Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Brain Fitness Newsletter: December Edition

Brain exercise, brain exercisesI hope you are hav­ing a joy­ful hol­i­day sea­son, and wish you a Hap­py and Pros­per­ous 2008. The Brain Fit­ness field has made a great deal of progress in 2007, and we are look­ing for­ward the New Year.

Here you are have the Month­ly Digest of our Most Pop­u­lar Blog Posts. You can con­sid­er it your month­ly Brain Fitness/ Exer­cise Newslet­ter.

(Also, remem­ber that you can sub­scribe to receive our blog RSS feed, or to our month­ly newslet­ter at the top of this page if you want to receive this month­ly Digest by email).

Let me first of all intro­duce you to our new “Author Speaks Series”, where we will give lead­ing sci­en­tists and experts a forum to present their new brain-relat­ed books. We are hon­ored to kick­start the series with Lar­ry McCleary, for­mer act­ing Chief of Pedi­atric Neu­ro­surgery at Den­ver Children’s Hos­pi­tal. You can read Here his arti­cle on how to keep a brain-friend­ly lifestyle. This series will com­ple­ment our ongo­ing Neu­ro­science Inter­view Series.

Brain Fit­ness in the News

Brain Fit­ness @ PBS: PBS fea­tured a fan­tas­tic spe­cial pro­gram on neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty and brain fit­ness dur­ing the month of Decem­ber. Before you ask: as of today, the DVD of the pro­gram is still not avail­able in PBS online shop. We expect to see it there in 2–3 weeks. We will keep you informed.

The Huff­in­g­ton Post start­ed fea­tur­ing a col­umn writ­ten by me: you may enjoy tak­ing a look at Alvaro Fer­nan­dez — Liv­ing on The Huff­in­g­ton Post.

Jog­ging our Brains for Brain Vital­i­ty, Healthy Aging-and Intel­li­gence!: a roundup of sev­er­al great recent arti­cles on mem­o­ry, aging, IQ and cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties such as self-con­trol.

Health & Well­ness

Brain Train­ing: No Mag­ic Bul­let, Yet Use­ful Tool. Inter­view with Eliz­a­beth Zelin­s­ki: Dr. Zelin­s­ki, lead­ing researcher of the IMPACT study, shares fas­ci­nat­ing insights. For exam­ple: “…cog­ni­tive enhance­ment requires the engage­ment in a vari­ety of activ­i­ties, those activ­i­ties must be nov­el, adap­tive and chal­leng­ing-which is why com­put­er-based pro­grams can be help­ful. But even at a more basic lev­el, what mat­ters is being engaged with life, con­tin­u­al­ly exposed to stim­u­lat­ing activ­i­ties, always try­ing to get out of our com­fort zones, doing our best at what­ev­er we are doing. A major typ­i­cal mis­con­cep­tion is that there is only one gen­er­al intel­li­gence to care about. In real­i­ty, we have many dif­fer­ent cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties, such as atten­tion, mem­o­ry, lan­guage, rea­son­ing, and more, so it makes sense to have dif­fer­ent pro­grams designed to train and improve each of them.”

How to Eval­u­ate and Choose a Brain Fit­ness Pro­gram: To help you nav­i­gate the grow­ing num­ber of com­put­er-based pro­grams and games, we pub­lished this 10-Ques­tion Check­list, based on dozens of inter­views with sci­en­tists, experts and con­sumers.

Trav­el and Engage­ment as Good Brain Exer­cise: As we’ve seen, nov­el­ty, vari­ety and chal­lenge are the key guide­lines for “brain exer­cise” that help build new neur­al con­nec­tions, force one to be mind­ful and pay atten­tion, improve abil­i­ties such as pat­tern-recog­ni­tion, and gen­er­al­ly con­tribute to life­long brain health. In this post we fea­ture the brain build­ing / mind expand­ing expe­ri­ence of a Sharp­Brains friend work­ing in Namib­ia.

Alzheimer’s Pre­ven­tion and Diag­nos­tic Tests: analy­sis of sev­er­al recent arti­cles on emerg­ing research behind Alzheimer’s diag­nos­tic and pre­ven­tion.

Cor­po­rate Well­ness and Train­ing

Cog­ni­tive Reserve and Intel­lec­tu­al­ly Demand­ing Jobs: a recent study shows how “Intel­lec­tu­al­ly demand­ing work was asso­ci­at­ed with greater ben­e­fit to cog­ni­tive per­for­mance in lat­er life inde­pen­dent of relat­ed fac­tors like edu­ca­tion and intel­li­gence.”

Cog­ni­tive Health and Baby Boomers- 6 Points to Keep in Mind: based upon an excel­lent McK­in­sey report titled Serv­ing Aging Baby Boomers, we dis­cuss a vari­ety a news arti­cles, includ­ing inter­est­ing num­bers, some bad news, and some good news.

Life­long Learn­ing Is Chang­ing My Brain: Andreas, the neu­ro­science PhD stu­dent who spent last sum­mer work­ing with Sharp­Brains, writes some reflec­tions on his expe­ri­ence and on how sci­en­tists and busi­ness pro­fes­sion­als can learn from each oth­er.

Brain Teasers

Trav­el­er IQ Game: Check out this stim­u­lat­ing online game…

Events

Learn­ing & The Brain Con­fer­ence, Feb­ru­ary 5–7 2008, San Fran­cis­co: Sign up now for this great con­fer­ence for edu­ca­tors who want to learn about the lat­est brain research find­ings and impli­ca­tions. I will be speak­ing at the con­fer­ence giv­ing an overview of inno­v­a­tive cog­ni­tive train­ing pro­grams. The orga­niz­ers are offer­ing a Spe­cial Dis­count for Sharp­Brains read­ers until Jan­u­ary 25th 2008, so click here if inter­est­ed.

If we don’t talk beforehand…Happy New Year!

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You can also enjoy our pre­vi­ous edi­tions of our Brain Fit­ness Newslet­ter:

- Novem­ber Edi­tion

- Octo­ber Edi­tion

- Sep­tem­ber Edi­tion

- August Edi­tion

- July Edi­tion

Brain Fitness Newsletter: November Edition

Brain exercise, brain exercisesHere you are have the Month­ly Digest of our Most Pop­u­lar Blog Posts. You can con­sid­er it your month­ly Brain Exer­cise Mag­a­zine.

(Also, remem­ber that you can sub­scribe to receive our RSS feed, check our Top­ics sec­tion, and sub­scribe to our month­ly newslet­ter at the top of this page if you want to receive this Digest by email).

Grat­i­tude is a very impor­tant emo­tion to cul­ti­vate, as Pro­fes­sor Robert Emmons tells us in this inter­view, based on his last book. Please take some time to read it, and to find at least one thing you are thank­ful for-it will be good for your health.

We are grate­ful about a very stim­u­lat­ing Novem­ber:

Brain Fit­ness Mar­ket News

10 Neu­rotech­nol­o­gy Trends: a lead­ing indus­try orga­ni­za­tion released their Top 10 Neu­roTrends for 2007, and brain fit­ness mat­ters appeared in 3 of them.

Thank Boomers for Buff­ing Up Brain Mar­ket: great overview of the mar­ket from a tech­nol­o­gy point of view, quot­ing our mar­ket pro­jec­tions. To clar­i­fy the num­bers men­tioned: we project $225m in the US alone for the brain fit­ness soft­ware mar­ket (grow­ing from $70m in 2003), bro­ken-down as fol­lows: $80m for the Con­sumer seg­ment, $60m in K12 Edu­ca­tion, $50m in Clin­i­cal appli­ca­tions, and $35m in the Cor­po­rate seg­ment. The Con­sumer seg­ment, with a healthy aging val­ue propo­si­tion, is the most recent one but the most rapid­ly grow­ing.

Exer­cise On the Brain: a NYT OpEd: a wide­ly read opin­ion piece in the New York Times, writ­ten by 2 neu­ro­sci­en­tists, that some­how seems to miss the research behind the val­ue of men­tal stim­u­la­tion and cog­ni­tive train­ing. Oth­er neu­ro­science teams and us write let­ters to the edi­tor that go unpub­lished. Should you have any con­tacts with jour­nal­ists, please ask them to con­tact us: we are always hap­py to serve as a resource to the media.

Posit Sci­ence @ GSA: well-designed Brain Train­ing Works: a time­ly heads up on how well-designed com­put­er-based pro­grams can be a great com­ple­ment to oth­er inter­ven­tions. We will be inter­view­ing the lead­ing researcher behind that study dur­ing the next 2 weeks, so keep tuned!

Brain and Mind News and Arti­cles: a vari­ety of links to good media reports, includ­ing a spec­tac­u­lar spe­cial on mem­o­ry in Nation­al Geo­graph­ic.

News You Can Use

Mar­i­an Dia­mond on the brain: lead­ing neu­ro­sci­en­tist Mar­i­an Dia­mond, now 81, shares her pre­scrip­tion for life­long brain health- diet, exer­cise, chal­lenge, new­ness and ten­der lov­ing care.

From Med­i­ta­tion to MBSR (Mind­ful­ness Based Stress Reduc­tion): a report on the ben­e­fits of med­i­ta­tion and how it is becom­ing more main­stream in med­i­cine.

Teasers

50 Mind and Brain Games for adults: you may have seen these teasers, but we want to alert you we have opened a new sec­tion in the site where you can eas­i­ly find our grow­ing col­lec­tion of teasers

Your Haiku, please?: a friend­ly chal­lenge to your brain.

Edu­ca­tion and Life­long Learn­ing

Car­ol Dweck on Mind­sets, Learn­ing and Intel­li­gence: we found a fas­ci­nat­ing inter­view on the impor­tance on hav­ing a growth and learn­ing ori­ent­ed mind­set. Both for kids and adults.

Is Intel­li­gence Innate and Fixed?: some reflec­tions based on biol­o­gy.

Cor­po­rate Train­ing, Well­ness and Lead­er­ship

Cog­ni­tive Fit­ness and The Future of Work: an excel­lent con­cept map on how neu­ro­science may influ­ence the work­place of the future, drawn in real time as I spoke at an Insti­tute for the Future event.

Emo­tion­al Intel­li­gence and Faces: how many uni­ver­sal emo­tions and facial expres­sions are there?

Events

Use It or Lose It, and Cells that Fire togeth­er Wire togeth­er: I spoke at the Ital­ian Con­sulate in San Fran­cis­co, where we explored some of the basic con­cepts we should all know about how our brains and mind work.

Let me prac­tice the Grat­i­tude concept…Thank You for your atten­tion and par­tic­i­pa­tion!

You can also enjoy our pre­vi­ous edi­tions of this month­ly digest:

- Octo­ber

- Sep­tem­ber

- August

- July

Brain Fitness Newsletter: October Edition

Brain exercise, brain exercisesFol­low­ing our Sep­tem­ber edi­tion, here you are have our Month­ly Digest of the Most Pop­u­lar Blog Posts. You can con­sid­er it your month­ly Brain Exer­cise Mag­a­zine.

(Also, remem­ber that you can sub­scribe to receive our RSS feed, check our Top­ics sec­tion, and sub­scribe to our month­ly newslet­ter at the top of this page if you want to receive this Digest by email).

Brain Fit­ness Mar­ket News

Cog­ni­tive Fit­ness as a New Fron­tier of Fit­ness: excel­lent Los Ange­les Times arti­cle, cov­er­ing the cog­ni­tive exer­cise angle of healthy aging and lead­ing sci­ence-based play­ers.

A Brain Fit­ness Vaca­tion: what does this mean? Well, read this fun arti­cle to dis­cov­er.

Rethink­ing the Brain Fit­ness Busi­ness: thought-pro­vok­ing arti­cle on the future of the sec­tor from a busi­ness point of view.

Cog­ni­tive Fit­ness @ Har­vard Busi­ness Review: HBR makes a first attempt to bring neu­ro­science research into help­ing lead­ers per­form at peak lev­els and main­tain sharp brains.

News You Can Use

Train Your Brain to Be Hap­pi­er: impli­ca­tions of neu­ro­science and pos­i­tive psy­chol­o­gy research for our dai­ly lives-and our hap­pi­ness. Please keep tuned if you are inter­est­ed in this top­ic: we will pub­lish soon a great inter­view with Dr. Robert Emmons, lead­ing researcher in the field of grat­i­tude.

Cog­ni­tive Fit­ness: 10 Debunked Myths: what are some mis­con­cep­tions that pre­vent many peo­ple from see­ing the tremen­dous poten­tial from this emerg­ing research?. Read this post to dis­cov­er and dis­cuss.

10 (Sur­pris­ing) Mem­o­ry Improve­ment Tips: and why stress man­age­ment is impor­tant for mem­o­ry and our brain.

Teasers

Top 50 Brain Teasers and Games with a neu­ro­science angle: a list of the most pop­u­lar mind games in our blog.

Events

10 High­lights from the 2007 Aspen Health Forum: a sum­ma­ry of impres­sions from this great event, includ­ing what can hap­pen when you have sci­en­tists and politi­cians in the same room.

Brain Fit­ness @ Edu­ca­tion, Train­ing, Health events: an overview of a num­ber of con­fer­ences and uni­ver­si­ty class­es with a brain fit­ness angle.

Thought-pro­vok­ing posts

Darwin’s adult neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty: reflec­tions of a beau­ti­ful mind that -as self-report­ed at the age of 72- could have been even more beau­ti­ful.The Gene Delu­sion: IQ and the envi­ron­ment: do genes deter­mine our fates? They don’t. They why do we seem to believe so so often?.

Dis­counts for Sharp­Brains read­ers

Learn­ing & The Brain Con­fer­ence: the best con­fer­ence bring­ing neu­ro­science research to edu­ca­tors’ minds, Feb­ru­ary 7–9th in San Fran­cis­co. Reg­is­ter before Jan­u­ary 25th, 2008, for a dis­count­ed price and to make sure you can attend and see our work­shop!

Mind­Fit 10% spe­cial dis­count: a 10% dis­count on one of the most pop­u­lar brain fit­ness pro­grams, that com­bines both an in-depth assess­ment of cog­ni­tive skills with per­son­al­ized train­ing.

Books and Resources

Best of the Brain from Sci­en­tif­ic Amer­i­can: a superb col­lec­tion of essays for the curi­ous among us.

Select­ed Resources: Arti­cles, Books, Papers: numer­ous links to media arti­cles, sci­en­tif­ic papers, and rec­om­mend­ed books.

Enjoy!

Brain Awareness Week

When is Brain Aware­ness Week?

March 12–18, 2007

What Will Happen

The Brain Aware­ness Week is a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn more about how the brain func­tions and how to cul­ti­vate a healthy brain. The Dana Foun­da­tion and mul­ti­ple part­ners, such as Sharp­Brains, will lead out­reach events world­wide.

In the blog of the Dana Foun­da­tion we can read today that “To my knowl­edge, the brain is the only organ in the human body that is cel­e­brat­ed and hon­ored for an entire week. This year, 2,000 orga­ni­za­tions in 69 coun­tries will observe Brain Aware­ness Week with activ­i­ties, exhibits and com­pe­ti­tions, most from March 12 through 18.”

SharpBrains-Related Activities During Brain Awareness Week

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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