Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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To screen, or not to screen (for dementia), that is still the question

A lead­ing group of med­ical experts on Tues­day declined to endorse cog­ni­tive screen­ing for old­er adults, fuel­ing a debate that has sim­mered for years.

The U.S. Pre­ven­tive Ser­vices Task Force said it could nei­ther rec­om­mend nor oppose cog­ni­tive screen­ing, cit­ing insuf­fi­cient sci­en­tif­ic evi­dence of the practice’s ben­e­fits and harms and call­ing for fur­ther stud­ies.

The task force’s work informs poli­cies set by Medicare and pri­vate insur­ers. Its rec­om­men­da­tions, an accom­pa­ny­ing sci­en­tif­ic state­ment and two edi­to­ri­als were pub­lished Tues­day in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion.

The task force’s new posi­tion comes as con­cern mounts over a ris­ing tide of old­er adults with Alzheimer’s dis­ease and Read the rest of this entry »

Study: For better memory and thinking skills at age 70 (and beyond), play cards and board games from age 11

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Cards, board games could ward off cog­ni­tive decline (UPI):

Play­ing cards and board games like chess, bin­go and Scrab­ble might be the men­tal work­out you need to keep your wits as you age, Scot­tish researchers sug­gest.

Peo­ple in their 70s who reg­u­lar­ly play board games score high­er on tests of mem­o­ry and think­ing skills than those who don’t. And 70-some­things who step up their game-play­ing are more like­ly to main­tain think­ing skills as they age Read the rest of this entry »

Q&A: What does the Facebook acquisition of CTRL-Labs mean for Neurotechnology and Augmented & Virtual Reality?

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While sit­ting at din­ner with an unsus­pect­ing friend, my phone blew up with odd­ly-late mes­sages from fel­low neu­rotech­nol­o­gy com­rades. CTRL-Labs announced their impend­ing acqui­si­tion by Face­book and inte­gra­tion into Face­book Real­i­ty Labs (respon­si­ble for Ocu­lus et al.), for enough mon­ey to buy my guilt-induc­ing­ly-expen­sive New York cof­fee for a mea­ger 550,000 years. Woah—so very many ques­tions. I fig­ured I’d share Read the rest of this entry »

Math brain teaser requiring no math — just perception and cognition

Necrop­oli Grot­ti­cel­li, the tomb of Archimedes in Syra­cuse

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Greek math­e­mati­cian, physi­cist, engi­neer, inven­tor, and astronomer Archimedes made many great sci­en­tif­ic dis­cov­er­ies through­out his life. He explained why and how bod­ies float in the water, designed mir­ror arrays capa­ble of focus­ing sun rays and set­ting ene­my ships on fire, found the way of approx­i­mat­ing the num­ber of grains of sand that will fit inside the uni­verse.

Now to the brain teas­er part.

His tomb was dec­o­rat­ed with his favorite dis­cov­ery. Which one of the fol­low­ing three sculp­tures was hon­or­ing Archimedes, and why?

  1. A gold­en crown com­mem­o­rat­ing his famous Eure­ka moment in the bath
  2. A lever with which he promised one could move the Earth
  3. A sim­ple cylin­der and a sphere

The puz­zle answer is below. Please think about it before check­ing it out… Read the rest of this entry »

Can trained older brains outperform untrained younger ones at demanding cognitive tasks? Quick answer: YES

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Online brain games can extend in-game ‘cog­ni­tive youth’ into old age (Sci­ence News):

A Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, Irvine-led study has found that online brain game exer­cis­es can enable peo­ple in their 70s and even 80s to mul­ti­task cog­ni­tive­ly as well as indi­vid­u­als 50 years their junior. This is an increas­ing­ly valu­able skill, giv­en today’s dai­ly infor­ma­tion onslaught, which can divide atten­tion and be par­tic­u­lar­ly tax­ing for old­er adults 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,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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