Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Brain Games for Kids, Adults…and Chimps

examples of working memoryDid you read about the recent exper­i­ment where young chimps dis­played amaz­ing visu­al work­ing mem­o­ry capa­bil­i­ty, beat­ing humans? You can watch a short video about it 


And, you can now test your own skills with the Chimp Game!


PS: Enjoy these 50 brain teasers to test your cog­ni­tive abil­i­ty.


Working Memory Training and ADD/ADHD

Mark Katz, a San Diego clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist with decades of expe­ri­ence help­ing ADD/ ADHD kids and adults, and for­mer Board Mem­ber of CHADD, and I had a very good meet­ing with a few school super­in­ten­dents on Sat­ur­day.

We dis­cussed the research state-of-the-art, cur­rent ADD/ ADHD inter­ven­tions and the future of pre­ven­tion-dri­ven inter­ven­tions.

Some high­lights from our talk:

- More and more researchers are com­ing to see that the label “Atten­tion deficit” was prob­a­bly not the most for­tu­nate one. Kids and adults with ADD/ ADHD can pay atten­tion, when they are engaged in cer­tain tasks, so the under­ly­ing prob­lem is not a deficit of atten­tion.

- ADD/ ADHD is not a prob­lem of know­ing, but a prob­lem of doing. The bot­tle­neck may reside in exec­u­tive func­tions such as so-called work­ing mem­o­ry. The prob­lem is exe­cu­tion, inter­nal­ized behav­ior, not con­cep­tu­al knowl­edge.

- For more infor­ma­tion on Exec­u­tive func­tions, you can check the excel­lent review in the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Psy­chi­a­try, of Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg’s book The Exec­u­tive Brain

- Work­ing mem­o­ry is the abil­i­ty to hold dif­fer­ent things on line and manip­u­late them in real time in order to solve a prob­lem, com­plete a task…

- When asked if “work­ing mem­o­ry” and “short-term mem­o­ry” are the same, Mark explained that they refer to sim­i­lar con­cepts, if not the same, but that researchers stopped using the term “short-term” mem­o­ry many years ago, to make it clear that it is an active, not pas­sive, skill. In fact, he added, maybe it should be called “work­ing atten­tion” rather than “work­ing mem­o­ry”.

- We dis­cussed the for­tu­nate trend that many schools are migrat­ing towards a pub­lic health mod­el in help­ing kids with learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties and ADD/ ADHD, focus­ing on more pre­ven­tion at ear­ly ages than on reac­tive inter­ven­tions to major prob­lems.

- Work­ing mem­o­ry can be trained by inten­sive and tar­get­ed Brain Fit­ness Pro­grams sup­port­ed by the use of com­put­er-based pro­grams, like RoboMemo, the pro­gram that I came to know last year after a great Sci­en­tif­ic Amer­i­can arti­cle that men­tioned their clin­i­cal study with kids with ADD/ ADHD, pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Child and Ado­les­cent Psy­chi­a­try (See research here).

You can read more infor­ma­tion on the sci­ence of Brain Fit­ness Pro­grams.

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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