Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


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-.


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.


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, 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



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?


3. What are the spe­cif­ic ben­e­fits claimed for using this pro­gram? Read the rest of this entry »

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