Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Update: To improve sleep, combine general sleep hygiene with mindful and cognitive techniques

sleep———-

Had a good night’s sleep?

We hope you did, so you can ful­ly enjoy all the fas­ci­nat­ing arti­cles and brain teasers in the new edi­tion of Sharp­Brains’ eNewslet­ter…includ­ing excel­lent advice on how to com­bine gen­er­al sleep hygiene with mind­ful and cog­ni­tive tech­niques, and a book give­away.

Hap­py read­ing!

New thinking:

New research:

New tools:

Books and other educational resources:

Finally, some fun Brain teasers:

 

Have a great month of June!

The Sharp­Brains Team

How to properly “Use it or Lose it”: Kundalini Yoga vs. Crossword Puzzles

yoga_wellnessYoga bet­ter than cross­words for pre­vent­ing pre-Alzheimer’s mem­o­ry loss (The Tele­graph):

His­tor­i­cal­ly and anec­do­tal­ly, yoga has been thought to be ben­e­fi­cial in age­ing well, but this is the sci­en­tif­ic demon­stra­tion of that benefit…We’re con­vert­ing his­tor­i­cal wis­dom into the high lev­el of evi­dence required for doc­tors to rec­om­mend ther­a­py to their patients. Read the rest of this entry »

Why financial analysts should grab a paint brush and a canvas (and artists do more math)

Which Brain Exer­cis­es Improve Mem­o­ry Best? (Reader’s Digest):

The exer­cis­es you do to keep your mind sharp may not be enough to improve mem­o­ry over time, but new research from the book The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness reveals bet­ter ways to boost your brain health…If you can breeze through the Sun­day puz­zle, you are not doing your mind any favors. That’s because the key to a vibrant, healthy brain includes chal­lenge and novelty…keep your brain fit with new activ­i­ties that test var­i­ous skills; a finan­cial ana­lyst may want to grab a paint brush and a can­vas, for exam­ple. Even play­ing dif­fer­ent types of puzzles–a cross­word today, Sudoku tomorrow–is bet­ter than doing the same type over and over again.”

Learn more:

Do Crossword Puzzles Help to Counteract the Aging Process? If so, Which Ones and How?

Recent­ly there has been an ongo­ing debate as to whether attempt­ing cross­words reg­u­lar­ly can stave off cog­ni­tive decline, which is the hall­mark of healthy aging and demen­tia. As with many areas of psy­chol­o­gy the answer to this ques­tion may not be as clear-cut as one would hope. Before con­sid­er­ing the evi­dence for whether cross­word par­tic­i­pa­tion can reduce cog­ni­tive decline in lat­er life, it is nec­es­sary to con­sid­er the dif­fer­ent types of cross­words avail­able and under­stand whether one or anoth­er type may be more cog­ni­tive­ly stim­u­lat­ing than the oth­er. Gen­er­al­ly, when we think of cross­words two kinds spring to mind, either gen­er­al knowl­edge or cryp­tic cross­words.

A gen­er­al knowl­edge cross­word typ­i­cal­ly has clues which are sim­i­lar to answer­ing gen­er­al knowl­edge quizzes, but the solver has the ben­e­fit of know­ing how many let­ters make up the solu­tion.

For exam­ple: “the cap­i­tal of Peru (4)”… Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Games for the Weekend: One for each Cognitive Ability

When I give a pre­sen­ta­tion about brain health and fit­ness, there are always a few peo­ple who come tell me after­ward that they do cross­word puz­zles every­day. They heard that men­tal exer­cise is good for the brain so they are pleased and proud to report that they do the best they can to main­tain their brain func­tions. But are they real­ly? What if I was a gym instruc­tor? Would the same peo­ple tell me proud­ly that to keep their whole body in shape they do biceps move­ments every­day, and that’s all they do? I DO feel like I was this gym instruc­tor when I hear the cross­word puz­zles claim! Solv­ing cross­word puz­zles repet­i­tive­ly is not the best habit for two rea­sons. Read the rest of this entry »

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.

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