Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Math Brain Teaser: How to Choose a Mans Shirt

You have been invit­ed to an impor­tant fundrais­ing gala at your old col­lege and decid­ed that this black-tie event demands a short col­lar super white Ital­ian shirt, like the one you bought years ago for your wed­ding. When you brave­ly tried the wed­ding shirt on (size 16), your wife not­ed that the col­lar suf­fo­cates you and you need about 1/4″ more space every­where in-between your neck and the col­lar all around your neck. What size shirt do you need to buy?  In case you don’t know the shirt size 16 means that a tape wrapped around your neck and two fin­gers posi­tioned flat upfront will mea­sure 16 inch­es.

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Math Brain Teaser: Unfinished Thesis

You are spend­ing the sum­mer pol­ish­ing your the­sis in the uni­ver­si­ty library. Every day you take the esca­la­tor into the sub­way, turn right and catch a train going up North to the uni­ver­si­ty. One day you real­ize that the trains on your left going in the oppo­site direc­tion can bring you to the beach. It is sum­mer and noth­ing is wrong with some leisure. You care­ful­ly cal­cu­late that even if you spend half of the remain­ing sum­mer vaca­tion in the library it should be enough to fin­ish the the­sis. You decide to spice up your sum­mer by Read the rest of this entry »

Math Brain Teaser for Kids and Adults: Archimedes Grave

(Editor’s Note: every oth­er Fri­day, start­ing today, we’ll pub­lish a brain teas­er to exer­cise our brains a bit. Here you have one sub­mit­ted by new con­trib­u­tor Maria Lan­do. Enjoy!).
Archimedes made a plen­i­tude of sig­nif­i­cant sci­en­tif­ic dis­cov­er­ies through­out his life. He designed machines capa­ble of lift­ing attack­ing ships out of the water as well as mir­ror arrays capa­ble of focus­ing sun rays and set­ting ene­my ships on fire. He explained why and how bod­ies float in the water, help­ing the king ver­i­fy that his crown is indeed made out of pure gold. He was fas­ci­nat­ed with infin­i­ty and found the way of approx­i­mat­ing the num­ber Pi as well as count­ing the num­ber of grains of sand that will fit inside the uni­verse. He died telling a Roman sol­dier that he is too busy to meet a gen­er­al as he was con­tem­plat­ing yet anoth­er math­e­mat­i­cal dia­gram.  His tomb was dec­o­rat­ed with his favorite dis­cov­ery .… What do you think it is?

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Debunking 10 Cognitive Health and Fitness Myths

As part of the research behind the book The Sharp­Brains Guide for Brain Fit­ness we inter­viewed dozens of lead­ing cog­ni­tive health and fit­ness sci­en­tists and experts world­wide to learn about their research and thoughts, and have a num­ber of take-aways to report.

What Santiago Ramon y Cajal can we clear­ly say today that we couldn’t have said only 10 years ago? That what neu­ro­science pio­neer San­ti­a­go Ramon y Cajal claimed in the XX cen­tu­ry, “Every man can, if he so desires, become the sculp­tor his own brain”, may well become real­i­ty in the XXI.

And trans­form Edu­ca­tion, Health, Train­ing, and Gam­ing in the process, since Read the rest of this entry »

Michael Merzenich: Brain Plasticity offers Hope for Everyone

What­ev­er you strug­gle with in a sense as it stems from your neu­rol­o­gy, the inher­ent plas­tic­i­ty of the brain gives you a basis for improve­ment. This is a way under­uti­lized and under-appre­ci­at­ed resource that well all have.” Dr. Michael Merzenich on the Brain Sci­ence Pod­cast #54, 2/13/09.

Recent­ly there has been grow­ing con­tro­ver­sy about the effec­tive­ness of com­put­er-based cog­ni­tive train­ing pro­grams. As a co-founder of Posit Sci­ence, Inc. Dr. Michael Merzenich is a staunch defend­er of the meth­ods his com­pa­ny uses to val­i­date the pro­grams that they have devel­oped. But for the pur­pos­es of this essay, I want to share some of the key ideas we dis­cussed dur­ing his recent inter­view on the Brain Sci­ence Pod­cast.

First of all, I asked him to dis­cuss some of the high­lights of his long career. Since he was one of the first neu­ro­sci­en­tists to embrace the con­cepts of neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty I was curi­ous about how this came about. While he did have some expo­sure to the ani­mal evi­dence as a grad­u­ate stu­dent, it was actu­al­ly his expe­ri­ence with the inven­tion of the cochlear implant that con­vinced Dr. Merzenich of the real-world, prac­ti­cal impli­ca­tions of brain plas­tic­i­ty. The qual­i­ty of the 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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