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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Method for adaptive training of short term memory and auditory/visual discrimination within a computer game: Key Neurotech Patent #13


– Illus­tra­tive image from U.S. Patent No. 6,599,129

Today we are shar­ing a 2003 cog­ni­tive train­ing patent assigned to Sci­en­tif­ic Learn­ing Corp.

U.S. Patent No. 6,599,129: Method for adap­tive train­ing of short term mem­o­ry and auditory/visual dis­crim­i­na­tion with­in a com­put­er game

  • Assignee(s): Sci­en­tif­ic Learn­ing Corp.
  • Inventor(s): William M. Jenk­ins, Michael M. Merzenich, Steven L. Miller, Bret E. Peter­son, Paula Tal­lal
  • Tech­nol­o­gy Cat­e­go­ry: Neu­roCog­ni­tive Train­ing
  • Issue Date: July 29, 2003

SharpBrains’ Take:

The ‘129 patent builds on Sci­en­tif­ic Learning’s port­fo­lio relat­ing to lan­guage train­ing and devel­op­ment.   Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Brain training game helps resist unhealthy snack foods



Online game ‘may con­trol snack­ing’ (BBC News):

A com­put­er game may help some peo­ple con­trol their unhealthy snack­ing habits, sug­gests a small study from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Exeter.

The online game, devel­oped by psy­chol­o­gists at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Exeter and Cardiff Uni­ver­si­ty, used “brain train­ing” tech­niques to change behav­iour — in this case, to resist unhealthy snack foods.  Read the rest of this entry »

Can Brain Training and Biofeedback Help Prevent Depression

In two inno­v­a­tive pilot stud­ies, Ian Gotlib and his col­leagues at Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty, Cal­i­for­nia, showed that brain train­ing can be used to help elim­i­nate depres­sion, even before it starts. They stud­ied young girls (10 to 14 year old) whose moth­ers were depressed and who thus were at high­er risk of devel­op­ing depres­sion them­selves lat­er-on. The girls had not expe­ri­enced depres­sion per se but already showed behav­iors typ­i­cal of depressed brains, such as over­re­ac­tion to neg­a­tive stim­uli. Read the rest of this entry »

Nintendo Brain Training and Math in UK Schools

Com­put­er game boosts maths scores (BBC):

- “It also found improve­ments in pupils’ con­cen­tra­tion and behav­iour.”

- “The study involved more than 600 pupils in 32 schools across Scot­land using the Brain Train­ing from Dr Kawashima game on the Nin­ten­do DS every day.”

- “Researchers found that while all groups had improved their scores, the group using the game had improved by a fur­ther 50%.”

- “Less able chil­dren were found to be more like­ly to improve than the high­est attain­ers and almost all pupils had an increased per­cep­tion of their own abil­i­ty.”

Com­ment:  fas­ci­nat­ing results sup­port­ing the poten­tial role for “Seri­ous Games” in edu­ca­tion. Now, please take the results with a grain of salt, since the study doesn’t seem to have been pub­lished yet in any top-tier peer-reviewed jour­nal.. The infor­ma­tion pub­licly avail­able seems to sim­ply con­sist of a press release by Learn­ing and Teach­ing Scot­land. We hope to see an in-depth report to answer many open ques­tions on the study. In any case, wel­come news!

Brain and Mind News and Articles

BrainHere you have a col­lec­tion of recent news cov­er­age on brain heath, fit­ness and train­ing top­ics:

1- Great Mem­o­ry Spe­cial in Nation­al Geo­graph­ic, includ­ing

- Inter­ac­tive 3D map of the brain

- Mem­o­ry Game

2- Fas­ci­nat­ing What the Bea­t­les Gave Sci­ence, by Sharon Beg­ley at Newsweek

- “Even in novices, med­i­ta­tion leaves its mark. An eight-week course in com­pas­sion med­i­ta­tion, in which vol­un­teers focus on the wish that all beings be free from suf­fer­ing, shift­ed brain activ­i­ty from the right pre­frontal cor­tex to the left, a pat­tern asso­ci­at­ed with a greater sense of well-being.”

3- One of the best edi­tions of Sci­en­tif­ic Amer­i­can Mind

- Solv­ing the IQ Puz­zle “The 20th cen­tu­ry saw the Fly­nn effect: mas­sive gains in IQ from one gen­er­a­tion to anoth­er. Now Fly­nn explains why”

- Anx­i­ety and Alzheimer- A life­time of stress could lead to mem­o­ry prob­lems and dis­ease: “Over a peri­od of up to 12 years, vol­un­teers who were anx­i­ety-prone had a 40 per­cent high­er risk of devel­op­ing mild cog­ni­tive impair­ment than more easy­go­ing indi­vid­u­als did. Mild cog­ni­tive impair­ment is thought to be a pre­cur­sor for Alzheimer’s.”

4- Exer­cise builds strong brains, too —

- “Phillip Tom­porows­ki, a study co-author and exer­cise psy­chol­o­gist at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Geor­gia in Athens, says exer­cise “may well improve the under­ly­ing men­tal process­es that are involved in a lot of behav­iors and aca­d­e­m­ic tasks.”

5- Dai­ly com­put­er game boosts maths- BBC, report­ing pre­lim­i­nary results from a small pilot

- “Play­ing a dai­ly com­put­er game has helped a class of pri­ma­ry school chil­dren improve their maths and con­cen­tra­tion, a study says.”

6- ADHD and Brain Devel­op­ment- Wash­ing­ton Post

- “Devel­op­ing more slow­ly in ADHD young­sters — the lag can be as much as three years — are brain regions that sup­press inap­pro­pri­ate actions and thoughts, focus atten­tion, remem­ber things from moment to moment, work for reward, and con­trol move­ment.”

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