Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Max Your Working Memory with Brain Games and Teasers

Draw the let­ter J on your men­tal sketch­pad. 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?

An umbrel­la, of course! You’ve just used your work­ing mem­o­ry. Our work­ing mem­o­ry is a cru­cial part of the mem­o­ry sys­tem, not least because it helps us to fig­ure things out men­tal­ly.

Tem­po­rary work­space
Not only can we store infor­ma­tion in our short-term mem­o­ry, but we can also manip­u­late it. This is why short-term mem­o­ry is some­times also called work­ing mem­o­ry. Work­ing mem­o­ry is our tem­po­rary work­space. We use it in every­day tasks rang­ing from dri­ving (where you need to keep in mind the loca­tion of the cars around you as you nav­i­gate through traf­fic), to prepar­ing a bud­get (where you need to keep in mind one spend­ing cat­e­go­ry while work­ing on anoth­er), to writ­ing a let­ter (where you need to keep in mind all you want to say while devel­op­ing each point a sen­tence at a time). Read the rest of this entry »

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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Top Ten Brain Teasers and Games for Kids and Adults alike

Over the last Hourglass four years we have post­ed over 100 puz­zles, teasers, rid­dles, illu­sions, and every form of men­tal exer­cise that both chal­lenges and enlight­ens our minds.

Below you have a selec­tion of the ten most pop­u­lar ones among Sharp­Brains read­ers. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Games: Spot the Difference

How many dif­fer­ences can you spot?

You have seen and maybe tried that exer­cise or game in the Sun­day paper many times: find 5 dif­fer­ences between the two images.

You may like it or not. You may think it is only for kids. But it is a GREAT brain exer­cise!

Let’s see what cog­ni­tive process­es and which brain areas are involved in this exer­cise:

Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Teaser: Words in your brain, learn as you exercise!

Temporal lobe Frontal LobeDo you know where words are stored in your brain…?

In your tem­po­ral lobe! (in green on this pro­file view of the right side of your brain).

As you know your brain has two sides (two hemi­spheres) con­nect­ed by the cor­pus cal­lo­sum. So you have one tem­po­ral lobe on each side of the brain.

If you are right-hand­ed, your lan­guage is stored most­ly in your left tem­po­ral lobe. If you are left-hand­ed, you are not so lat­er­al­ized and your lan­guage is stored a bit on both sides of your brain in the tem­po­ral lobes.

Words in the brain are not stored ran­dom­ly. They seemed to be quite orga­nized. Research has shown that words that are often heard togeth­er (such as salt and pep­per) or words that share some mean­ing (such as nurse and doc­tor) are con­nect­ed or asso­ci­at­ed in the brain. Once you hear one, the oth­er is acti­vat­ed.

Here is a brain exer­cise whose aim is to stim­u­late the con­nec­tions or asso­ci­a­tions between words in your tem­po­ral lobe.

In the left col­umn you have a Read the rest of this entry »

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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