How can we cut through the controversies around brain training and unlock the exciting potential as suggested by the numerous published studies showing examples of cognitive training benefits? [Read more…] about Please help us recruit 30,000 adults for a UC Citizen Science project on cognitive training
Update: Promote brain plasticity by taking your daily exercise pill — physical and cognitive
Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring nine scientific reports and industry developments to help promote lifelong brain health.
#1. A must-read, and must-practice: Promote brain plasticity and keep your mind at ease by taking your daily “exercise pill”
#2. If cognitive stimulation came in a pill it’d be worth a quadrillion, give or take a few trillions: Study finds that cognitive activity in old age may delay the onset of dementia by 5 years
#3. “A young child with low cognitive control is also more likely to develop anxiety later on in childhood, while one with a higher capacity will be more resilient to stress. Raising cognitive control could both treat anxiety in young children and potentially prevent it from becoming worse over time” — Helping young brains fight off anxiety by training and raising cognitive control
#4. The neuroscience behind why our brains will need time to adjust to ‘un-social distancing’
“In a national survey last fall, 36% of adults in the U.S. – including 61% of young adults – reported feeling “serious loneliness” during the pandemic. Statistics like these suggest people would be itching to hit the social scene. But if the idea of making small talk at a crowded happy hour sounds terrifying to you, you’re not alone. Nearly half of Americans reported feeling uneasy about returning to in-person interaction regardless of vaccination status.”
“The stress of the pandemic has made an existing mental health crisis even more alarming. We’re seeing this firsthand in adolescents in classrooms across the country and in adults who are reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression at a rate four times pre-pandemic levels” — Ian Chiu, Managing Director at Owl Ventures
#7. Study shows promising results of EEG-based brain training in helping adults with ADHD
“The study demonstrates for the first time the beneficial neurobehavioral effect of a single NFB session in adult ADHD, and reinforces the notion that Event-related potentials (ERPs) could serve as useful diagnostic/prognostic markers of executive dysfunction.”
#8. Systematic review calls for early targeted interventions to help babies and toddlers with cerebral palsy harness time window with maximum brain plasticity
“Currently, early diagnosis of high-risk CP offers the opportunity for early intervention at a critical developmental plasticity window. The earlier we intervene, the better the outcome is.”
“Support for mental health has needed improvement for many years in the UK. The pathways for accessing services are convoluted, waiting lists are extensive, and outcomes are poor over the long term … Coming up with new ways to maintain good mental health, in a preventative way, will be as essential as providing tools for acute care and we believe technology has a significant role to play.” — Dr Peter Bloomfield, FCC’s head of Policy and Research
Wishing you a happy and healthy month of August,
The SharpBrains Team
NB: Please remember that, if you’re looking for some fun and varied cognitive exercise, you can always try these 25 Brain Teasers, Puzzles & Games that SharpBrains readers have enjoyed the most.
Fun brain teaser to test your cognitive skills during International Brain Teaser Month
Memory relies mostly on the temporal lobes (see green area) and also the frontal lobes (red), so those are the areas that will get some good neuronal activation when readers raised in the US try to remember the missing words in the American proverbs below.
Now, if you were raised outside the US and are not familiar with those proverbs you will have to use your reasoning skills more than your memory skills — In that case, frontal lobe activation will be wider and more intense.
Conversely, if you were raised in the US you will find the international proverbs below to be more challenging. You will not be able to remember them, as you probably never learned them, but you should be able to figure them out for extra frontal lobe, cognitive exercise.
Here’s the task: Guess the missing words of each US and international proverb below. Get a pen and piece of paper and write your answers before you check the solutions 🙂
Ready, Set, Go! [Read more…] about Fun brain teaser to test your cognitive skills during International Brain Teaser Month
Given cognitive strengths and needs are diverse, what brain training may work best for each person and under which conditions?
Does ‘Brain Training’ Actually Work? (Scientific American):
If there were an app on your phone that could improve your memory, would you try it? Who wouldn’t want a better memory? After all, our recollections are fragile and can be impaired by diseases, injuries, mental health conditions and, most acutely for all of us, aging. [Read more…] about Given cognitive strengths and needs are diverse, what brain training may work best for each person and under which conditions?
Large UC study to investigate when and how brain training transfers (or does not) to broader cognitive and health benefits
Nationwide project seeks to understand how brain exercises produce cognitive benefits (UC press release):
How does memory training lead to cognitive benefits? Aaron Seitz, director of the Brain Game Center for mental fitness and well-being at the University of California, Riverside, has wrestled with this question for several years.
Now he and Susanne Jaeggi, an associate professor at the UC Irvine School of Education; and Anja Pahor, formerly a postdoctoral researcher at UCR; are ready to address it by launching a nationwide project that seeks to engage 30,000 people in different variants of memory training through apps developed by the Brain Game Center.
[Read more…] about Large UC study to investigate when and how brain training transfers (or does not) to broader cognitive and health benefits
Quick brain teasers to exercise your working memory
Draw the letter J in your mind.
Now draw the letter D. Turn it 90 degrees to the left and put it in top of the J.
What does this shape resemble? [Read more…] about Quick brain teasers to exercise your working memory