Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Cognitive Health News Round-Up

Round-up of inter­est­ing recent news on cog­ni­tive health and fit­ness: the field is in motion.

1) Bay­crest cre­ates Cen­tre for Brain Fit­ness with $10-mil­lion Invest­ment from Ontario Gov­ern­ment (Cana­da NewsWire)

2) Cog­ni­tive tests are the best way to select med­ical stu­dents (EurekAlert)

3) High blood pres­sure hard on the aging brain (Reuters)

4) Alzheimer’s tests ben­e­fi­cial for seniors (Atlanta-Jour­nal Con­sti­tu­tion­al)

5) Demen­tia-Dread­ing Baby Boomers Spur Race to Invent Brain Games (Bloomberg)

6) Viv­i­ty Labs launch­es Fit Brains brain-train­ing game site (VentureBeat) 

7) Depres­sion and Alzheimer’s (NHS Choic­es)

For select­ed quotes and com­ments, Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Fitness and Exercise in Japan

Fun arti­cle in the Wash­ing­ton Post: Aging Japan­ese Keep Their Minds Mov­ing

  • part of a broad range of men­tal acu­ity prod­ucts that are all the rage in Japan: books, toys, food and oth­er things, sold with the pledge that they can reen­er­gize aging brains.”
  • Ana­lysts said the cur­rent brain-train­ing trend began in 2004 and 2005 when video games such as Sega Toys Co.‘s Brain Train­er and Nin­ten­do Co.‘s Brain Age became smash hits. Since its launch, Brain Age for Nintendo’s DS con­sole has sold 6.7 mil­lion copies around the world, includ­ing 3.4 mil­lion in Japan.”

We were for­tu­nate to inter­view a Japan­ese expert on this trend a few months ago. In Brain Train­ing and “Brain-ism” in Japan, we can learn a lot, such as

  • To see the activ­i­ties inside the brain was fresh for peo­ple, but the method­ol­o­gy and log­ic was not reviewed by any sci­en­tif­ic pub­li­ca­tion. It was pub­lished by Read the rest of this entry »

Brain blogs, videogames and rewiring our brains

Some great posts:

The Pow­er (and Per­il) of Prais­ing Your Kids in New York Mag­a­zine (via Mind Hacks)

  • One group was praised for their intel­li­gence (“You must be smart at this”), while the oth­ers were praised for their effort (“You must have worked real­ly hard”). This sim­ple dif­fer­ence had a star­tling effect.”
  • Chil­dren who were praised for their effort were more like­ly to choose a hard­er test when giv­en a choice, were less like­ly to become dis­heart­ened when giv­en a test they were guar­an­teed to fail, and when final­ly giv­en the orig­i­nal tests again, their marks improved.”

Videogames Improve Vision by Rewiring Your Brain in Sci­en­tif­ic Amer­i­can

A new edi­tion of the Brain Blog­ging Blog Car­ni­val.

And please remem­ber to sub­mit posts to the next edi­tion of the brain fit­ness Blog Car­ni­val.

Brain Workout for Your Frontal Lobes

Your frontal lobes are home to your exec­u­tive func­tions, includ­ing pat­tern recog­ni­tion. Here’s a puz­zle to chal­lenge your abil­i­ty to uncov­er a pat­tern.

In this puz­zle, three num­bers: 16, 14, and 38, need to be assigned to one of the rows of num­bers below. To which row should each num­ber be assigned — A, B, or C?

A: 0 6 8 9 3
B: 5 13 2 10 16
C: 7 1 47 11 17

Why do we care about pat­tern recog­ni­tion skills? Well, if you’re an ath­lete, then you want to con­stant­ly improve your abil­i­ty to see spa­tial pat­terns on the court or field quick­ly so you can act on them — by pass­ing to open space or attack­ing the goal at the right moment. Stock traders look for pat­terns in the mar­ket behav­ior to guide them on buy­ing and sell­ing deci­sions. Chess mas­ters are experts at rec­og­niz­ing com­pli­cat­ed moves. Read­ing is also pat­tern recog­ni­tion.

So, you use pat­tern recog­ni­tion all the time whether you know it or not. But remem­ber, using a skill is great, but you have to keep exer­cis­ing it a lit­tle bit hard­er each time to devel­op it fur­ther.

Have you solved the puz­zle yet? If not, here’s a hint:
It’s not a math­e­mat­i­cal prob­lem. The numer­i­cal val­ues are irrel­e­vant.

Keep read­ing for the answer
Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 Brain Teasers and Games, with a neuroscience angle

No mat­ter what we are read­ing or doing, there is always the need to take a lit­tle break and chal­lenge our minds (and to learn a bit about how our brains work). Here you have a selec­tion of the 10 Brain Teasers that peo­ple have enjoyed most in this site.

1. Do you think you know the col­ors?: the Stroop Test

2. Can you count?: Bas­ket­ball atten­tion exper­i­ment

3. Plan­ning is not that easy: Tow­ers of Hanoi

4. Inter­ac­tive visu­al illu­sion: the Muller-Lyer Illu­sion

5. Who is this?: A very impor­tant lit­tle guy

5. How many…: Train your Frontal and Pari­etal lobes

6. What’s the miss­ing num­ber: Pat­tern Recog­ni­tion Brain Teas­er

7. Who’s the eldest?: Rea­son­ing Skills Brain Teas­er

8. Brain Puz­zle for the Whole Brain: The Blind Beg­gar

9. Is a cir­cle a cir­cle?: Visu­al Per­cep­tion Brain Teas­er

10. How is this pos­si­ble?
Read the rest of this entry »

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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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