Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Musical training as mental exercise for cognitive performance

We often hear (gladly!) how teachers use our blog articles and brain teasers in their classes. We also hear how many psychology and biology teachers are getting their students excited about brain research, and, to contribute to their efforts, we like to recognize some great initiatives.

Last year, Jeffrey Gonce, a Psychology teacher at Red Land High School (West Shore School District, PA) asked his students to “complete a project describing a recent brain (or genetic) study that affects behavior.” The students could opt to post their articles online, and Jeffrey was kind enough to send us a link to read the results. We enjoyed reading them all, and published in our blog this beautiful essay, titled “Tis better to give than receive”, written by Alexandra, which Piano musical training was subsequently included in a number of neuroscience an psychology blogs.

This year, Jeffrey also sent us his students’ essays, and we are going to recognize and publish this great essay by high school student Megan. Enjoy!

It has long been the source of scientific debate as to whether music can improve the cognitive processes in children. Referred to by some as “The Mozart Effect,” a strong Read the rest of this entry »

Bill Clinton on health care and wellness

We read a good article on medical salaries recently, and are happy to see an increased emphasis prevention and wellness rather than on sickness.

Along these lines, we were fortunate to attend Healthetc yesterday, a day-long health event in San Francisco co-organized by KCBS and CPMC that had Bill Clinton as keynote speaker. You can read an article on his great intervention here.

Some of the speech highlights:

1) Clinton’s great overview of key data:

  • 16 vs 10-11: % GDP spent on health care in the US vs. other industrialized countries. This percentage difference equals around $800 billion annually
  • 84 vs 100: % population with some form of health insurance in the US vs. other countries
  • 34 and 37: ranking of the US system as measured by health outcomes and life expectancy, respectively
  • 34 vs 19: % health care costs spent on administration in the US vs. other countries

2) He outlined the 3 main problems with US Healthcare as follows-and empathized that any serious, long-term solution needs to Read the rest of this entry »

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