I like to think of myself as a positive and optimistic person. It seems to me to make for an easier and more enjoyable journey through life. So I was intrigued when I read of neuroscientist Tali Sharot’s research into the Optimism Bias, which has shown that despite all the bad news stories we are bombarded with on a daily basis: war, violence, wrong-doing and financial meltdown, the majority of us are optimistic by nature; our brains are hardwired to be so. It’s a fascinating concept and one I had to find out more about, so I bought the book and met with Tali in her office at University College London for an enthralling discussion. [Read more…] about The Science of Optimism: a Conversation on ‘The Optimism Bias’ with neuroscientist Tali Sharot
The best alternative for tomorrow should be better than the best alternative available today. How do we get there, when “cognition” and “brain fitness” remain elusive concepts in popular culture? I believe that the lack of public education is the major obstacle that limits the brain fitness field’s potential to deliver real-world benefits, since only informed demand will ensure the ongoing development of rational, structured “rules of the road.” What could be done to address this and other particular obstacles? [Read more…] about The Business and Ethics of the Brain Fitness Boom — Part 4: The Future
Engaging people where they are in the life-course
Eighty percent of the 38,000 adults over age 50 who were responders in the 2010 AARP Member Opinion Survey indicated “staying mentally sharp” was their top ranked interest and concern (Dinger, 2010). What exactly does this phrase mean? And what role can technology play in “staying mentally sharp”? Intel CEO Paul Otellini has said, “You have to start by thinking about what people want to do… and work backward.” [Read more…] about The Business and Ethics of the Brain Fitness Boom — Part 3: The Real Need
The terminology “fundamental attribution error” describes the tendency to overvalue personality-based explanations for observed human behaviors, while undervaluing situational explanations for those behaviors. I believe that a primary reason behind many perceived and real ethical challenges in the brain fitness field is due not so much to certain stakeholders’ lack of personal or professional ethics, but derives from the flawed societal construct that underpins current, relevant innovations. To improve the ethics of the brain fitness business and its application (and empower consumers’ informed decision making), there must first be agreement about a meaningful, appropriate way to analyze and guide innovation. This is the crux of the problem. The current medical model is not up to the task at hand, since it is heavily skewed toward invasive drugs and devices driven by disease-based models, and fails to leverage [Read more…] about The Business and Ethics of the Brain Fitness Boom — Part 2: The Ethics
You may have noticed that Amazon.com is sharing aggregated data on how ebook readers interact with the books they are reading. For example, the “Popular Highlights” section (towards the bottom of our Kindle book page) ranks the Top 10 sentences that Kindle readers have highlighted and shared while reading The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness: 18 Interviews with Scientists, Practical Advice and Product Reviews, to Keep Your Brain Sharp (April 2009; 182 pages; ranked #1 in Kindle Store’s Preventive Medicine section).
This information is invaluable to authors and publishers — as you can imagine, we’ll make sure to not only maintain but to elaborate on these topics as we prepare future editions of the book.
So, what are so far the Top Ten Quotes on Lifelong Neuroplasticity and Neurogenesis, [Read more…] about Top 10 Quotes on Lifelong Neuroplasticity and Neurogenesis (and a Call to eBook Readers)
We just received this very insightful essay on stress management and brain health written by Landon, a homeschooler and participant in Susan Hill’s writing workshop. Susan asked her students to write about implications of recent brain research.
Enjoy the article and the long weekend (at least here in the US) and Relax…
Stress Management for Your Brain Health
– By Landon N
Thousands and thousands of web-like neurons linked together form a spongy mass inside a skull. This mass, called the brain, is what controls the body and the thoughts that run threw it have a notable effect on the heath of an individual. In addition to thoughts, fear, stress, and emotions also have a strong effect on health. So then, health depends on more than just eating right and exercising; it depends on our mental state as well.