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Neuroscientists: Develop digital games to improve brain function and well-being

interactivemediaAuthors: Devel­op dig­i­tal games to improve brain func­tion and well-being (UW-Madi­son News):

Neu­ro­sci­en­tists should help to devel­op com­pelling dig­i­tal games that boost brain func­tion and improve well-being, say two pro­fes­sors spe­cial­iz­ing in the field in a com­men­tary arti­cle pub­lished in the sci­ence jour­nal Nature. In the Feb. 28 issue, the two — Daphne Bave­li­er of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Rochester and Richard J. David­son of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wis­con­sin-Madi­son — urge game design­ers and brain sci­en­tists to work togeth­er to design new games that train the brain, pro­duc­ing pos­i­tive effects on behav­ior, such as decreas­ing anx­i­ety, sharp­en­ing atten­tion and improv­ing empa­thy.”

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Gaming Your Way to Better Vision (Research Executive Brief)

(Editor’s Note: this puzzleis one of the Research Exec­u­tive Briefs that includ­ed in Sharp­Brains’ mar­ket report. We asked lead­ing neu­ro­sci­en­tists to share find­ings and impli­ca­tions from their own recent pub­lished sci­en­tif­ic stud­ies in order to bet­ter fore­cast the devel­op­ment tra­jec­to­ry of emerg­ing appli­ca­tions for cog­ni­tive health and brain fit­ness.)

Brief pre­pared by: Bjron Hubert-Wal­lan­der, Bjorn & Daphne Bave­li­er, Bave­li­er Brain & Vision Lab, Uni­ver­si­ty of Rochester.

1. Main find­ings:

Over the past ten years, research con­duct­ed by our lab and oth­ers has shown that play­ing fast-paced, action-packed videogames can lead to sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits in how well one pays atten­tion and how well one sees. Specif­i­cal­ly, our stud­ies have shown that train­ing for as lit­tle as ten hours on action video games (like Medal of Hon­or, Call of Duty, and Unre­al Tour­na­ment) can lead to mea­sur­able enhance­ments in our abil­i­ty to spread our atten­tion around the visu­al field, our abil­i­ty to keep track of mul­ti­ple mov­ing objects, and our abil­i­ty to pick out rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion from a rapid sequence of visu­al events. Most recent­ly though, we have shown that action videogame train­ing can also pos­i­tive­ly affect more basic aspects of vision such as our abil­i­ty to resolve small details or see faint pat­terns.

Pub­lished in the jour­nal Nature Neu­ro­science in 2009, one of our stud­ies com­pared two groups of col­lege-aged males, those who had a his­to­ry of play­ing action videogames and those who had very rarely or had nev­er played videogames at all. By ana­lyz­ing both groups’ per­for­mance on a task designed to Read the rest of this entry »

Cognitive Health Track at Games for Health Conference: Full Schedule Announced!

Games for Health and Sharp­Brains have part­nered to bring you the first Cog­ni­tive Games for Health Conference - Cognitive Health TrackHealth Track in a Games for Health Con­fer­ence, June 11–12th in Boston. If you are inter­est­ed, in attend­ing the con­fer­ence, you can learn more and reg­is­ter Here.

To get a 15% off reg­is­tra­tion fees ($379), you can use dis­count code: sharp09, when you reg­is­ter Here.

Cog­ni­tive Health Track, Pow­ered by Sharp­Brains

Thurs­day, June 11th

10.20 (50m) Bird’s Eye View of Cog­ni­tive Health Inno­va­tion
Speaker(s): Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, Sharp­Brains

Sci­en­tif­ic, tech­no­log­i­cal and demo­graph­ic trends have con­verged to cre­ate a new $265m mar­ket in the US alone: seri­ous games, soft­ware and online appli­ca­tions that can help peo­ple of all ages assess and train cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties. Alvaro Fer­nan­dez will pro­vide a Bird’s Eye View of the sci­ence, mar­ket seg­ments and trends, com­pet­i­tive land­scape, and main chal­lenges ahead, based on The State of the Brain Fit­ness Soft­ware Mar­ket 2009 report released in May, which includ­ed Research Exec­u­tive Briefs pre­pared by 12 lead­ing sci­en­tists and a sur­vey of 2,000+ deci­sion-mak­ers and ear­ly adopters.

61% of respon­dents to the sur­vey Strong­ly Agreed with the state­ment “Address­ing cog­ni­tive and brain health should be a health­care pri­or­i­ty.” But, 65% Agreed/Strongly Agreed with “I don’t real­ly know what to expect from prod­ucts mak­ing brain claims.” In this ses­sion, Alvaro will pub­licly unveil the new book The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness: 18 Inter­views with Sci­en­tists, Prac­ti­cal Advice, and Prod­uct Reviews, To Keep Your Brain Sharp, co-authored by neu­ropsy­chol­o­gist Dr. Elkhonon Gold­berg and him­self, aimed at help­ing con­sumers and pro­fes­sion­als under­stand and nav­i­gate this grow­ing field.

11.20 (30m) The All­state-Posit Sci­ence Part­ner­ship: Cog­ni­tive Train­ing for Safer Dri­ving
Speaker(s): Tom War­den, All­state; Hen­ry Mah­ncke, Posit Sci­ence

Evi­dence-based cog­ni­tive train­ing pro­grams have been avail­able in retire­ment com­mu­ni­ties for sev­er­al years. Now, they are reach­ing a younger pop­u­la­tion includ­ing Boomers through inno­v­a­tive part­ner­ships, like insur­ers.

In Octo­ber 2008 auto insur­ance com­pa­ny All­state and brain fit­ness soft­ware devel­op­er Posit Sci­ence announced a research col­lab­o­ra­tion that could lead to “poten­tial­ly the next big break­through in auto­mo­bile safe­ty”. The pur­pose of this ses­sion is to review nov­el ways of get­ting the sci­ence of cog­ni­tive train­ing into the real world where it can help peo­ple. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from All­state and Posit Sci­ence will dis­cuss why these part­ner­ships work for insur­ers, devel­op­ers, and end users. They will also pro­vide a thor­ough review of the eval­u­a­tion process a major part­ner goes through when select­ing a cog­ni­tive train­ing com­pa­ny.

12.00 (30m) What Con­sumers Buy and Why
Speaker(s): Lind­say Gask­ins, Mar­bles: The Brain Store

Launched in Octo­ber 2008, Mar­bles: The Brain Store is a retail store that Read the rest of this entry »

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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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