Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Brain Games for Kids, Adults…and Chimps

examples of working memoryDid you read about the recent experiment where young chimps displayed amazing visual working memory capability, beating humans? You can watch a short video about it 

And, you can now test your own skills with the Chimp Game!


PS: Enjoy these 50 brain teasers to test your cognitive ability.


Feed Your Brain with Fun Neuroscience

Thinking menTo all new readers-Welcome!. The Digg Tsunami has brought over 40,000 visitors so far…and it continues. We need to thank Andrey for his excellent technical work in helping us ride such a beautiful wave.

Let me give you an overview of what you can find in our blog, bridging neuroscience research and brain health/ “brain exercise” practice. First, here you have a few of my favorite quotes from the 10 interviews we have done with neuroscience and psychology experts in cognitive and emotional training in our Neuroscience Interview Series. You can read the in-depth interview notes for each if you want to stimulate those neurons…

  • “Learning is physical. Learning means the modification, growth, and pruning of our neurons, connections called synapses and neuronal networks, through experience…we are cultivating our own neuronal networks.- Dr. James Zull, Professor of Biology and Biochemistry at Case Western University: Read Interview Notes
  • “Exercising our brains systematically ways is as important as exercising our bodies. In my experience, “Use it or lose it should really be “Use it and get more of it.- Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg, neuropsychologist, clinical professor of neurology at New York University School of Medicine, and disciple of the great neuropsychologist Alexander Luria: Read Interview Notes
  • “Individuals who lead mentally stimulating lives, through education, occupation and leisure activities, have reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s symptoms. Studies suggest that they have 35-40% less risk of manifesting the disease – Dr. Yaakov Stern, Division Leader of the Cognitive Neuroscience Division of the Sergievsky Center at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York: Read Interview Notes

Vitruvian Man“What research has shown is that Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Training: the Art and the emerging Science

Tom alerts us (thanks!) of a fun book review in the New York Times today, by Abigail Zuger, titled The Brain: Malleable, Capable, Vulnerable, on the book The Brain That Changes Itself (Viking, $24.95) by psychiatrist Norman Doidge. Some quotes:

  • “In bookstores, the science aisle generally lies well away from the self-help section, with hard reality on one set of shelves and wishful thinking on the other. But Norman Doidge‘s fascinating synopsis of the current revolution in neuroscience straddles this gap: the age-old distinction between the brain and the mind is crumbling fast as the power of positive thinking finally gains scientific credibility.”
  • “So it is forgivable that Dr. Doidge, a Canadian psychiatrist and award-winning science writer, recounts the accomplishments of the “neuroplasticians,”  as he calls the neuroscientists involved in these new studies, with breathless reverence. Their work is indeed mind-bending, miracle-making, reality-busting stuff, with implications, as Dr. Doidge notes, not only for individual patients with neurologic disease but for all human beings, not to mention human culture, human learning and human history.”
  • “Research into the malleability of the normal brain has been no less amazing. Subjects who learn to play a sequence of notes on the piano develop characteristic changes in the brain’s electric activity; when other subjects sit in front of a piano and just think about playing the same notes, the same changes occur. It is the virtual made real, a solid quantification of the power of thought.”
  • “The new science of the brain may still be in its infancy, but already, as Dr. Doidge makes quite clear, the scientific minds are leaping ahead.”

Here you have some of our interviews with a few “scientific minds” that have, for years, been “leaping ahead” beyond “positive thinking” into “positive training”:

And a couple of related blog posts:

Can a brain fitness program help me become more creative?

Creative BrainHere is question 20 from Brain Fitness 101: Answers to Your Top 25 Questions.

Can a brain fitness program help me become more creative?

Key Points:

  • Creativity can be trained, like other mental muscles.
  • Set up structured time, places, or routines that provide a framework for creativity to happen.
  • Reducing your stress helps to keep your brain more flexible.
  • Using many parts of the brain as well as trying new things will stimulate the areas of your brain involved in creativity.

Answer: Read the rest of this entry »

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