Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

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