New research suggests that people who develop high ‘cognitive reserve’ by the time they reach 69 years old may reduce their likelihood of memory and thinking decline, even with low childhood cognitive abilities. The study was published today in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. [Read more…] about Study: Building cognitive reserve helps delay memory and thinking decline regardless of genetic or childhood markers
Have you ever looked forward to a concert, beach vacation, or party only to find yourself not enjoying it as much as you thought you would?
You may be suffering from overly high expectations, says psychologist Robb Rutledge of Yale University. Rutledge and his colleagues have been using smartphone-based data collection (via a free app called Happiness Quest, where anyone can play short games and contribute to research) to see how our expectations affect our future happiness. Some of their findings point to novel approaches for increasing our enjoyment of everyday life. [Read more…] about Q&A with researcher Robb Rutledge on mental health, expectations, decision-making and, yes, holiday planning!
Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring timely brain & mental health news and a fun brain teaser to put your temporal lobes to good use 🙂
“Here, we estimated the impact of different types of screen time (watching, socializing, or gaming) on children’s intelligence while controlling for the confounding effects of genetic differences in cognition and socioeconomic status … Broadly, our results are in line with research on the malleability of cognitive abilities from environmental factors, such as cognitive training and the Flynn effect.”
Fascinating! Having said that…
“Social interaction is hugely important. One study found that the size of our social group is actually associated with the volume of the orbitofrontal cortex (involved in social cognition and emotion). But how many friends do we need? … It is hard to argue with the fact that humans are social animals and gain enjoyment from connecting with others, whatever age we are. But, as we are increasingly uncovering, it also crucial for the health of our cognition.”
“Some people do very well in training, such as playing a video game, but they don’t show near transfer, perhaps because they are using highly specific strategies,” said first author Anja Pahor … “For these people, far transfer is unlikely. By better understanding why this type of memory training or ‘intervention’ works for some people but not others, we can move forward with a new generation of working-memory training games or use approaches that are more tailored to individuals’ needs”
“In our ongoing large-scale study (note: the one right above) we aim to recruit 30,000 adults who are motivated and willing to help us better understand the factors that underlie learning outcomes using a variety of training paradigms and outcome measures. Our endeavor will ultimately contribute to the personalization of cognitive training so that, hopefully, anyone who would like to improve their cognitive functioning will be able to choose the approach that may fit them best.” — researchers Susanne Jaeggi, Anja Pahor, Aaron Seitz @ UC Irvine/ Riverside
Esports are borrowing a page from Pro Sports’ book … we wouldn’t be surprised to see the inverse taking place too in just a few years.
“For those without severe mental illness, app-based therapy may be helpful in matching clients with a professional familiar with a range of problems and stressors. This makes apps attractive to those with anxiety and mild to moderate depression. They also appeal to people who wouldn’t ordinarily seek out office-based therapy, but who want help with life issues such as marital problems and work-related stress.”
#8. And here’s the Brain Teaser: Ready to stimulate those neurons in your temporal lobes?
Wishing you and yours a healthy and fun summer!
Why do we get a buzz from being in large groups at festivals, jubilees and other public events? According to the social brain hypothesis, it’s because the human brain specifically evolved to support social interactions. Studies have shown that belonging to a group can lead to improved wellbeing and increased satisfaction with life.
Unfortunately though, many people are lonely or socially isolated. [Read more…] about Large neuroimaging study finds social isolation to be an early indicator of increased dementia risk
Walking Speed Helps Predict Future Dementia (MedPage Today):
Dual decline in gait speed and cognition carried a higher risk of dementia than either gait-only decline or cognitive-only decline, reported Taya Collyer, PhD, of Monash University in Victoria, Australia, and co-authors, in JAMA Network Open…
Many parents feel guilty when their children play video games for hours on end. Some even worry it could make their children less clever. And, indeed, that’s a topic scientists have clashed over for years.
In our new study, we investigated how video games affect the minds of children, interviewing and testing more than 5,000 children aged ten to 12. And the results, published in Scientific Reports, will be surprising to some. [Read more…] about Study finds that playing videogames may be more cognitively beneficial for children than other forms of screentime (social media, watching videos/ TV)