Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Is the Internet making us dumber? (Nope, just different)

Is the Inter­net Real­ly Mak­ing Us Dumb­er? (Der Spiegel):

In Ger­many, scores increase by about 3 IQ points each decade. In fact, the tests have to be adjust­ed every few years to keep up. The test cur­rent­ly used for chil­dren is called the WISC-IV. A per­son claim­ing to have an IQ of 130 needs to spec­i­fy which test gen­er­at­ed that result: WISC-III? WISC-IV? The aston­ish­ing upward trend Read the rest of this entry »

Encephalon #61: Brain & Mind Reading for the Holidays

Wel­come to the 61st edi­tion Encephalon brain blog carnivalof Encephalon, the blog car­ni­val that offers some of the best neu­ro­science and psy­chol­o­gy blog posts every oth­er week.

We do have an excel­lent set of arti­cles today. cov­er­ing much ground. Enjoy the read­ing:

Neu­ro­science and Soci­ety

by Greg Downey
The Fly­nn Effect: Trou­bles with Intel­li­gence
Aver­age IQ test scores had risen about 3 points per decade and in some cas­es more. Tests of vocab­u­lary, arith­metic, or gen­er­al knowl­edge (such as the sorts of facts one learns in school) have showed lit­tle increase, but scores have increased marked­ly on tests thought to mea­sure gen­er­al intel­li­gence.
by Vaugh­an Bell
Med­ical jar­gon alters our under­stand­ing of dis­ease
Under­stand­ing how pop­u­lar ideas influ­ence our per­son­al med­ical beliefs is an essen­tial part of under­stand­ing med­i­cine itself.
Cog­ni­tive Dai­ly,
by Dave Munger
Is it sex­ist to think men are angri­er than women?
Are we more like­ly to per­ceive a male face as angry and a female face as hap­py? A recent study sheds light on the issue.
Neu­r­o­crit­ic Crime, Pun­ish­ment, and Jer­ry Springer
Judges and jurors must put aside their emo­tion­al­ly-dri­ven desire for revenge when com­ing to an impar­tial ver­dict. Does neu­roimag­ing (fMRI) add any­thing to our under­stand­ing of jus­tice?

Alzheimer’s Dis­ease and Neu­rocog­ni­tive Health Read the rest of this entry »

Brain and Mind News and Articles

BrainHere you have a col­lec­tion of recent news cov­er­age on brain heath, fit­ness and train­ing top­ics:

1- Great Mem­o­ry Spe­cial in Nation­al Geo­graph­ic, includ­ing

- Inter­ac­tive 3D map of the brain

- Mem­o­ry Game

2- Fas­ci­nat­ing What the Bea­t­les Gave Sci­ence, by Sharon Beg­ley at Newsweek

- “Even in novices, med­i­ta­tion leaves its mark. An eight-week course in com­pas­sion med­i­ta­tion, in which vol­un­teers focus on the wish that all beings be free from suf­fer­ing, shift­ed brain activ­i­ty from the right pre­frontal cor­tex to the left, a pat­tern asso­ci­at­ed with a greater sense of well-being.”

3- One of the best edi­tions of Sci­en­tif­ic Amer­i­can Mind

- Solv­ing the IQ Puz­zle “The 20th cen­tu­ry saw the Fly­nn effect: mas­sive gains in IQ from one gen­er­a­tion to anoth­er. Now Fly­nn explains why”

- Anx­i­ety and Alzheimer- A life­time of stress could lead to mem­o­ry prob­lems and dis­ease: “Over a peri­od of up to 12 years, vol­un­teers who were anx­i­ety-prone had a 40 per­cent high­er risk of devel­op­ing mild cog­ni­tive impair­ment than more easy­go­ing indi­vid­u­als did. Mild cog­ni­tive impair­ment is thought to be a pre­cur­sor for Alzheimer’s.”

4- Exer­cise builds strong brains, too —

- “Phillip Tom­porows­ki, a study co-author and exer­cise psy­chol­o­gist at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Geor­gia in Athens, says exer­cise “may well improve the under­ly­ing men­tal process­es that are involved in a lot of behav­iors and aca­d­e­m­ic tasks.”

5- Dai­ly com­put­er game boosts maths- BBC, report­ing pre­lim­i­nary results from a small pilot

- “Play­ing a dai­ly com­put­er game has helped a class of pri­ma­ry school chil­dren improve their maths and con­cen­tra­tion, a study says.”

6- ADHD and Brain Devel­op­ment- Wash­ing­ton Post

- “Devel­op­ing more slow­ly in ADHD young­sters — the lag can be as much as three years — are brain regions that sup­press inap­pro­pri­ate actions and thoughts, focus atten­tion, remem­ber things from moment to moment, work for reward, and con­trol move­ment.”

Good habits, and other memes

Meme: “The term “meme” (rhyming with “theme”), coined in 1976 by the biol­o­gist Richard Dawkins, refers to a “unit of cul­tur­al infor­ma­tion” which can prop­a­gate from one mind to anoth­er in a man­ner anal­o­gous to genes.

If you haven’t read Dawkins’ clas­sic book The Self­ish Gene…it is nev­er too late to enjoy it!

There are some “memes” float­ing now around blog­gers and I have been “tagged” (includ­ed) by 2 of them. So here you have:

1) On good dai­ly habits: this is the orig­i­nal post, and here are Hueina’s My Sim­ply Suc­cess­ful Secrets.

My “Sim­ply Sucess­ful Secrets” habits that I fol­low close to every day, in more or less that sequence:

Everyone a Changemaker”, Ashoka and Google

What an event yes­ter­day night. My wife and I were for­tu­nate to vis­it the Google Cam­pus and attend the Sixth Annu­al North Amer­i­can Fel­low­ship Induc­tion Pro­gram of Ashoka: Inno­va­tors for the Pub­lic, a social ven­ture fund where we have been involved for a num­ber of years, and thanks to which (thanks Michele!) my wife and I met in the first place.

18 new Ashoka Fellows/ social entre­pre­neurs were elect­ed, and after a fun cock­tail recep­tion the cer­e­mo­ny began. Sergei Brin (Google Co-founder), Sheryl Sand­berg (who helped launch Google Foun­da­tion and, Salar Kaman­gar (the mind behind AdWords) gave intro­duc­to­ry remarks. Salar explained how he first heard of Ashoka (through the book How to Change the World, by David Born­stein) and how he saw tremen­dous sim­i­lar­i­ties between Ashoka and Google: both Read the rest of this entry »

About SharpBrains

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.

Follow us and Engage via…

RSS Feed

Search for anything brain-related in our article archives

Enter Your Email to receive Sharp­Brains free, monthly eNewslet­ter:

Join more than 50,000 Sub­scribers and stay informed and engaged.