Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


The Gene Delusion: IQ and the environment

An anony­mous read­er of Andrew Sul­li­van’s blog writes a superb com­ment, repro­duced here:

One thing Wat­son and oth­ers for­get is that the brain is high­ly mal­leable based on envi­ron­ment. Although he is the father of DNA he knows very lit­tle about neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty and neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis. Pre­vi­ous­ly it was thought that the human brain was ‘hard­wired’ after a cer­tain age. This is not true. Not only is not true, but the human mind is capa­ble of adap­ta­tion but actu­al neu­ron growth even late in life. Ten years ago this was thought impos­si­ble.

Neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis and neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty proves that a nur­tur­ing social and fam­i­ly set­ting shifts IQ, per­spec­tive, and emo­tion­al IQ. The so-called bell curve isn’t genet­ic. Oppressed Tibetans and Chi­nese eth­nic minori­ties ‑whose test scores soar in the Unit­ed States and Cana­da- are 20–30 points low­er in their home­land. That 20–30 points deficit is in the same range of a lot of groups that are attacked or threat­ened (Mus­lims in France, Chris­tians in Nige­ria, Blacks in Amer­i­ca). Con­verse­ly when oppressed groups are removed from their envi­ron­ment their IQ, emo­tion­al health returns to a nor­mal rate, thus prov­ing that is NOT genet­ic.

It is plas­tic, shift­ing and based upon the envi­ron­ment.

That is why peo­ple Read the rest of this entry »

Customer Satisfaction Survey/ Tech Museum Awards

We usu­al­ly spend more time in this blog talk­ing about brain fit­ness sci­ence, pro­grams and trends than talk­ing about peo­ple. Today we are going to change that, since we have been receiv­ing great feed­back from a num­ber of sources. While we still need to improve a lot, we can start to see the results of what we do in our “brain fit­ness cen­ter”. And we could­n’t be hap­pi­er about the nom­i­na­tion this week of Dr. Elkhonon Gold­berg and myself, as Sharp­Brains cofounders, for The Tech Muse­um Awards — Tech­nol­o­gy Ben­e­fit­ing Human­i­ty, in the Health cat­e­go­ry.

I. Anony­mous Feed­back from an online sur­vey of our online store cus­tomers

  • 58% respon­dents are Very Sat­is­fied, and 42% Sat­is­fied, with the prod­ucts and ser­vices they chose. I promise that there were more options (Dis­sat­is­fied, Very Dis­sat­is­fied)
  • As a trad­er, I real­ly need to sus­tain atten­tion for long peri­ods. Your pro­gram (here) has been eye-open­ing and very help­ful.”
  • I LOVE the pro­gram! It is fun, chal­lenges me and gives me hope for improv­ing in the areas where I have lim­i­ta­tions. Staff sup­port & edu­ca­tion­al infor­ma­tion has been great. It is very impor­tant to be able to talk to some­one about the ques­tions or process prob­lems that we experience…your mem­ber on-line site gives us the oppor­tu­ni­ty to get answers & need­ed sup­port. Thanks for all you are doing. My hus­band and I love get­ting feed­back about our progress…it is a very pos­i­tive expe­ri­ence!”
  • Keep devel­op­ing pro­grams so when we fin­ish doing the Mind­Fit (here) pro­gram there will be anoth­er one to build upon the first! I am impressed at how well your pro­grams are indi­vid­u­al­ized. Good Job to all involved!”
  • Good, I enjoy the games (here) and I can tell a dif­fer­ence in my mem­o­ry and over­all aware­ness.”

II. Feed­back about our Stress Man­age­ment for Peak Per­for­mance work­shop (here)

  • Accen­ture: 46 per­cent of sur­vey respon­dents Strong­ly Agreed that they “gained prac­ti­cal skills and knowl­edge they could start using imme­di­ate­ly.” 69 per­cent Strong­ly Agreed Read the rest of this entry »

Baby Boomers, Healthy Aging and Job Performance

There has been an inter­est­ing dis­cus­sion about the issues relat­ed to the aging of the legal pro­fes­sion. Stephanie intro­duced us to the arti­cle “the Gray­ing Bar: let’s not for­get the ethics” by David Giacalone.

In short: sta­tis­tics about the increas­ing ratio of lawyers over 70 in active prac­tice, on the one hand, and the gen­er­al inci­dence of Alzheimer’s and oth­er demen­tias, on the oth­er, lead David to point out an increas­ing like­li­hood that some lawyers may be prac­tic­ing in less than ide­al con­di­tions for their clients, beyond a rea­son­able “brain age”. The ques­tion then becomes: who and how can solve this prob­lem, which is only going to grow giv­en demo­graph­ic trends?.

We are not legal experts, but would like to inform the debate by offer­ing 10 con­sid­er­a­tions on healthy aging and job per­for­mance from a neu­ropsy­cho­log­i­cal point of view, that apply to all occu­pa­tions:

1- We should talk more about change than about decline, as Sharon Beg­ley wrote recent­ly in her great arti­cle on The Upside of Aging — (sub­scrip­tion required).

We dis­cussed some of these effects with Dr. Elkhonon Gold­berg, who wrote his great book The Wis­dom Para­dox pre­cise­ly on this point, at The Exec­u­tive Brain and How our Minds Can Grow Stronger.

2- Some skills improve as we age: In our “Exer­cis­ing Our Brains” Class­es, we typ­i­cal­ly explain how some areas typ­i­cal­ly improve as we age, such as self-reg­u­la­tion, emo­tion­al func­tion­ing and Wis­dom (which means mov­ing from Prob­lem solv­ing to Pat­tern recog­ni­tion). As a lawyer accu­mu­lates more cas­es under his/ her belt, he or she devel­ops an auto­mat­ic “intu­ition” for solu­tions and strate­gies. As long as the envi­ron­ment does­n’t change too rapid­ly, this grow­ing wis­dom is very valu­able.

3- …where­as, yes, oth­ers typ­i­cal­ly decline: Read the rest of this entry »

Free give-aways: Sandra Bullock’s Premonition and our Brain Fitness Center

Some weeks we were con­tact­ed by Sony Pic­tures to pro­vide the Grand Prize for one of their Sweep­stakes pro­grams, for just-released San­dra Bul­lock­’s Pre­mo­ni­tion movie.

We were hap­py to put togeth­er a com­plete Brain Fit­ness Kit, some­thing like a boot camp for the brain (a “brain camp”?), which you can get FOR FREE. The kit is com­posed of:

- One (1) Com­plete Men­tal Work­out Soft­ware pro­gram that helps train mem­o­ry and oth­er skills (ARV: $149.00)
— One (1) Stress Man­age­ment Biofeed­back pro­gram (ARV: $320.00)
— One (1) Exer­cise Your Brain DVD (ARV: $20.00)
— One (1) Brain Fit­ness 101 eBook ($12.00)

- Five (5) pri­vate phone-based ses­sions with our Head Coach (you will hear more about this soon) (ARV: $350.00)
If you want the chance to win this Prize, togeth­er with a $1,000 check, you can sim­ply vis­it Pre­mo­ni­tion Expect the Unex­pect­ed Sweep­stakes pro­gram and fill in your details. There is no cost asso­ci­at­ed with this pro­mo­tion. This is why you are see­ing ban­ners in this site for the first time.

Good luck!

Training the Brains of Fighter Pilots and Basketball Players

We are a brain fit­ness cen­ter because we want to offer the best infor­ma­tion, tools and sup­port on how to exer­cise our brains. Same way you join the gym to stay in shape and find the best machines and per­son­al train­ers.

One of the “tools” or “machines” we offer was designed under the sci­en­tif­ic super­vi­sion of Pro­fes­sor Daniel Gopher and his team for bas­ket­ball play­ers: click here to read our inter­view with him. And here for a fun clip with the Mem­phis Tigers.

Our part­ner ACE just issued this press release:

Fight­er Pilots Help Pur­due and Long Beach State Reach the Tour­na­ment

The Bas­ket­ball Intel­li­Gym Improves Deci­sion-Mak­ing

STUDIO CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The same tech­nol­o­gy ini­tial­ly devel­oped to train Israeli fight­er pilots on the cog­ni­tive, brain lev­el has been an inte­gral part of the train­ing reg­i­men for both Long Beach State and Pur­due, two teams earn­ing their first NCAA tour­na­ment births since 1995 and 2003 respec­tive­ly.

The inno­v­a­tive Bas­ket­ball Intel­li­Gym soft­ware pro­gram has been proven to improve real-time deci­sion-mak­ing and exe­cu­tion for thou­sands of bas­ket­ball play­ers world­wide and play­ers on more than a dozen col­lege bas­ket­ball teams. Read the rest of this entry »

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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