Yesterday I had the chance to chat with Yaakov Stern, leading Cognitive Reserve researcher at Columbia University, and then with a group of 25 lifelong learners in Arizona who attended a brain fitness class (hello, Robert and friends!) based on our consumer guide The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness. On reflection, I found both conversations to be very stimulating for the same reason: they were forward-looking, focused not so much on status quo but on how emerging research, technology and trends may impact our society and lives in years to come. Let’s continue the conversation. Let me share the 10 main trends that we analyzed/ forecasted in our book, and then ask you, sharp readers, to add your own 2 cents to the discussion. [Read more…] about Top 10 Brain Training Trends — Putting our Cognitive Reserve to Work
If you subscribe to our monthly newsletter, you may remember we ran a survey in January. Well, the response rate and the quality of the responses were nothing short of spectacular, in many dimensions. The responses from over 2,000 participants (out of 21,000 subscribers) reinforce the need for public awareness initiatives and quality information to help evaluate and navigate product claims.
I have been presenting the results from one of the questions (see below), yesterday at the ASA/ NCOA (American Society on Aging) event, today at IHRSA (International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association), as part of more comprehensive presentations of what is going on in the brain fitness and cognitive health field.
An obvious implication for the survey result reinforces the need for brain-related public awareness campaigns such as the ongoing Brain Awareness Week. Every year, landmark research findings open new opportunities to help maintain lifelong cognitive health and brain fitness. The opportunity is immense — but we will need to ensure the marketplace matures in a rational and sustainable manner, helping consumers and professionals separate hope from hype and make informed decisions.
Robin Klaus, Chairman of Club One Fitness Centers (the company is a client, he is an advisor), just gave us a nice quote saying that “as our population ages the fields of physical fitness and brain fitness will naturally merge and, as this happens, a whole new field of valued added services will emerge for our members. High quality informational resources such as SharpBrains’ are crucial to the success of this merger.”
The Survey: Results to Key Question
Asked, “What is the most important problem you see in the brain fitness field and how do you think it can be solved?” respondents identified the following six problems in rank order:
#1: Public Awareness (39%)
— “Getting people to understand that heredity alone does not decide brain functioning.”
— “An expectant public will first want to believe that a “miracle” drug is to be soon available (to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease).”
#2: Navigating Claims (21%)
- “How to separate marketing hype from stuff that really works?”
— “The lack of standards and clear definitions is very confusing, and makes a lot of people sceptical.”
#3: Research (15%)
— “Determining what activities are most beneficial to [Read more…] about Brain Fitness Survey: We Need More Brain Awareness Weeks!