Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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From Angry Birds to brain mapping: The Gamification of Neuroscience

Mouse Reti­nal Neu­rons (Type 25), per Eye­Wire Muse­um

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A Quar­ter Mil­lion Gamers Helped Build This Incred­i­bly Detailed Map of the Brain (Sin­gu­lar­i­ty­Hub):

In 2012, when Angry Birds was in its prime, Seung had an inspi­ra­tion.

What if,” he won­dered, “we could cap­ture even a small frac­tion of the men­tal effort that goes into Angry Birds (for brain map­ping)? Think of what we could do.” Read the rest of this entry »

Virtual reality games and related neurotechnologies spark a new generation of dementia & cognitive tests

The Sea Hero Quest vir­tu­al real­i­ty game is played on a Sam­sung Gear VR head­set. Source: Glitch­ers Ltd.

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The Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty Game Gath­er­ing Data for Demen­tia Researchers (Bloomberg):

Nav­i­gat­ing an ice-walled lake or scour­ing a swamp for a hid­den mon­ster may sound like a fun premise for a vir­tu­al-real­i­ty video game. But there’s a seri­ous pur­pose behind the new game Sea Hero Quest VR: help­ing neu­ro­sci­en­tists design a new test for demen­tia. Read the rest of this entry »

Can Brain Training and Biofeedback Help Prevent Depression

In two inno­v­a­tive pilot stud­ies, Ian Gotlib and his col­leagues at Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty, Cal­i­for­nia, showed that brain train­ing can be used to help elim­i­nate depres­sion, even before it starts. They stud­ied young girls (10 to 14 year old) whose moth­ers were depressed and who thus were at high­er risk of devel­op­ing depres­sion them­selves lat­er-on. The girls had not expe­ri­enced depres­sion per se but already showed behav­iors typ­i­cal of depressed brains, such as over­re­ac­tion to neg­a­tive stim­uli. Read the rest of this entry »

Update: How Stress and Emotions Impact Brain Performance

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Time for the Octo­ber edi­tion of the month­ly Sharp­Brains eNewslet­ter, fea­tur­ing this time sev­er­al arti­cles on the impact of stress, emo­tions, and self-reg­u­la­tion, on our brain’s struc­ture and per­for­mance.

We are pleased to bring to Sharp­Brains read­ers a new 6‑part series on the Neu­ro­bi­ol­ogy of Stress, based on a recent book by Sharp­Brains con­trib­u­tor Dr. Jerome Schultz. The first two parts are already avail­able: Part 1 — The Human Brain and How It Responds to Stress and Part 2 — Gray Mat­ters.

Brain Study Links Emo­tion­al Self-Reg­u­la­tion and Math Per­for­mance: A new study strong­ly sug­gests the need to “help stu­dents reap­praise the sit­u­a­tion and con­trol emo­tions before they even get into a task”. While the study focused on math anx­i­ety and per­for­mance, the impli­ca­tions are rel­e­vant out­side the class­room too.

Reminder: Brain Fit­ness Q&A Ses­sions in Novem­ber: As we announced a few weeks ago, we are hon­ored to present an upcom­ing Brain Fit­ness Q&A Series. The first ses­sion, fea­tur­ing Dr. Gary Small, will take place Novem­ber 1st, 2011, 2–3pm US Eeast­ern Time. Please mark your cal­en­dar and join us at sharpbrains.com then! (no need to do any­thing pri­or to the ses­sion).

Music Train­ing Can Enhance Ver­bal Intel­li­gence and Exec­u­tive Func­tion: Very inter­est­ing new study pub­lished in Psy­cho­log­i­cal Sci­ence on the val­ue of music train­ing (vs. sim­ply lis­ten­ing to music).

Gam­ing and Neu­ro­science: Oppor­tu­ni­ties and Chal­lenges: A sum­ma­ry of impres­sions by researcher  Aki Niko­laidis based on his par­tic­i­pa­tion in the recent con­fer­ence Enter­tain­ment Soft­ware and Cog­ni­tive Neu­rother­a­peu­tics Con­fer­ence (ESCoNS) at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia San Fran­cisco.

Fam­i­lies’ Per­spec­tives on ADHD and its Treat­ment: Dr. David Rabin­er presents new data on fam­i­lies’ expe­ri­ence with ADHD and its treat­ment.

Brain Games and Opti­cal Illu­sions @ Nation­al Geo­graph­ic: Sev­eral Sharp­Brains friends rec­om­mend this recent 3‑part Nation­al Geo­graphic TV mini-series.

Math Brain Teas­er for Kids and Adults: Archimedes Grave: A fun puz­zle to exer­cise our brains a bit, sub­mit­ted by new con­trib­u­tor Maria Lan­do. Enjoy!

Maker of cognitive training game seeks FDA approval

Good brief arti­cle at New Sci­en­tist, Mak­er of cog­ni­tive train­ing game seeks FDA approval:

- “Imag­ine walk­ing away from a doc­tor’s office with a pre­scrip­tion to play a video game. Brain Plas­tic­i­ty, the devel­op­er of a cog­ni­tive train­ing game, has begun talks with the Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion (FDA) to mar­ket the game as a ther­a­peu­tic drug.”

- “Brain Plas­tic­i­ty has been fine-tun­ing a game to help peo­ple with schiz­o­phre­nia improve the deficits in atten­tion and mem­o­ry that are often asso­ci­at­ed with the dis­or­der.”

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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