Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Testing and training cognitive ability: Key Neurotech Patent #16

training cognitive ability

– Illus­tra­tive image from U.S. Patent No. 6,632,174

Today we are fea­tur­ing a key 2003 patent assigned to Cog­nifit ltd — fas­ci­nat­ing to reflect how the brain train­ing field has evolved in 14 years! (As men­tioned, we are fea­tur­ing a foun­da­tion­al Per­va­sive Neu­rotech patent a day, from old­er to new­er by issue date)

U.S. Patent No. 6,632,174: Method and Appa­ra­tus for test­ing and train­ing cog­ni­tive abil­i­ty

  • Assignee(s): Cog­nifit ltd
  • Inventor(s): Shlo­mo Breznitz
  • Tech­nol­o­gy Cat­e­go­ry: Neu­rocog­ni­tive Train­ing
  • Issue Date: Octo­ber 14, 2003

SharpBrains’ Take:

The Detailed Descrip­tion of the ‘174 patent accu­rate­ly con­tex­tu­alis­es the teach­ings of the patent when it recites “the present inven­tion uti­lizes analy­sis, men­tal exer­cise and inter­ven­tion in an attempt to increase cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties, improve speed of reac­tion, and train both func­tion­al cog­ni­tive atten­tion­al, per­cep­tu­al, and lin­guis­tic abil­i­ties and var­i­ous aspects of mem­o­ry.” Read the rest of this entry »

Test your concentration and mental self-rotation skills with this quick brainteaser


What is men­tal self-rota­tion?

It is the cog­ni­tive skill to imag­ine your­self in dif­fer­ent loca­tions in space and to imag­ine your­self mov­ing accord­ing­ly. We need that skill in every­day activ­i­ties such as read­ing a map or find­ing our car in the park­ing lot. Read the rest of this entry »

Study finds n‑back cognitive training can increase fluid intelligence (especially outside the USA)

workingmemoryImprov­ing flu­id intel­li­gence with train­ing on work­ing mem­o­ry: a meta-analy­sis (Psy­cho­nom­ic Bul­letin & Review):

…due to the broad inter­est in cog­ni­tive train­ing, lab­o­ra­to­ries around the world are inves­ti­gat­ing the effects of train­ing and trans­fer. In fact, the first study of n‑back train­ing on Gf (flu­id intel­li­gence) was con­duct­ed in Switzerland…and from our own expe­ri­ences con­duct­ing research both inter­na­tion­al­ly and in the U.S., we have anec­do­tal­ly observed Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Music Training Can Enhance Verbal Intelligence and Executive Function

Very inter­est­ing new study pub­lished in Psy­cho­log­i­cal Sci­ence: Short-Term Music Train­ing Enhances Ver­bal Intel­li­gence and Exec­u­tive Func­tion.

Abstract: Researchers have designed train­ing meth­ods that can be used to improve men­tal health and to test the effi­ca­cy of edu­ca­tion pro­grams. How­ev­er, few stud­ies have demon­strat­ed broad trans­fer from such train­ing to per­for­mance on untrained cog­ni­tive activ­i­ties. Here we report the effects of two inter­ac­tive com­put­er­ized train­ing pro­grams devel­oped for preschool chil­dren: one for music and one for visu­al art. After only 20 days of train­ing, Read the rest of this entry »

Executive Functions, Education and Alzheimer’s Disease

I just read a very inter­est­ing arti­cle in Newsweek: Exec­u­tive Func­tions: The School Skill That May Mat­ter More Than IQ. A few quotes:

- “But recent advances in psy­chol­o­gy and brain sci­ence are now sug­gest­ing that a child’s abil­i­ty to inhib­it dis­tract­ing thoughts and stay focused may be a fun­da­men­tal cog­ni­tive skill, one that plays a big part in aca­d­e­m­ic suc­cess from The Executive Brain by Elkhonon Goldbergpreschool on. Indeed, this and close­ly relat­ed skills may be more impor­tant than tra­di­tion­al IQ in pre­dict­ing a child’s school per­for­mance.”

- “EF (exec­u­tive func­tions) com­pris­es not only effort­ful con­trol and cog­ni­tive focus but also work­ing mem­o­ry and men­tal flex­i­bil­i­ty the abil­i­ty to adjust to change, to think out­side the box.”

- “When the teacher holds up a cir­cle they clap, with a tri­an­gle they hop, and so forth. The kids are taught to talk them­selves through the men­tal exer­cise: “OK, now clap.” “Twirl now.” This has been shown to flex and enhance the brain’s abil­i­ty to switch gears, to sup­press one piece of infor­ma­tion and sub in a new one. It takes dis­ci­pline; it’s the ele­men­tary school equiv­a­lent of say­ing “I real­ly need stop think­ing about next week’s vaca­tion and focus on this report.”

The main points: exec­u­tive func­tions are cru­cial for suc­cess in life, AND they can be trained. I could­n’t agree more with the arti­cle in that cog­ni­tive train­ing should be part of the edu­ca­tion cur­ricu­lum and receive more research dol­lars to deter­mine exact­ly how to best do so.

I read anoth­er very inter­est­ing arti­cle on Alzheimer’s Dis­ease. Which may look like a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent top­ic than the one above…but please bear with me. Read the rest of this entry »

About SharpBrains

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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