Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Sneak preview into the future of mental health: Fully digital clinical trials to study digital therapeutics


Click Ther­a­peu­tics™ Reports Pre­lim­i­nary Results of a 416-Par­tic­i­pant Clin­i­cal Study Demon­strat­ing Excep­tion­al Engage­ment and Effi­ca­cy of Click­o­tine®, a Patent-Pend­ing Dig­i­tal Ther­a­peu­tics™ Pro­gram for Smok­ing Ces­sa­tion (press release):

Click Ther­a­peu­tics, Inc. (“Click”), a com­pa­ny devel­op­ing a suite of per­son­al­ized data-dri­ven dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tics for chron­ic health con­di­tions, announces today pre­lim­i­nary results of its ful­ly remote clin­i­cal tri­al of Click­o­tine, a dig­i­tal pro­gram designed for smok­ing ces­sa­tion. Read the rest of this entry »

Research: Could studying the placebo effect change the way we think about medicine?

The Pow­er of Noth­ing: Could study­ing the place­bo effect change the way we think about med­i­cine? (The New York­er):

For years, Ted Kaptchuk per­formed acupunc­ture at a tiny clin­ic in Cam­bridge, a few miles from his cur­rent office, at the Har­vard Med­ical School. He opened for busi­ness in 1976, hav­ing just returned from Asia, where he had spent four years hon­ing his craft. Not long after he arrived in Boston, he treat­ed an Armen­ian woman for chron­ic bron­chi­tis. A few weeks lat­er, the woman returned with her hus­band and told Kaptchuk that he had “cured” her.” Read the rest of this entry »

Cognitive Training Clinical Trial: Seeking Older Adults

fmri.jpgNeu­ro­sci­en­tists at Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty Med­ical Cen­ter (see our pre­vi­ous inter­view with Yaakov Stern on the Cog­ni­tive Reserve) have asked for help in recruit­ing vol­un­teers for an excit­ing clin­i­cal tri­al. If you are based in New York City, and between the ages of 60 and 75, please con­sid­er join­ing this study.

More infor­ma­tion below:


Use it or Lose it?

Train your Brain! Healthy adults between the ages of 60 and 75 liv­ing in NYC are invit­ed to join a study of men­tal fit­ness train­ing. Qual­i­fied indi­vid­u­als will play a sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly-based video game in our lab­o­ra­to­ry, and will be test­ed to deter­mine the effects on atten­tion, mem­o­ry, and cog­ni­tive per­for­mance.

You will earn up to $600 plus trans­porta­tion costs if you com­plete the 3-month pro­gram.

This excit­ing study is being per­formed by the Cog­ni­tive Neu­ro­science Divi­sion of the Sergievsky Cen­ter at Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty Med­ical Cen­ter.

If inter­est­ed, con­tact us today: Read the rest of this entry »

Sunday Afternoon Quiz

Here’s a quick quiz to test your mem­o­ry and think­ing skills which should work out your tem­po­ral and frontal lobes. See how you do!

  1. Name the one sport in which nei­ther the spec­ta­tors nor the par­tic­i­pants know the score or the leader until the con­test ends.
  2. What famous North Amer­i­can land­mark is con­stant­ly mov­ing back­ward?
  3. Of all veg­eta­bles, only two can live to pro­duce on their own for sev­er­al grow­ing sea­sons. All oth­er veg­eta­bles must be replant­ed every year. What are the only two peren­ni­al veg­eta­bles?
  4. What fruit has its seeds on the out­side?
  5. In many liquor stores, you can buy pear brandy, with a real pear inside the bot­tle. The pear is whole and ripe, and the bot­tle is gen­uine; it hasn’t been cut in any way. How did the pear get inside the bot­tle?
  6. Only three words in Stan­dard Eng­lish begin with the let­ters “dw” and they are all com­mon words. Name two of them.
  7. There are 14 punc­tu­a­tion marks in Eng­lish gram­mar. Can you name at least half of them?
  8. Name the one veg­etable or fruit that is nev­er sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any oth­er form except fresh.
  9. Name 6 or more things that you can wear on your feet begin­ning with the let­ter “S.”


Answers To Quiz:

  1.  The one sport in which nei­ther the spec­ta­tors, nor the par­tic­i­pants, know the score or the leader until the con­test ends: box­ing
  2.  The North Amer­i­can land­mark con­stant­ly mov­ing back­ward: Nia­gara Falls (the rim is worn down about two and a half feet each year because of the mil­lions of gal­lons of water that rush over it every minute.)
  3. Only two veg­eta­bles that can live to pro­duce on their own for sev­er­al grow­ing sea­sons: aspara­gus and rhubarb.
  4. The fruit with its seeds on the out­side: straw­ber­ry.
  5. How did the pear get inside the brandy bot­tle? It grew inside the bot­tle. (The bot­tles are placed over pear buds when they are small and are wired in place on the tree. The bot­tle is left in place for the entire grow­ing sea­son. When the pears are ripe, they are snipped off at the stems.)
  6. Three Eng­lish words begin­ning with “dw”: dwarf, dwell, and dwin­dle.
  7. Four­teen punc­tu­a­tion marks in Eng­lish gram­mar: peri­od, com­ma, colon, semi­colon, dash, hyphen, apos­tro­phe, ques­tion mark, excla­ma­tion point, quo­ta­tion marks, brack­ets, paren­the­sis, braces, and ellipses.
  8. The only veg­etable or fruit nev­er sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any oth­er form but fresh: let­tuce.
  9. Six or more things you can wear on your feet begin­ning with “s”: shoes, socks, san­dals, sneak­ers, slip­pers, skis, skates, snow­shoes, stock­ings, stilts.


More brain teas­er games:

Math Brain Teaser: Concentric Shapes or The Unkindest Cut of All, Part 2 of 2

If you missed Part 1, also writ­ten by puz­zle mas­ter Wes Car­roll, you can start there and then come back here to Part 2.

Con­cen­tric Shapes:
The Unkind­est Cut of All, Part 2 of 2

Dif­fi­cul­ty: HARDER
Type: MATH (Spa­tial)
Vitruvian Man

Imag­ine a square with­in a cir­cle with­in a square. The cir­cle just grazes each square at exact­ly four points. Find the ratio of the area of the larg­er square to the small­er.

In this puz­zle you are work­ing out many of the same skills as in Part I: spa­tial visu­al­iza­tion (occip­i­tal lobes), mem­o­ry (tem­po­ral lobes), log­ic (frontal lobes), plan­ning (frontal lobes), and hypoth­e­sis gen­er­a­tion (frontal lobes).

Two to one.

Draw the small­er square’s diag­o­nal to see that the the small­er square’s diag­o­nal is the diam­e­ter of the cir­cle. Divide the larg­er square into two equal rec­tan­gu­lar halves to see that the larg­er square’s side is also the diam­e­ter of the cir­cle. This means that the small­er square’s diag­o­nal equals the larg­er square’s side. (Or, if you pre­fer, sim­ply rotate the inner square by 45 degrees.) As we’ve seen in the ear­li­er puz­zle “The Unkind­est Cut Of All,” the area of the small­er square is half that of the larg­er, mak­ing the ratio two to one.


More brain teas­er games:

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