Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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10–12 hours of meditation training can improve daily-life emotional regulation

Med­i­ta­tion Appears to Pro­duce Endur­ing Changes in Emo­tion­al Pro­cess­ing in the Brain (Sci­ence Dai­ly):

A new study has found that par­tic­i­pat­ing in an 8‑week med­i­ta­tion train­ing pro­gram can have mea­sur­able effects on how the brain func­tions even when some­one is not active­ly meditating…While neu­roimag­ing stud­ies have found that med­i­ta­tion train­ing appeared to decrease acti­va­tion of the amyg­dala — a struc­ture at the base of the brain that is known to have a role in pro­cess­ing mem­o­ry and emo­tion — those changes were Read the rest of this entry »

Brain fitness meets HRV and EEG biometrics and neuroinformatics

As an active par­tic­i­pant in the Open­ViBE project (a soft­ware plat­form to design, test and use Brain-Com­put­er Inter­faces), in sci­en­tif­ic as well as tech­ni­cal capac­i­ties, I have long been focused on ways to process, ana­lyze and put brain sig­nals to prac­ti­cal use. When I start­ed read­ing on the sub­ject of brain fit­ness a few years ago, I rec­og­nized the poten­tial to enhance a vari­ety of brain train­ing approach­es, from med­i­ta­tion to cog­ni­tive train­ing, by deploy­ing Read the rest of this entry »

Emotional self-regulation and Obama

Great arti­cle in the New York Times on Oba­ma’s emo­tion­al self-reg­u­la­tion abil­i­ties:
The Cool Fac­tor: Nev­er Let Them See You Sweat

- “We even ele­vate such equi­lib­ri­um to the super­hu­man: calm, as applied to No Dra­ma Oba­ma, often comes linked to the mod­i­fi­er “preter­nat­ur­al.”

- “But the calm tem­pera­ment is not so super­hu­man, nor is it entire­ly the gift of the cho­sen few. It can be cul­ti­vat­ed, even as the world cleaves around us.”

- “So how do we get there with­out a steady diet of beta block­ers and Xanax? Calm, per se, does­n’t appear in the tax­on­o­my of those who study per­son­al­i­ty and tem­pera­ment.”

As the arti­cle lat­er dis­clos­es, this abil­i­ty is often called “emo­tion­al self-reg­u­la­tion” by cog­ni­tive sci­en­tists, and its devel­op­ment can assist­ed with tools such as med­i­ta­tion, cog­ni­tive ther­a­py and biofeed­back.

Per­haps one day this will be part of every­body’s school cur­ricu­lum and lead­er­ship pro­grams?

A User’s Guide to Lifelong Brain Health: BrainFit for Life

As the Brain Fit­ness indus­try con­tin­ues to gain momen­tum, and peo­ple explore all the incred­i­ble brain-train­ing tools being devel­oped, we hope that enthu­si­asts don’t take their eye off the impor­tance of the phys­i­cal health of the brain and all the sys­tems it com­mu­ni­cates with. The brain is unique in that it hous­es our cog­ni­tive and emo­tion­al capac­i­ties in the form of the mind. It is a ‘cog­ni­tive’ organ that hungers for stim­u­la­tion from new expe­ri­ences and chal­lenges. Many brain fit­ness pro­grams strive to sat­is­fy this need. Yet the brain is also a phys­i­cal organ that plays by many of the same rules as the heart, lungs, liv­er and kid­neys. To stay healthy and per­form opti­mal­ly it requires qual­i­ty nutri­tion, phys­i­cal activ­i­ty and opti­mal sleep. The brain, espe­cial­ly, relies on a healthy vas­cu­lar sys­tem to effi­cient­ly deliv­er oxy­gen and key nutri­ents and remove waste. In fact, the brain uses approx­i­mate­ly 20% of the oxy­gen we breathe to sat­is­fy its high-ener­gy demands. Giv­en that the brain only weighs about 2% of the body, we can con­sid­er it an ener­gy hog and we must cater to its needs very care­ful­ly.

Nutri­ents play key roles in brain func­tion. Sev­er­al have shown effi­ca­cy in clin­i­cal tri­als treat­ing cas­es of mood dis­or­ders, cog­ni­tive decline and of course ben­e­fit­ing the phys­i­cal health of the brain. Nutri­ents are both the raw mate­ri­als employed in cre­at­ing new neur­al con­nec­tions and 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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