Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Is your smartphone frying your brain? (Nope…but we better prevent constant distractions)

brain-health-literacy—–

Is Your iPhone Real­ly Fry­ing Your Brain? Five Things You Need To Know (Forbes):

…since the announce­ment of the first iPhone ten years ago this week, con­cerns about devices turn­ing their users into mind­less drones seem to have reached a fever pitch. So is the inter­net real­ly bad for your brain? Here’s what we know…“The aver­age IQ of the pop­u­la­tion at large has been increas­ing every 10 years,” says Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, who runs Sharp Brains, an applied neu­ro­science com­pa­ny. “IQ is not the only thing that mat­ters, but if some­thing was very, very harm­ful for our brains, we would have already noticed it there.”

(but)

We have to be very care­ful with chil­dren,” Alvaro con­cedes. “[Smart devices] can cre­ate an addic­tion if they are exposed too ear­ly. Adults also have to pre­vent con­stant dis­trac­tions.”

To learn more:

Study: Early-childhood attention skills help predict long-term academic success better than IQ, socioemotional skills, or socioeconomic status

kids hands—–

Which ear­ly child char­ac­ter­is­tics pre­dict long-term aca­d­e­m­ic achieve­ment and edu­ca­tion­al attain­ment? Research has focused on the role of ear­ly aca­d­e­m­ic skills, learn­ing enhanc­ing behav­iors, and socioe­mo­tion­al com­pe­ten­cies as pre­cur­sors of aca­d­e­m­ic suc­cess. Iden­ti­fy­ing the rel­a­tive con­tri­bu­tion of each to children’s long-term aca­d­e­m­ic achieve­ment is impor­tant as it can inform the skills on which ear­ly edu­ca­tion pro­grams should focus. Read the rest of this entry »

Book review of Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined

Ungifted_KaufmanJust a cou­ple weeks ago I had a dis­cus­sion with sev­er­al psy­chol­o­gists and neu­rol­o­gists who seemed to share the opin­ion that “brain fit­ness” is a mean­ing­less con­cept and pur­suit. On the one hand, they thought, intel­li­gence is a fixed trait and no inter­ven­tion has shown so far to reli­ably increase it. On the oth­er hand, noth­ing has been shown to pre­vent the pathol­o­gy of Alzheimer’s Dis­ease. Accord­ing to this mindset…why both­er?

Well, what if such men­tal frame­work was wrong or, worse, mis­lead­ing? Read the rest of this entry »

Are we intelligent about developing human intelligence?

Ungifted_KaufmanWhen it comes to our under­stand­ing of human intel­li­gence, for too long, there has been a mis­match between the­o­ry and prac­tice. The­o­ret­i­cal­ly, the two main threads run­ning through def­i­n­i­tions of intel­li­gence have been (a) adap­ta­tion to the envi­ron­ment, and (b) the cog­ni­tive, affec­tive, and voli­tion­al char­ac­ter­is­tics that enable that adap­ta­tion. Prac­ti­cal­ly, IQ tests mea­sure an impor­tant but lim­it­ed slice of intel­lec­tu­al func­tion­ing in a very lim­it­ed test­ing envi­ron­ment. Why such a dis­con­nect?

Intel­li­gence tests were born out of neces­si­ty. Read the rest of this entry »

Is the Internet making us dumber? (Nope, just different)

Is the Inter­net Real­ly Mak­ing Us Dumb­er? (Der Spiegel):

In Ger­many, scores increase by about 3 IQ points each decade. In fact, the tests have to be adjust­ed every few years to keep up. The test cur­rent­ly used for chil­dren is called the WISC-IV. A per­son claim­ing to have an IQ of 130 needs to spec­i­fy which test gen­er­at­ed that result: WISC-III? WISC-IV? The aston­ish­ing upward trend Read the rest of this entry »

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