Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Researchers propose four “neurorights” to harness neurotechnology for good: cognitive liberty, mental privacy, mental integrity, and psychological continuity

A new cat­e­go­ry of human rights: neu­ror­ights (Bio­Med Cen­tral):

Neu­ro­science pro­vides us with an insight into the men­tal process­es under­pin­ning human behav­ior: thanks to rapid advances in neu­rotech­nol­o­gy it is pos­si­ble to record, mon­i­tor, decode and mod­u­late the neur­al cor­re­lates of men­tal process­es with ever more accu­ra­cy. In this rapid­ly evolv­ing tech­no­log­i­cal sce­nario Read the rest of this entry »

Travel and Engagement as Good Brain Exercise

University of Namibia

Neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty is defined as “the abil­i­ty of the brain to rewire itself through expe­ri­ence”.

We typ­i­cal­ly sum­ma­rize a lot of brain research by encour­ag­ing Sharp­Brains read­ers is to seek for nov­el­ty, vari­ety and chal­lenge, as guide­lines for “brain exer­cise” that will help build new con­nec­tions in the brain, force one to be mind­ful and pay atten­tion, improve abil­i­ties such as pat­tern-recog­ni­tion, and in gen­er­al con­tribute to life­long brain health.

A friend just sent an update on her amaz­ing expe­ri­ence in Namib­ia (the pic on the right shows the entrance to the Uni­ver­si­ty of Namib­ia) that shows how Trav­el and Engage­ment with mean­ing­ful projects can pro­vide superb men­tal stim­u­la­tion, or “brain exer­cise”. This is rel­e­vant at all ages, and we are encour­aged to see orga­ni­za­tions such as Civic Ven­tures and Elder­hos­tel that offer oppor­tu­ni­ties for baby boomers and old­er adults who want to main­tain active minds.

Try pic­tur­ing in your mind, as you read this, all her dif­fer­ent brain areas that are get­ting need­ed stim­u­la­tion through her Namib­ia expe­ri­ence.

UPDATE: my friend just wrote to expand on the “be mind­ful” angle by say­ing that “it def­i­nite­ly requires pur­pose­ful pro­cess­ing of the infor­ma­tion that you are con­sum­ing in order to make it a use­ful brain exer­cise. For exam­ple, I always try to jour­nal or write thought­ful emails about my expe­ri­ence in order to try to best under­stand it.” Great point.

With her per­mis­sion, here you have:


Dear Friends,

I am just return­ing from Namib­ia and am buzzing with excite­ment about all of the oppor­tu­ni­ties for us to make an impact there when we return with our stu­dents next Spring.

Namib­ia is very dif­fer­ent than I expect­ed. It was the last coun­try in Africa to gain inde­pen­dence from colo­nial­ism, gain­ing inde­pen­dence just 20 years ago. Thus, it is much more devel­oped than any African coun­try that I have vis­it­ed, with rel­a­tive­ly good infra­struc­ture and no exist­ing debt. That said, the lega­cies of apartheid can still be felt in today’s soci­ety, and the peo­ple are very clear­ly deal­ing con­stant­ly with issues of race and iden­ti­ty. One of the most inter­est­ing expe­ri­ences that I had was attend­ing a “braai” (the Namib­ian ver­sion of a bar­be­cue which basi­cal­ly con­sists of Read the rest of this entry »

Awards and events this week: MindFit, Posit Science, Serious Games, Baby Boomers, Aging

Very inter­est­ing week:


1) Mind­Fit ‘Brain Gym’ Soft­ware Receives 2007 Award Busi­ness and Aging Award by the Amer­i­can Soci­ety on Aging (ASA).

Most peo­ple neglect to exer­cise their brains as much as they should.  Mind­Fit was cre­at­ed specif­i­cal­ly for baby boomers and seniors as a fit­ness cen­ter for their minds,” said Prof. Shlo­mo Breznitz, Ph.D., founder and pres­i­dent of Cog­niFit, Ltd.

More on Mind­Fit pro­gram.

2) Posit Sci­ence received the ASA Small Busi­ness award

(You can learn more about the sim­i­lar­i­ties and dif­fer­ences between Mind­Fit and Posit Sci­ence here)

3) Keep­ing Brains Fit: Min­dAlert Awards Rec­og­nize Three Suc­cess­ful Edu­ca­tion­al Pro­grams, (Amer­i­can Soci­ety on Aging-MetLife Foun­da­tion Min­dAlert Awards)

Baby Boomer Sum­mit

Boomer Busi­ness Experts Pre­dict “What’s Next in 07

Mar­keters need new strat­e­gy to reach boomer wal­lets

Seri­ous Games Sum­mit

Game Fri­day: Har­ness­ing Col­lec­tive Intel­li­gence with Jane McGo­ni­gal

Seri­ous Games Squared

Per­sua­sive Games: The Miss­ing Social Rit­u­als of Exergames


Mind con­trol: The future of gam­ing?

Amaz­ing demo of what we remem­ber visu­al­ly, and why

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