of his book The Exec­u­tive Brain.

Com­par­ing Cog­ni­tive Train­ing & Med­ica­tion Treat­ment for ADHD: a recent study shows that work­ing mem­o­ry train­ing improves work­ing mem­o­ry more than stim­u­lant med­ica­tion treat­ment-and ben­e­fits per­sist longer. Does this mat­ter?, Does this mean train­ing is bet­ter than med­ica­tion for kids with atten­tion deficits?  Dr. David Rabin­er dis­sects the study search­ing for answers.

Inno­va­tion

AAA to deploy Dri­ve­Sharp: Peter Kissinger, CEO of the AAA Foun­da­tion, explains why the cur­rent sys­tem of dri­ver licens­ing is inad­e­quate and incon­sis­tent, why AAA is rec­om­mend­ing old­er dri­vers use a new cog­ni­tive train­ing pro­gram, and why he believes insur­ance com­pa­nies will soon start to offer brain train­ing to their mem­bers.

Sharp­Brains Net­work for Brain Fit­ness Inno­va­tion: in order to help lead­ers of the brain fit­ness and cog­ni­tive health com­mu­ni­ty learn, con­nect and col­lab­o­rate, Sharp­Brains has cre­at­ed a vir­tu­al LinkedIn net­work for clients. The net­work will be for­mal­ly launched with a webi­nar on Sep­tem­ber 29th that will dis­cuss The State of the Brain Fit­ness Soft­ware Mar­ket in 2009. For orga­ni­za­tions that want to order the report, attend the webi­nar, and join the net­work, more infor­ma­tion is avail­able Here.

Brain Teas­er

Brain Quiz: Do You Have a Brain?: Dr. Pas­cale Mich­e­lon dares you to answer these 10 ques­tions cor­rect­ly to prove that you have a brain.

Enjoy!

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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