Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


A Brain Store to Find the Right Brain Fitness Products

Baby­boomers, wor­ried about demen­tia, are look­ing for ways to keep their brain active. Board games and brain fit­ness soft­ware pro­grams are part of the answer. How­ev­er it is not always easy to find and com­pare these prod­ucts. This arti­cle shows how Mar­ble: The Brain Store has devel­oped a very inter­ac­tive retail expe­ri­ence to help con­sumers find the prod­ucts that are right for them.

Note that we will have a chance to learn more about the con­cept as Lind­say Gask­ins, CEO of Mar­bles, will be speak­ing at the Sharp­Brains Sum­mit this month (March 30 — April 1).

Mar­bles is mak­ing its mark with enter­tain­ment and ser­vice. This is not a typ­i­cal game store. Employ­ees are called brain coach­es, not sales asso­ciates, and are trained on how to play the hun­dreds of games and puz­zles and soft­ware in the store.

Like a book­store, Mar­bles divides its prod­ucts by sub­ject: crit­i­cal think­ing, mem­o­ry, coor­di­na­tion, visu­al per­cep­tion and word skills. The store car­ries 250 prod­ucts […] There are games for fine-motor skills, stress relief, atten­tion deficit dis­or­der, cre­ativ­i­ty and dyslex­ia, just to name a few.

Your brain on puzzles: Insights come with a wider focus of attention.

A fas­ci­nat­ing New York Time arti­cle on solv­ing puz­zles: Why you do it, how you do it, and what’s going on in your brain while you do it.

The appeal of puz­zles goes far deep­er than the dopamine-reward rush of find­ing a solu­tion. The very idea of doing a cross­word or a Sudoku puz­zle typ­i­cal­ly shifts the brain into an open, play­ful state.

There are dif­fer­ent ways to solve a puz­zle: an ana­lyt­i­cal way of tri­al and errors and an “insight” or cre­ative way.  Read the rest of this entry »

#22 Brain Teaser: The Really, Really, Really Big Number

Here is new brain teas­er writ­ten by puz­zle mas­ter Wes Car­roll.

The Real­ly, Real­ly, Real­ly Big Num­ber

Dif­fi­cul­ty: HARD
Type: MATH (Numerical/Abstract)
Intim­i­da­tion Fac­tor: HIGH — but don’t be scared!

When you divide 12 by 5, the remain­der is 2; it’s what’s left over after you have removed all the 5s from the 12.  When you raise 4 to the fifth pow­er (that is, 45), you mul­ti­ply four by itself five times: 4x4x4x4x4, which equals 1,024.

What is the remain­der when you divide 100100 by 11?



This one is so sneaky.

First, con­sid­er 100 divid­ed by 11. The remain­der here is 1. Now con­sid­er the remain­der when 100x100 is divid­ed by 11. Don’t do it on your cal­cu­la­tor or on paper. Rather, con­sid­er that you have one hun­dred hun­dreds, and each of them has a remain­der of 1 when divid­ed by 11. So, go through each of your hun­dred hun­dreds and divide it by 11, leav­ing remain­der 1. Then col­lect up your remain­ders into a sin­gle hun­dred, and divide it by 11, leav­ing a remain­der of 1. This process can be extend­ed to divid­ing 100x100x100 by 11, and indeed, to divid­ing any pow­er of 100 by 11.



Next brain teas­er in Sharp­Brains’ top 25 series:

Brain Fitness Programs, “Brain Gyms”…Explained

SharpBrains Vision
Thanks to Mind­Hacks for the link to a good Wash­ing­ton Post arti­cle, “Pump­ing Neu­rons”.

A cou­ple of quotes:

Recent research shows that the brain remains plas­tic, or basi­cal­ly train­able, through­out life. In a study pub­lished in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion in 2002, sig­nif­i­cant per­cent­ages of the 2,802 par­tic­i­pants age 65 and old­er who trained for five weeks for about 2 1/2 hours per week improved their mem­o­ry, rea­son­ing and infor­ma­tion-pro­cess­ing speed.

When we learn, we cre­ate phys­i­cal changes inside our heads. By prac­tic­ing a skill, we repeat­ed­ly stim­u­late the same area of the brain, which strength­ens exist­ing neur­al con­nec­tions and cre­ates new ones. Over time, we can become more cog­ni­tive­ly effi­cient, using few­er neu­rons to do the same job. And the more often we fire up cer­tain men­tal cir­cuits, the eas­i­er it is to get them going again.

Read the rest of this entry »

Watch All Recordings Now (40+ Speakers, 12+ Hours)

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.

Follow us and Engage via…

RSS Feed

Search for anything brain-related in our article archives

Enter Your Email to receive Sharp­Brains free, monthly eNewslet­ter:

Join more than 50,000 Sub­scribers and stay informed and engaged.