Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Elizabeth Frates, Director of Medical Student Education at the Institute of Life Medicine, to speak @ 2014 Sharp­Brains Vir­tual Sum­mit

BethFratesWe are proud to announce that Dr. Eliz­a­beth Frates, Direc­tor of Med­ical Stu­dent Edu­ca­tion at the Insti­tute of Lifestyle Med­i­cine, will speak at the 2014 Sharp­Brains Vir­tual Sum­mit (Octo­ber 28–30th) about How front-line pro­fes­sion­als can incor­po­rate the emerg­ing brain health toolk­it to their prac­tices.

Dr. Eliz­a­beth (Beth) Frates is trained as a physi­a­trist as well as a health and well­ness coach. Read the rest of this entry »

New Online Course: How to Be Your Own Brain Fitness Coach in 2012

We are pleased to announce a new online course designed to equip par­tic­i­pants with the under­stand­ing and infor­ma­tion required to apply emerg­ing sci­ence and tools to enhance brain health and func­tion­al­ity across the lifes­pan.

Course descrip­tion: Infor­ma­tion over­load and longer lives expose our brains to more demands than even before. This fast-paced and inter­ac­tive online course will exam­ine the emerg­ing sci­ence of neu­ro­plas­tic­ity and cog­ni­tive reserve and sur­vey lat­est tools and best prac­tices to equip you to become your own ‘brain fit­ness coach’ and address per­sonal and pro­fes­sional pri­or­i­ties. Avail­able online from any­where with an Inter­net con­nec­tion, this course will help you pin­point ways to opti­mize brain health and func­tion­al­ity and delay decline, nav­i­gat­ing the maze of frag­mented research, super­fi­cial media cov­er­age and exag­ger­ated mar­ket­ing claims. The course is based on The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness –recent­ly named a Best Book by AARP– and Sharp­Brains’ new ABBC frame­work (Address Basics, Build Capac­i­ties), and includes week­ly read­ings and activ­i­ties.

Mechan­ics: The course con­sists of four two-hour-long live online ses­sions to be held in March 2012 (detailed syl­labus avail­able), and an online pri­vate forum for Fac­ulty and Par­tic­i­pants to inter­act dur­ing March and April 2012.

Who this is for: This course is for any­one who wants to under­stand how emerg­ing cog­ni­tive and affec­tive neu­ro­science can be applied to enhance brain health and per­for­mance, and who is will­ing to par­tic­i­pate in a fast-paced course that lever­ages e‑learning to facil­i­tate a glob­al learn­ing expe­ri­ence.

Note: In order to ensure a valu­able and inter­ac­tive expe­ri­ence, par­tic­i­pa­tion will be lim­ited to the first 200 indi­vid­u­als who reg­is­ter.

Fac­ul­ty:

  • Instruc­tor: Alvaro Fer­nan­dez (Sharp­Brains)
  • Guest Lec­tur­ers: Alvaro Pas­cual-Leone (Har­vard Med­ical School), Robert M. Bilder (UCLA Semel Insti­tute for Neu­ro­science and Human Behav­ior)

To Learn More and Reg­is­ter, please vis­it the course page: How to Be Your Own Brain Fit­ness Coach in 2012.

Join 150+ Participants in 2011 Virtual Summit

The 2011 Sharp­Brains Sum­mit: Retool­ing Brain Health for the 21st Cen­tu­ry (March 30 — April 1st) is just 5 weeks away. You can Learn More and Reg­is­ter Today HERE. Don’t miss the oppor­tu­ni­ty to join an incred­i­ble line-up of 36+ con­firmed Speak­ers, 7 Sponsors/ Exhibitors, 13 Part­ners, and 150+ Par­tic­i­pants as of today, all avail­able to you with­out any trav­el involved.

Spon­sors

Spon­sor­ship Oppor­tu­ni­ties

Want to announce or pro­mote your ser­vice or prod­uct at the 2011 Sharp­Brains Sum­mit? Max­i­mize your mar­ket­ing and busi­ness devel­op­ment reach & make a big splash in front of our pres­ti­gious audi­ence! Only two Spon­sor­ship spots are still avail­able and going fast! Click here for infor­ma­tion about the var­i­ous ways to get involved.

Sum­mit Part­ners

Remem­ber

Learn More and Reg­is­ter Today HERE

Brain Scientists Identify Links between Arts, Learning

Arts edu­ca­tion influ­ences learn­ing and oth­er areas of cog­ni­tion and may deserve a more promi­nent place in schools, accord­ing to a wave of recent neu­ro­science research.One recent study found that chil­dren who receive music instruc­tion for just 15 months show strength­ened con­nec­tions in musi­cal­ly rel­e­vant brain areas and per­form bet­ter on asso­ci­at­ed tasks, com­pared with stu­dents who do not learn an instru­ment.

A sep­a­rate study found that chil­dren who receive train­ing to improve their focus and atten­tion per­form bet­ter not only on atten­tion tasks but also on intel­li­gence tests. Some researchers sug­gest that arts train­ing might sim­i­lar­ly affect a wide range of cog­ni­tive domains. Edu­ca­tors and neu­ro­sci­en­tists gath­ered recent­ly in Bal­ti­more and Wash­ing­ton, D.C., to dis­cuss the increas­ing­ly detailed pic­ture of how arts edu­ca­tion changes the brain, and how to trans­late that research to edu­ca­tion pol­i­cy and the class­room. Many par­tic­i­pants referred to the results of Dana Foun­da­tion-fund­ed research by cog­ni­tive neu­ro­sci­en­tists from sev­en lead­ing uni­ver­si­ties over three years, released in 2008.

Art must do some­thing to the mind and brain. What is that? How would we be able to detect that? asked Bar­ry Gor­don, a behav­ioral neu­rol­o­gist and cog­ni­tive neu­ro­sci­en­tist at Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­si­ty, who spoke May 8 dur­ing the “Learn­ing and the Brain” con­fer­ence in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. “Art, I sub­mit to you with­out absolute proof, can improve the pow­er of our minds. How­ev­er, this improve­ment is hard to detect.”

Study links music, brain changes

Among the sci­en­tists try­ing to detect such improve­ment, Ellen Win­ner, a pro­fes­sor of psy­chol­o­gy at Boston Col­lege, and Got­tfried Schlaug, a pro­fes­sor of neu­rol­o­gy at Beth Israel Dea­coness Med­ical Cen­ter and Har­vard Med­ical School, pre­sent­ed research at the “Learn­ing, Arts, and the Brain sum­mit May 6 in Bal­ti­more. Their work mea­sured, for the first time, changes to the brain as a result of music train­ing.

For four years, Win­ner and Schlaug fol­lowed chil­dren ages 9 to 11, some of whom Read the rest of this entry »

Playing the Blame Game: Video Games Pros and Cons

Play­ing the Blame Game
– Video games stand accused of caus­ing obe­si­ty, vio­lence, and lousy grades. But new research paints a sur­pris­ing­ly com­pli­cat­ed and pos­i­tive pic­ture, reports Greater Good Mag­a­zine’s Jere­my Adam Smith.

Cheryl Olson had seen her teenage son play video games. But like many par­ents, she did­n’t know much about them.

Then in 2004 the U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice asked Olson and her hus­band, Lawrence Kut­ner, to run a fed­er­al­ly fund­ed study of how video games affect ado­les­cents.

Olson and Kut­ner are the co-founders and direc­tors of the Har­vard Med­ical School’s Cen­ter for Men­tal Health and Media. Olson, a pub­lic health researcher, had stud­ied the effects of media on behav­ior but had nev­er exam­ined video games, either in her research or in her per­son­al life.

And so the first thing she did was watch over the shoul­der of her son, Michael, as he played his video games. Then, two years into her research—which com­bined sur­veys and focus groups of junior high school students—Michael urged her to pick up a joy­stick. “I def­i­nite­ly felt they should be famil­iar with the games if they were doing the research,” says Michael, who was 16 at the time and is now 18.

Olson start­ed with the PC game 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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