Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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The NeuroGeneration and Humankind’s Quest to Enhance the Brain

Some peo­ple may be uneasy with the idea of “brain enhance­ment,” but the quest to boost our brain­pow­er is noth­ing new; it is an essen­tial part of human nature. Ever since Homo sapi­ens emerged near­ly 200,000 years ago, we have been search­ing for ways to upgrade the hard­ware and wet­ware in our heads, and we’ve been cre­at­ing and using tools to help us do it—physical and cog­ni­tive tools that help us solve prob­lems and com­plete tasks more effi­cient­ly, tools that extend our nat­ur­al abil­i­ties and allow us to do things that weren’t pos­si­ble before. Lan­guage, num­bers, sci­ence, education—these are all tools we’ve devel­oped to improve our men­tal capac­i­ties.

Our most pow­er­ful tool for nav­i­gat­ing the ever-chang­ing world, how­ev­er, is the brain itself. Read the rest of this entry »

From Lifespan to Healthspan: Brain Scientists Tap Into The Secrets Of Living Well Longer

Yolan­da Esparza (right) and Mary Lyons (left) con­tin­ue their 2‑mile group trail ride orig­i­nat­ing from the Con­ley-Guer­rero Senior Activ­i­ty Cen­ter in Austin, Texas, on Dec. 3, 2019. (Julia Robin­son for KHN)

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AUSTIN, Texas — Retired state employ­ees Vick­ey Ben­ford, 63, and Joan Cald­well, 61, are Gold­en Rollers, a group of the over-50 set that gets out on assort­ed bikes — includ­ing trikes for adults they call “three wheels of awe­some” — for an hour of trail rid­ing and cama­raderie.

I love to exer­cise, and I like to stay fit,” said Cald­well, who tried out a recum­bent bike, a low-impact option that can be eas­i­er on the back. “It keeps me young.” Read the rest of this entry »

Five profound ways physical exercise shapes your brain and mind

We’ve all heard that exer­cise is good for us—how it strength­ens our hearts and lungs, and helps us pre­vent dis­eases like dia­betes. That’s why so many of us like to make New Year’s res­o­lu­tions to move more, know­ing it will make us health­i­er and live longer.

But many peo­ple don’t know about the oth­er impor­tant ben­e­fits of exercise—how it can help us find hap­pi­ness, hope, con­nec­tion, and courage.

Around the world, peo­ple who are phys­i­cal­ly active are hap­pi­er and more sat­is­fied with their lives. They have a stronger sense of pur­pose and expe­ri­ence more grat­i­tude, love, and hope. They feel more con­nect­ed to their com­mu­ni­ties, and are less like­ly to suf­fer from lone­li­ness or become depressed.

These ben­e­fits are seen through­out the lifes­pan, includ­ing Read the rest of this entry »

Wishing you a Happy New Decade (and sharing eight brain wellness tips to make it possible)

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Ready for a Hap­py New Year  and Hap­py New Decade?

Here’s a spe­cial edi­tion of the Sharp­Brains month­ly e‑newsletter fea­tur­ing the lat­est on brain health and men­tal well-being — we hope you enjoy these tips and advice about what to do, and what not to, to pro­mote brain well­ness in 2020 and beyond:

Prac­tice Breath­ing & Com­pas­sion: Three evi­dence-based ways to devel­op a resilient mind

… and a Sport you love: Play sports (smart­ly) for a qui­eter brain

Chal­lenge your friends, often: For bet­ter mem­o­ry and think­ing skills at age 70, play cards and board games from age 11

… for exam­ple by solv­ing big prob­lems togeth­er: Mind­strong Health recruits slew of Sil­i­con Val­ley tal­ent

When in trou­ble, con­sid­er ther­a­py before meds: To treat depres­sion, ther­a­py alone works bet­ter than ther­a­py com­bined with anti­de­pres­sants

… your might even be able to access it pri­vate­ly, online: First Dig­i­tal Health For­mu­la­ry by Express Scripts includes CBT-based pro­grams to treat depres­sion, anx­i­ety and insom­nia

Final­ly, beware “brain-boost­ing” sup­ple­ments, and don’t jump on direct-to-con­sumer tran­scra­nial direct cur­rent stim­u­la­tion (tDCS) unless you under­stand Pros and Cons

… but always keep your mind open to awe and to new ways to tease your brain, see the world around us and even shape it!

 

Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year and New Decade,

 

The SharpBrains Team

 

Play sports (smartly) for a quieter brain and better auditory processing

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Ath­letes Have Qui­eter Brains, New Research Shows (Sci News):

No one would argue against the fact that sports lead to bet­ter phys­i­cal­ly fit­ness, but we don’t always think of brain fit­ness and sports,” said Pro­fes­sor Nina Kraus, direc­tor of the Audi­to­ry Neu­ro­science Lab­o­ra­to­ry at North­west­ern Uni­ver­si­ty.

We’re say­ing that play­ing sports can tune the brain to bet­ter under­stand one’s sen­so­ry envi­ron­ment.” Read the rest of this entry »

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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