Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Brain Training New Frontier: Ice Hockey!

“USA Hockey Inc., is the national governing body for the sport of ice hockey in the United States. As such, its mission is to promote the growth of hockey and provide the best Ice Hockeypossible experience for all participants by encouraging, developing, advancing and administering the sport.”

Why do we talk about ice hockey in a  brain fitness blog?

Well, we recently announced this very innovative initiative, and now can offer more context:

USA Hockey and Intelligym:

– “USA Hockey, with partners ACE (Applied Cognitive Engineering) and the BIRD (Binational Industrial Research and Development) Foundation, have announced plans to develop a revolutionary product that will, for the first time ever, provide players a training tool to develop “hockey sense.”

– “To be called Hockey IntelliGym, the software-based product will furnish players with a highly effective training tool to develop perception and decision-making skills. Further, it will Read the rest of this entry »

IntelliGym cognitive simulation for Ice Hockey players

Very interesting new market development:

The Marker, Israel – Oct 28, 2008, SharpBrains,

In other words, Applied Cognitive Engineering (ACE) and USA Hockey have partnered to bring to market a cognitive simulation game to improve the performance of ice hockey players – similar to what  ACE has been offering to professional and amateur basketball players.

ACE has raised $2.5M, and ACE and USA Hockey have received a joint $800k development grant from the BIRD Foundation for the co-development of a training system for Ice Hockey players. (The article mentions SharpBrains’ Market Report as a sign of how the market is growing, since we cover ACE).

For more context on cognitive simulations, you will enjoy this Interview with Prof. Daniel Gopher:

Alvaro Fernandez: Tell us a bit about your overall research interests.

Daniel Gopher: My main interest has been how to expand the limits of human attention, information processing and response capabilities which are critical in complex, real-time decision-making, high-demand tasks such as flying a military jet or playing professional basketball. Using a tennis analogy, my goal has been, and is, how to help develop many “Wimbledon-like champions. Each with their own styles, but performing to their maximum capacity to succeed in their environments.

What research over the last 15-20 years has shown is that cognition, or what we call thinking and performance, is really a set of skills that we can train systematically. And Read the rest of this entry »

Videogames for Cognitive Training?

There were a few interesting research papers presented at the last  American Psychological Association conventions around the theme:

Playing Video Games Offers Learning Across Life Span, Say Studies
— Skills Transfer to Classroom, Surgical Procedures, Scientific Thinking (press release)

Probably the most interesting study was that of 303 laparoscopic surgeons, which “showed that surgeons who played video games requiring spatial skills and hand dexterity and then performed a drill testing these skills were significantly faster at their first attempt and across all 10 trials than the surgeons who did not the play video games first.”

The note goes further to explain the implications from this research:

“The big picture is that there are several dimensions on which games have effects, including the amount they are played, the content of each game, what you have to pay attention to on the screen, and how you control the motions,” said Gentile. “This means that games are not “good’ or bad,’ but are powerful educational tools and have many effects we might not have expected they could.”

Very thoughtful quote. Please note a few elements about Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Research Interview Series

We are working on improving several sections of our website, especially our Resources section. It will look much better in a few days. Our first step has been to re-organize our Neuroscience Interview Series, and below you have how it looks today.

During the last 18 months I have had the fortune to interview over 15 cutting-edge neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists on their research and thoughts. Here are some of our favorite quotes (you can read the full interview notes by clicking on the links):

Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Games for Kids, Adults…and Chimps

examples of working memoryDid you read about the recent experiment where young chimps displayed amazing visual working memory capability, beating humans? You can watch a short video about it 

And, you can now test your own skills with the Chimp Game!


PS: Enjoy these 50 brain teasers to test your cognitive ability.


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