With the explosion in digital entertainment options over the past several decades and the more recent restrictions on outdoor and in-person social activities, parents may worry that excessive engagement with digital technology could have long-term effects on their children’s mental health.
A new study published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, however, found little evidence for an increased association between adolescents’ technology engagement and mental health problems over the past 30 years. The data did not consistently support the suggestion that the technologies we worry about most (e.g., smartphones) are becoming more harmful… [Read more…] about Study: Social media and general tech engagement not found to “fry” teenagers’ brains
Newsweek Japan just published this great article to disseminate latest thinking and research about meditation, brain fitness and digital technologies, based on Alvaro Fernandez’ trip last week to discuss How is our societal obsession with technology changing our health and well-being at the World Forum on Sport and Culture in Tokyo.
1) We are smarter and healthier than ever, so it is not true that technology (or Google) is killing our brains.
2) But it’s true is that we are facing growing health and brain challenges. Why? Because, even if we are smarter and healthier, our fitness is not keeping up with the demands on our brains and minds in our increasingly complex work and life environment. [Read more…] about Improving brain fitness literacy in Japan
If you happen to be in Barcelona, Spain, on September 14th, make sure to attend Alvaro Fernandez talk there titled “How and Why Digital Technology Will Transform Education, Training and Brain Health”.
- Date: 14/09/2010
- Time: 19:00
- Place: ESADEFORUM. Av. Pedralbes 60–62.
Description: You have a brain. Make it reflect on this provocative vision of how the convergence of demographic and political trends with the discoveries of neuroscience and digital technology can give rise to a global market capable of transforming the way in which we develop and maintain our brains, in order to attain the highest possible level of brain health and performance throughout our lives. The neuroscientist Ramón y Cajal once said: “Every man can, if he so desires, become the sculptor of his own brain”. This has become a prevailing desire, promoted by baby boomers who, as they approach their 60th birthday, embark on a search for lifelong “brain fitness”.
Learn more and Register Here.
Dr. John Docherty is an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the Weill Medical College, Cornell University, Director of Post Graduate Education there, and Chief Medical Officer of Brain Resource. Trained as a clinical research fellow in neuropsychopharmacology at NIMH, he later returned as Chief of the Psychosocial Treatments Research Branch, responsible for all federally supported psychosocial treatment research in mental health nationwide. He oversaw the landmark National Collaborative Study of the Treatment of Depression and served as a member and Chairman for over 10 years on the NIMH and then NIDA Treatment Research IRGs. Dr. Docherty has wide experience in successfully implementing innovation in both clinical operations and managed health care. He founded Northeast Psychiatric Associates in 1985. As National Medical Director for National Medical Enterprises, he oversaw medical control and quality improvement in 74 hospitals in 34 states. He was the Executive Vice-President and Chief Medical Officer for Merit Behavioral Care, which then covered 30 million people. In 1998, he founded Comprehensive NeuroScience (CNS). Its Care Management Technologies are currently implemented in 17 state Medicaid plans. Dr Docherty has received numerous honors and awards and has authored over 100 scientific publications.
(Editor’s note: this interview with Dr. John Docherty was originally published in SharpBrains’ market report Transforming Brain Health with Digital Tools to Assess, Enhance and Treat Cognition across the Lifespan, published in July 2010)
Alvaro Fernandez: Dr. Docherty, it is a pleasure to be with you today to discuss the main theme of SharpBrains’ 2010 market report – how the convergence of scientific findings and technology platforms and tools is reshaping how as a society and as individuals we will take care of cognition and mental wellness along the lifecourse, giving birth to the emerging digital brain health and fitness market. Can you first briefly discuss your career trajectory and your current role at Brain Resource?
Dr. John Docherty: Sure. The main theme of my work since the 1960s has remained the same, “How do we put knowledge into effective use to improve mental health?” Over the last century, medicine made tremendous progress in generating scientific and clinical knowledge. Basic research discovery science and clinical treatment development science have made great progress. Within Psychiatry there was standard setting advance in the 1960’s through the NIMH-VA cooperative studies to the methodology of assessing the efficacy of psychopharmacological drugs. This work established principles adopted for the study of medications in the other areas of medicine. The study of psychotherapy, however, lagged in development. In my role of Chief of the Psychosocial Treatments Branch of the NIMH , I helped contribute to the advance of that work by supporting the efforts of an extraordinary group of individuals led by Irene Waskow who carried out the TDCRP. This study established the methodologies that made possible the effective scientific study of the efficacy of psychotherapies. The evidence base and of such treatments as CBT, DBT, Motivational Enhancement Treatment and other evidence-based psychotherapies derives directly from this study and its seminal influence. This was a contribution to the science of Clinical Treatment Development research.
I would say that my major interest, however, has been in the next step, the science of knowledge transfer. There has been and remains a long and costly (in terms particularly of unnecessary suffering) lag between the development of new knowledge and its common and effective use in practice.
In order the help the field moved forward, I have worked for the last 20 years in the development and implementation of methods to effectively transfer knowledge into practice. [Read more…] about Technology as the missing link to enable a brain-based model of brain care: interview with Dr. John Docherty
In spite of the recent economic downturn, revenues for digital technologies to assess, enhance and treat cognition, or digital brain health and fitness tools, grew 35% in 2009. “The convergence of demographic and policy trends with cognitive neuroscience discoveries and technological innovation is giving birth to a nascent marketplace that can fundamentally transform what brain health is, how it is measured, and how it is done,” says Alvaro Fernandez, member of the World Economic Forum’s Council on the Aging Society and Editor-in-Chief of the report. “This groundbreaking report can help pioneers shape the emerging toolkit to benefit an aging society that increasingly seeks new ways to enhance cognitive functionality and mental wellness across the lifespan.”
“As the brain is thrust into the center of the healthcare ecosystem, innovative cognitive health and brain fitness applications will play an increasingly important role in defining neurocentric health,” adds Jake Dunagan, Research Director at the Institute For The Future.
A majority among the 1,900+ decision-makers and early-adopters surveyed said they trusted the effectiveness of non-invasive options above invasive options to enhance critical brain functionality. Professional and intellectual challenges were rated very effective by 61% of respondents, aerobic exercise and reading books by 42%, meditation by 38%, computerized brain training by 26%, taking prescription drugs by 13%, taking supplements by 12%, and self-medicating with drugs by 1%.
These are among the key findings of a 207-page market report released today by SharpBrains and prepared in collaboration with 24 leading scientists and 10 innovative organizations — the most comprehensive such research study done to analyze emerging research, technologies and marketplace.
“We must do for brain health in the 21st century what we largely accomplished in cardiovascular health in the past century. It’s time to take scientific insights out of the lab and to identify practical applications, making the maintenance of good brain fitness a public health priority,” indicates William Reichman, MD, President and CEO of Baycrest.