Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Top 10 SharpBrains Resources in 2015 to Navigate the Brain Health Revolution

These are the 10 most pop­u­lar Sharp­Brains resources in 2015, span­ning a wide range of brain, health & neu­rotech­nol­o­gy top­ics and avail­able in mul­ti­ple plat­forms:

1. Best prac­tices to assess and enhance brain func­tion via mobile devices and wear­ables (Slid­edeck)

2. Brain Health in the Per­va­sive Neu­rotech­nol­ogy Era (Slid­edeck)

3. Sharp­Brains @ New York Pub­lic Library: Prac­ti­cal Advice to Keep Your Brain Sharp (YouTube video)

4. Why We Need to Retool “Use It Or Lose It”: Healthy Brain Aging (ICAA arti­cle)

5. Under what con­di­tions does brain train­ing work? (Slid­edeck)

6. Per­va­sive Neu­rotech­nol­o­gy: A Ground­break­ing Analy­sis of 10,000+ Patent Fil­ings Trans­form­ing Med­i­cine, Health, Enter­tain­ment and Busi­ness (Info­graph­ic)

7. Review of The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness (Sci­en­tif­ic Amer­i­can blog) — The book is now avail­able in Eng­lish, Span­ish, Japan­ese and Pol­ish!

8. How Does a Child’s Brain Learn? (Slid­edeck)

9. Solv­ing the Brain Fit­ness Puz­zle Is the Key to Self-Empow­ered Aging (Gen­er­a­tions arti­cle)

10. 25 Key Ref­er­ences to Nav­i­gate the Brain Health and Neu­rotech­nol­o­gy Rev­o­lu­tion ( Sharp­Brains arti­cle)

We hope you enjoy them, and share your favorites with oth­er sharp friends and col­leagues! To stay on top of new arti­cles and resources, you can fol­low us via Face­bookTwit­terLinkedIn and our eNewslet­ter.

And, if you are look­ing for some addi­tion­al cog­ni­tive stim­u­la­tion, check out these great brain teasers, games and illu­sions, for adults of any age!

Warm regards,

The Sharp­Brains Team

AARP’s Best Brain Fitness Books

We are hon­ored to announce that AARP has includ­ed our very own book The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness (182 pages; $14.95) in its new List of Best Books on Brain Fit­ness, which will be unveiled dur­ing AARP’s upcom­ing Life@50 Nation­al Event. We hope this list will help many more indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions learn about our resource: giv­en that 80% of respon­dents to a recent AARP sur­vey select­ed “Stay­ing Men­tal­ly Sharp” as their top pri­or­i­ty, we cer­tain­ly know there is a sig­nif­i­cant need for qual­i­ty infor­ma­tion!

AARP’s Best Books Guide


Brain Fitness


The Dana Guide to Brain Health, by Floyd E. Bloom, M. Flint Beal, and David J. Kupfer (Dana Press, 2006).

The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness: 18 Inter­views with Sci­en­tists, Prac­ti­cal Advice, and Prod­uct Reviews, to Keep Your Brain Sharp, by Alvaro Fer­nan­dez and Elkhonon Gold­berg. (Sharp­Brains Inc., 2009).

Save Your Brain: The 5 Things You Must Do To Keep Your Mind Young and Sharp
, by Paul Nuss­baum. (McGraw-Hill, 2010).

The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain: The Sur­pris­ing Tal­ents of the Mid­dle-Aged Mind, by Bar­bara Strauch (Viking, 2010).

The Mem­o­ry Bible: An Inno­v­a­tive Strat­e­gy for Keep­ing Your Brain Young
, by Gary Small (Hype­r­i­on, 2003).

___________

Also Rec­om­mend­ed:

The Mature Mind: The Pos­i­tive Pow­er of the Aging Brain, by Gene Cohen (Basic Books, 2006).

The Brain That Changes Itself, by Nor­man Doidge (Pen­guin, 2007).

Spark: The Rev­o­lu­tion­ary New Sci­ence of Exer­cise and the Brain, by John Ratey and Eric Hager­man (Lit­tle, Brown and Co., 2008).

Think Smart: A Neu­ro­sci­en­tist’s Pre­scrip­tion for Improv­ing Your Brain’s Per­for­mance, by Richard Restak (River­head, 2010).

Com­piled by:
Office of Aca­d­e­m­ic Affairs, AARP

Top 30 Brain Fitness Articles

Here are the top 30 Sharp­Brains arti­cles based on our read­ers’ rank­ing since 2006 and since 2010. Brain sci­ence news, brain fit­ness trends, brain health and main­te­nance tips, read on to expand your mind!

.

  1. Top 50 Brain Teasers, by Sharp­Brains Team
  2. The Ten Habits of High­ly Effec­tive Brains, by Alvaro Fer­nan­dez
  3. How can I improve my short term mem­ory?, by Pas­cale Mich­e­lon
  4. Brain Plas­tic­ity: How learn­ing changes your brain, by Pas­cale Mich­e­lon
  5. Brain Fit­ness Pro­gram and Neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty @ PBS, by Alvaro Feran­dez
  6. What are Cog­ni­tive Abil­i­ties?, by Pas­cale Mich­e­lon
  7. How can I improve my short term mem­ory?, by Car­o­line Lath­am
  8. Your Brain on Trad­ing, by Jan­ice Dorn
  9. Stress Man­age­ment Work­shop for Inter­na­tional Women’s Day, by Alvaro Fer­nan­dez
  10. Video Games Pros and Cons, by Jere­my Adam Smith Read the rest of this entry »

New Brain Health Series: The Child, Adolescent, Adult and Aging Brain

Peo­ple of all ages read SharpBrains.com, so we are prepar­ing a series of arti­cles on Brain Health across the Lifes­pan.

The series will include 4 parts:

  • The Child Brain, pub­lished in Novem­ber 2010
  • The Ado­les­cent Brain, in Decem­ber 2010
  • The Adult Brain, in Jan­u­ary 2011
  • The Aging Brain, in Feb­ru­ary 2011
  • Each part will :

    • Include sur­pris­ing facts on how the brain works
    • Debunk com­mons myths about cog­ni­tion and brain health
    • Link to resources such as books and doc­u­men­taries.

    If you want to read these arti­cles as we pub­lish them via SharpBrains.com, you can either fol­low us in Face­book and Twit­ter or, if you have not done so already, sub­scribe to our month­ly update (eNewslet­ter).

    Tell your friends and col­leagues about the series!

    Brain Health News: Top Articles and Resources in March

    There’s such a flood of very sig­nif­i­cant research stud­ies, edu­ca­tion­al resources and arti­cles relat­ed to brain health, it’s hard to keep track — even for us!

    Let me intro­duce and quote some of the top Brain Health Stud­ies, Arti­cles and Resources pub­lished in March:

    1) Cog­ni­tive Decline Begins In Late 20s, Study Sug­gests (Sci­ence Dai­ly)

    - “These pat­terns sug­gest that some types of men­tal flex­i­bil­i­ty decrease rel­a­tive­ly ear­ly in adult­hood, but that how much knowl­edge one has, and the effec­tive­ness of inte­grat­ing it with one’s abil­i­ties, may increase through­out all of adult­hood if there are no patho­log­i­cal dis­eases,” Salt­house said.

    - How­ev­er, Salt­house points out that there is a great deal of vari­ance from per­son to per­son

    2) Cere­brum 2009: Emerg­ing Ideas in Brain Sci­ence — new book by the Dana Foun­da­tion that “explores the cut­ting edge of brain research and its impli­ca­tions in our every­day lives, in lan­guage under­stand­able to the gen­er­al read­er.”

    A cou­ple of excel­lent chap­ters of direct rel­e­vance to every­one’s brain health are:
    — Chap­ter 4: A Road Paved by Rea­son, by Eliz­a­beth Nor­ton Lasley

    - Chap­ter 10: Neur­al Health: Is It Facil­i­tat­ed by Work Force Par­tic­i­pa­tion?, by Denise Park, Ph.D

    3) Stay­ing Sharp DVD Pro­gram: “Dr. Jor­dan Graf­man, chief of the Cog­ni­tive Neu­ro­science Sec­tion at the Nation­al Insti­tute of Neu­ro­log­i­cal Dis­or­ders and Stroke out­side of Wash­ing­ton, DC, and a mem­ber of the Dana Alliance for Brain Ini­tia­tives, is your guide as we cov­er what to expect from the aging brain and what we can do to ‘stay sharp.’

    For a free DVD of this pro­gram you can con­tact stayingsharp@dana.org. (they say free in their web­site, I don’t know if that includes ship­ping & han­dling)

    4) Dri­vers to be test­ed on cog­ni­tive abil­i­ty start­ing at age 75 (Japan Times)

    The out­line of a cog­ni­tive test that dri­vers aged 75 or over will be required to take from June when renew­ing their licens­es was released Thursday…The test is intend­ed to reduce the num­ber of traf­fic acci­dents involv­ing elder­ly dri­vers by mea­sur­ing their cog­ni­tive lev­el.

    5) Phys­i­cal Fit­ness Improves Spa­tial Mem­o­ry, Increas­es Size Of Brain Struc­ture (Sci­ence Dai­ly)

    - “Now researchers have found that elder­ly adults who are more phys­i­cal­ly fit tend to have big­ger hip­pocampi and bet­ter spa­tial mem­o­ry than those who are less fit.”

    6) Brain Train­ers: A Work­out for the Mind (Sci­en­tif­ic Amer­i­can Mind)

    I recent­ly tried out eight of the lat­est brain fit­ness pro­grams, train­ing with each for a week. The pro­grams ranged wide­ly in focus, qual­i­ty and how fun they were to use. “Like phys­i­cal exer­cise equip­ment, a brain exer­cise pro­gram does­n’t do you any good if you don’t use it, says Andrew J. Car­le, direc­tor of the Pro­gram in Assist­ed Living/Senior Hous­ing Admin­is­tra­tion at George Mason Uni­ver­si­ty. And peo­ple tend not to use bor­ing equip­ment. “I remem­ber when Nor­dic­Track was the biggest thing out there. Every­one ran out and bought one, and 90 per­cent of them end­ed up as a clothes rack in the back of your bed­room.

    The reporter used: Posit Sci­ence’s Brain Fit­ness Pro­gram Clas­sic, Hap­pyNeu­ron, Nin­ten­do BrainAge, Cog­niFit’s MindFit/ Cog­niFit Per­son­al Coach, Lumos­i­ty, MyBrain­Train­er, Brain­Twister, Cogmed Work­ing Mem­o­ry Train­ing.

    7) The Lat­est in Men­tal Health: Work­ing Out at the ‘Brain Gym’ (Wall Street Jour­nal)

    - “Mar­shall Kahn, an 82-year-old fam­i­ly doc­tor in Fuller­ton, Calif., says he got such a boost from brain exer­cis­es he start­ed doing at a “Nifty after Fifty” club that he decid­ed to start see­ing patients again part-time. “Doing all the men­tal exer­cise,” he says, “I real­ized I’ve still got it.”

    8) Debate Over Drugs For ADHD Reignites (Wash­ing­ton Post)

    - “New data from a large fed­er­al study have reignit­ed a debate over the effec­tive­ness of long-term drug treat­ment of chil­dren with hyper­ac­tiv­i­ty or atten­tion-deficit dis­or­der, and have drawn accu­sa­tions that some mem­bers of the research team have sought to play down evi­dence that med­ica­tions do lit­tle good beyond 24 months.”

    - “The study also indi­cat­ed that long-term use of the drugs can stunt chil­dren’s growth.”

    8) Adap­tive train­ing leads to sus­tained enhance­ment of poor work­ing mem­o­ry in chil­dren (Devel­op­men­tal Sci­ence)

    Abstract: Work­ing mem­o­ry plays a cru­cial role in sup­port­ing learn­ing, with poor progress in read­ing and math­e­mat­ics char­ac­ter­iz­ing chil­dren with low mem­o­ry skills. This study inves­ti­gat­ed whether these prob­lems can be over­come by a train­ing pro­gram designed to boost work­ing mem­o­ry. Chil­dren with low work­ing mem­o­ry skills were assessed on mea­sures of work­ing mem­o­ry, IQ and aca­d­e­m­ic attain­ment before and after train­ing on either adap­tive or non-adap­tive ver­sions of the pro­gram. Adap­tive train­ing that taxed work­ing mem­o­ry to its lim­its was asso­ci­at­ed with sub­stan­tial and sus­tained gains in work­ing mem­o­ry, with age-appro­pri­ate lev­els achieved by the major­i­ty of chil­dren. Math­e­mat­i­cal abil­i­ty also improved sig­nif­i­cant­ly 6 months fol­low­ing adap­tive train­ing. These find­ings indi­cate that com­mon impair­ments in work­ing mem­o­ry and asso­ci­at­ed learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties may be over­come with this behav­ioral treat­ment.

    9) Brain cor­tex thin­ning linked to inher­it­ed depres­sion (Los Ange­les Times)

    - “On aver­age, peo­ple with a fam­i­ly his­to­ry of depres­sion appear to have brains that are 28% thin­ner in the right cor­tex — the out­er­most lay­er of the brain — than those with no known fam­i­ly his­to­ry of the dis­ease. That cor­ti­cal thin­ning, said the researchers, is on a scale sim­i­lar to that seen in patients with Alzheimer’s dis­ease or schiz­o­phre­nia.”

    About SharpBrains

    As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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