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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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More on Neurofeedback’s Brain Training Value

(Note: neu­ro­feed­back is a form of biofeed­back that mea­sures brain waves and that, accord­ing to prac­ti­tion­ers, pro­vides good “brain train­ing” for spe­cif­ic clin­i­cal con­di­tions).
A few weeks ago Dr. David Rabin­er wrote a great post on How Strong is the Research Sup­port for Neu­ro­feed­back in Atten­tion Deficits?, con­clud­ing that

- “It is for these rea­sons that neu­ro­feed­back is under­stand­ably regard­ed as an unproven treat­ment approach for ADHD at this time by many ADHD researchers.

- How­ev­er, these stud­ies do pro­vide a sol­id basis for sug­gest­ing that if par­ents choose to pur­sue neu­ro­feed­back for their child, there is a rea­son­able chance that their child will ben­e­fit even though we can’t be sure that it is the spe­cif­ic EEG train­ing that is respon­si­ble for the ben­e­fits. Thus, although the effi­ca­cy of neu­ro­feed­back has yet to be con­clu­sive­ly con­firmed in a ran­dom­ized, place­bo-con­trolled tri­al, it is impor­tant to place this lim­i­ta­tion in the con­text of the sup­port­ive research evi­dence that has been accu­mu­lat­ed.

Read the rest of this entry »

Working Memory Training from a pediatrician perspective, focused on attention deficits

Arthur Lavin Today we inter­view Dr. Arthur Lavin, Asso­ciate Clin­i­cal Pro­fes­sor of Pedi­atrics at Case West­ern School of Med­i­cine, pedi­a­tri­cian in pri­vate prac­tice, and one of the first providers of Cogmed Work­ing Mem­o­ry Train­ing in the US (the pro­gram whose research we dis­cussed with Dr. Torkel Kling­berg and Dr. Bradley Gib­son). Dr. Lavin has a long stand­ing inter­est in tech­nol­o­gy-as evi­denced by Microsoft’s recog­ni­tion of his paper­less office- and in brain research and appli­ca­tions-he trained with esteemed Mel Levine from All Kinds of Minds-.

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Key take-aways:

- Schools today are not yet in a posi­tion to effec­tive­ly help kids with cog­ni­tive issues deal with increas­ing cog­ni­tive demands.

- Work­ing Mem­o­ry is a cog­ni­tive skill fun­da­men­tal to plan­ning, sequenc­ing, and exe­cut­ing school-relat­ed work.

- Work­ing Mem­o­ry can be trained, as evi­denced by Dr. Lavin’s work, based on Cogmed Work­ing Mem­o­ry Train­ing, with kids who have atten­tion deficits.

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Con­text on cog­ni­tive fit­ness and schools

AF (Alvaro Fer­nan­dez): Dr. Lavin, thanks for being with us. It is not very com­mon for a pedi­a­tri­cian to have such an active inter­est in brain research and cog­ni­tive fit­ness. Can you explain the source of your inter­est?

AL (Arthur Lavin): Through­out my life I have been fas­ci­nat­ed by how the mind works. Both from the research point of view and the prac­ti­cal one: how can sci­en­tists’ increas­ing knowl­edge improve kids’ lives? We now live in an tru­ly excit­ing era in which sol­id sci­en­tif­ic progress in neu­ro­science is at last cre­at­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties to improve people’s actu­al cog­ni­tive func­tion. The progress Cogmed has achieved in cre­at­ing a pro­gram that can make great dif­fer­ences in the lives of chil­dren with atten­tion deficits is one of the most excit­ing recent devel­op­ments. My col­league Ms. Susan Glaser and I recent­ly pub­lished two books: Who’s Boss: Mov­ing Fam­i­lies from Con­flict to Col­lab­o­ra­tion (Col­lab­o­ra­tion Press, 2006) and Baby & Tod­dler Sleep Solu­tions for Dum­mies (Wiley, 2007), so I not only see myself as a pedi­a­tri­cian but also an edu­ca­tor. I see par­ents in real need of guid­ance and sup­port. They usu­al­ly are both very skep­ti­cal, since Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Fitness Program: evaluation checklist

Please check out our press release today: Sharp­Brains Announces Ten-Point Brain Fit­ness Check­list. We hope this infor­ma­tion is use­ful as you eval­u­ate all the pro­grams that are appear­ing. 

Lead­ing Source of Brain Exer­cise Infor­ma­tion Estab­lish­es 10 Must-Ask Ques­tions for Con­sumers Choos­ing Brain Fit­ness Soft­ware Pro­grams”

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The influx of brain exer­cise pro­grams dur­ing the past six months has lead SharpBrains.com, the nation’s first online brain fit­ness cen­ter and lead­ing provider of men­tal exer­cise infor­ma­tion and pro­grams, to estab­lish a 10-ques­tion check­list to help con­sumers choose the best brain fit­ness pro­gram for their needs.”

10 Ques­tions to Choose the

Right Brain Fit­ness Pro­gram for You

 

BASED ON SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

1. Are there sci­en­tists (ide­al­ly neu­ropsy­chol­o­gists) and a sci­en­tif­ic advi­so­ry board behind the pro­gram?
2. Are there pub­lished, peer-reviewed sci­en­tif­ic papers writ­ten by those sci­en­tists? How many?
 

MEASURABLE CLAIMS AND BENEFITS

3. What are the spe­cif­ic ben­e­fits claimed for using this pro­gram? 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.

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