Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Icon

Addressing cognitive deficits due to ADHD or leukemia/ brain tumor treatments

fog brainThe Sci­ence Behind ‘Brain Train­ing’ (The Atlantic):

Julie Schweitzer, direc­tor of the ADHD Pro­gram at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia in Davis’s MIND Insti­tute, con­duct­ed a ran­dom­ized study of chil­dren diag­nosed with ADHD. When pub­lished in July 2012 in the jour­nal Neu­rother­a­peu­tics, Schweitzer’s study found that chil­dren Read the rest of this entry »

Training Attention and Memory after Bypass Surgery

Brain Train­ing” May Lessen Cog­ni­tive Impair­ments Asso­ci­at­ed with Coro­nary Bypass Surgery (press release):

This study demon­strat­ed that patients suf­fer­ing from cog­ni­tive deficits after coro­nary bypass surgery could great­ly ben­e­fit from cog­ni­tive train­ing that tar­gets both atten­tion and memory—the cog­ni­tive func­tions most affect­ed after this type of operation…What’s more, ben­e­fits from the train­ing are main­tained over time…the devel­op­ment of cog­ni­tive reha­bil­i­ta­tion tools would be high­ly ben­e­fi­cial for patients who under­go coro­nary bypass surgery as a way to speed up their recov­ery and improve their qual­i­ty of life.”

To Learn More:

Gaming and Neuroscience: Opportunities and Challenges

A cou­ple weeks ago I attend­ed the Enter­tain­ment Soft­ware and Cog­ni­tive Neu­rother­a­peu­tics Con­fer­ence, ESCoNS, at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia San Fran­cis­co. The speak­ers’ talks were insight­ful, sur­pris­ing, and inspir­ing in many regards. The pur­pose of this meet­ing was to bring togeth­er great minds in a vari­ety of fields from neu­ro­science to game design and to come up with some ideas how to make game based cog­ni­tive train­ing a real­i­ty as an effec­tive ther­a­py for many of today’s most chal­leng­ing dis­or­ders and deficits. Many of the sci­en­tists also thought that game based ther­a­pies for cog­ni­tive deficits could be used as enhance­ment tools for healthy indi­vid­u­als as well. Read the rest of this entry »

Save the Date: SharpBrains Summit, Technology for Cognitive Health and Performance

We are very excit­ed to announce the first Sharp­Brains Sum­mit, a vir­tu­al con­fer­ence to take place Jan­u­ary 18–20th, 2010.  Over 30 lead­ing speak­ers and a pro­fes­sion­al audi­ence will dis­cuss emerg­ing inno­va­tion and tech­nol­o­gy for life­long cog­ni­tive health and per­for­mance. The Sum­mit will high­light the con­ver­gence of neu­rocog­ni­tive research, non-inva­sive tech­nol­o­gy and health­care, dis­cuss emerg­ing best prac­tices, and help pre­dict how a grow­ing range of tools may pro­vide solu­tions to cog­ni­tive health and per­for­mance-relat­ed issues.

sharpbrains_summit_logo_webYou can see speak­ers and agen­da by click­ing on Sharp­Brains Sum­mit. Please reg­is­ter if you are inter­est­ed in par­tic­i­pat­ing: Jan­u­ary 18–20th 2010 (Pacif­ic Time).

  • Con­fer­ence: Jan­u­ary 18–19th. 9–10 pan­els to dis­cuss Mar­ket and Research Insights,  togeth­er with online dis­cus­sions.
  • Expo Day: Jan­u­ary 20th. Prod­uct demos by Spon­sors.

Con­firmed speak­ers and themes:

Monday, January 18th, 2010:

Cog­ni­tion and Neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty: The New Health­care Fron­tier

  • Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, CEO, Sharp­Brains
  • David White­house, Chief Med­ical Offi­cer, OptumHealth Behav­ioral Solu­tions
  • William Reich­man, Pres­i­dent, Bay­crest
  • P Murali Doraiswamy, Bio­log­i­cal Psy­chi­a­try Divi­sion Head, Duke Uni­ver­si­ty

Tools for Safer Dri­ving: Teenagers and Old­er Adults

  • Steven Aldrich, CEO, Posit Sci­ence
  • Peter Chris­tian­son, Pres­i­dent of Young Dri­vers of Cana­da
  • Jer­ri Edwards, Assoc. Pro­fes­sor Uni­ver­si­ty of South Flori­da

Clin­i­cal Appli­ca­tions: Research­ing, Iden­ti­fy­ing, Treat­ing Cog­ni­tive Deficits

  • Kei­th Wesnes, Prac­tice Leader, Unit­ed BioSource Cor­po­ra­tion
  • Jonas Jen­di, CEO, Cogmed
  • Michel Noir, Pres­i­dent, Sci­en­tif­ic Brain Train­ing
  • Elkhonon Gold­berg, Chief Sci­en­tif­ic Advi­sor, Sharp­Brains

Read the rest of this entry »

Does cognitive training work? (For Whom? For What?)

The grow­ing field of cog­ni­tive train­ing (one of the tools for brain fit­ness) can appear very con­fus­ing as the media keeps report­ing con­tra­dic­to­ry claims. These claims are often based on press releas­es, with­out a deep­er eval­u­a­tion of the sci­en­tif­ic evi­dence.

Let’s take a cou­ple of recent exam­ples, in suc­ces­sive days:

It doesn’t work!” type of head­line:
Reuters (Feb. 10, 2009)  For­mal brain exer­cise won’t help healthy seniors: research
Healthy old­er peo­ple shouldn’t both­er spend­ing mon­ey on com­put­er games and web­sites promis­ing to ward off men­tal decline, the author of a review of sci­en­tif­ic evi­dence for the ben­e­fits of these “brain exer­cise” pro­grams says.

It works! type of head­line:
Sci­enceDai­ly (Feb. 11, 2009)  “Com­put­er Exer­cis­es Improve Mem­o­ry And Atten­tion, Study Sug­gests”
Accord­ing to the researchers, par­tic­i­pants who used the Brain Fit­ness Pro­gram also scored as well as those ten years younger, on aver­age, on mem­o­ry and atten­tion tests for which they did not train.

So, does struc­tured brain exer­cise / cog­ni­tive train­ing work or not?

The prob­lem may in fact reside in ask­ing this very ques­tion in the first place, as Alvaro point­ed out a while ago in his arti­cle Alzheimer’s Dis­ease: too seri­ous to play with head­lines.

We need a more nuanced set of ques­tions.

Why? Because:
1. Cog­ni­tion is made of sev­er­al dif­fer­ent abil­i­ties (work­ing mem­o­ry, atten­tion, exec­u­tive func­tions such as deci­sion-mak­ing, etc)
2. Avail­able train­ing pro­grams do not all train the same abil­i­ties
3. Users of train­ing pro­grams do not all have the same needs or goals
4. We need to dif­fer­en­ti­ate between enhanc­ing cog­ni­tive func­tions and delay­ing the onset of cog­ni­tive deficits such as Alzheimer’s.

Let’s illus­trate these points, by Read the rest of this entry »

Watch All Recordings Now (40+ Speakers, 12+ Hours)

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.

Follow us and Engage via…

twitter_logo_header
RSS Feed

Search for anything brain-related in our article archives

Enter Your Email to receive Sharp­Brains free, monthly eNewslet­ter:

Join more than 50,000 Sub­scribers and stay informed and engaged.