Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Want to train your brain? Work as a physician, air traffic controller, financial analyst (or similar)

Brain Firing NeuronsMen­tal­ly stim­u­lat­ing jobs keep your mind sharp post-retire­ment (Tech Times):

If you want to stay sharp in your gold­en years, it’s best to get the hard yards in ear­ly — a new study has found that peo­ple with men­tal­ly demand­ing jobs fare bet­ter in the years after retirement.…Mental acu­ity and mem­o­ry reten­tion was found to be high­er in retirees who had spent their careers in men­tal­ly stim­u­lat­ing roles, such as Read the rest of this entry »

Carnival of Human Resources and Leadership

Wel­come to the Sep­tem­ber 17th edi­tion of the Car­ni­val of Human Resources, the vir­tu­al gath­er­ing, every oth­er week, of blog­gers focused on Human Resources and Lead­er­ship top­ics.

Let’s imag­ine all par­tic­i­pants in a con­fer­ence room, con­duct­ing a live­ly Q&A brown-bag lunch dis­cus­sion.

Q: Can you teach Lead­er­ship in a class­room?
- Wal­ly: Not real­ly. Nei­ther the per­son who aspires to become a leader nor HR depart­ments should see lead­er­ship devel­op­ment as an activ­i­ty to be out­sourced to a class­room set­ting. Lead­er­ship is a life­long appren­tice trade, led by the learn­er himself/ her­self. The most HR depart­ments can do is to archi­tect the right set of expe­ri­ences to enable/ accel­er­ate that devel­op­ment.

Q: Can you teach Social Intel­li­gence in a class­room?
- Jon: Accord­ing to a recent Har­vard Busi­ness Review arti­cle, not real­ly. Daniel Gole­man and Richard Boy­atzis say that “our brains engage in an emo­tion­al tan­go, a dance of feel­ings”. And you learn Tan­go by, well, danc­ing Tan­go. Gole­man and Boy­atzis add that “Lead­ing effec­tive­ly is about devel­op­ing a gen­uine inter­est in and tal­ent for fos­ter­ing pos­i­tive feel­ings in the peo­ple whose coop­er­a­tion and sup­port you need.”

Q: Can you pro­vide an exam­ple of apply­ing social intel­li­gence in the work­place, and train­ing on-the-job?
- Suzanne: Sure. Learn to appre­ci­ate your front line employ­ees. They are the ones who inter­act with cus­tomers every day — which some com­pa­nies seem to ignore at their per­il.
- Denise: anoth­er oneWhat can you do when your team falls apart while you’re gone?.

Q: How can you gen­er­ate pos­i­tive feel­ings, when some­times we get stuck in bad news and con­stant quar­ter-by-quar­ter pres­sures?
- Anna: Adding much need­ed per­spec­tive. Please note: Read the rest of this entry »

Update: Work as a Brain Fitness Program

Here you have the twice-a-month newslet­ter with our most pop­u­lar blog posts. Please brainremem­ber that you can sub­scribe to receive this Newslet­ter by email, sim­ply by sub­mit­ting your email at the top of this page.

There is one type of “brain fit­ness pro­gram” which is not only free but also pays you back. You guessed it, that pro­gram is your “job”. Our occu­pa­tions can pro­vide ben­e­fi­cial men­tal exer­cise if they incor­po­rate the key ingre­di­ents of nov­el­ty, vari­ety, and chal­lenge, and are not a source of chron­ic stress.

We start today’s newslet­ter with two arti­cles relat­ed to the brain val­ue of hav­ing men­tal­ly stim­u­lat­ing jobs.

Your Brain At Work

Your Brain At Work Brochure: Aren’t “tal­ent” and “human cap­i­tal” all about brain fit­ness and cog­ni­tive per­for­mance, real­ly? Indi­vid­u­als and Human Resources depart­ments can access excel­lent cog­ni­tive fit­ness tips, an action plan, and a great brochure pro­vid­ed by the Dana Alliance for Brain Ini­tia­tives and the Con­fer­ence Board for our read­ers.

ABC Reporter Bob Woodruff’s Recov­ery from Trau­mat­ic Brain Injury: For­mer US pres­i­den­tial con­tender and Sen­a­tor John Edwards recent­ly grant­ed an inter­view to reporter Bob Woodruff. The most remark­able aspect of the inter­view? Bob Woodruff’s spec­tac­u­lar recov­ery from the trau­mat­ic brain injury he suf­fered in Iraq 2 years ago. You can’t miss this inter­view with his wife Lee, where we dis­cuss Bob’s recov­ery process (includ­ing mak­ing a doc­u­men­tary, co-writ­ing a book and oth­er projects at ABC), the Bob Woodruff Foun­da­tion, and the over­all chal­lenge of cog­ni­tive reha­bil­i­ta­tion fol­low­ing trau­mat­ic brain injuries.

Research

San­ti­a­go Ramon y Cajal’s “Rec­ol­lec­tions of My Life”: Remark­able and can­did views on neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty, learn­ing, aging and life, straight from the auto­bi­og­ra­phy of one of the founders of mod­ern neu­ro­science, who once said “Every man can, if he so desires, become the sculp­tor of his own brain.”

Can food improve brain health?: Dr. Pas­cale Mich­e­lon pro­vides an overview of the effects of food on the brain, build­ing on Fer­nan­do Gomez-Pinilla’s recent study in Nature Reviews Neu­ro­science. Can­di­dates for “brainy” foods con­tain: Omega-3 fat­ty acid, folic acid, flavonoids, anti-oxi­dant foods. Please note her warn­ing, though: most of the stud­ies show­ing pos­i­tive effects have been con­duct­ed in mice.

The biol­o­gy of aging: A month­ly vir­tu­al gath­er­ing of blog­gers to dis­cuss Biol­o­gy of Aging top­ics includ­ing research, pol­i­cy, lifestyle guid­ance, and open ques­tions. We are aware that “aging” may not be the sex­i­est  of words in our vocab­u­lary… unless you con­sid­er the most com­mon alter­na­tive.

Tech­nol­o­gy

Brain Fit­ness Cen­ters in Senior Hous­ing — A Field in the Mak­ing: The Amer­i­can Seniors Hous­ing Asso­ci­a­tion (ASHA) has released an Spe­cial Issue Brief pre­pared by Sharp­Brains to pro­vide qual­i­ty infor­ma­tion on mar­ket trends, best prac­tices by lead­ing seniors hous­ing and long-term care orga­ni­za­tions, lessons from pilot stud­ies, nav­i­ga­tion­al guid­ance, and more. If you are a pro­fes­sion­al or exec­u­tive in the sec­tor, please con­sid­er pur­chas­ing a copy.

The Future of Com­put­er-assist­ed Cog­ni­tive Ther­a­py: Cog­ni­tive ther­a­py is one of the most researched types of brain train­ing, espe­cial­ly in deal­ing with depres­sion and anx­i­ety. Why don’t more peo­ple ben­e­fit today from it? The lack of a scal­able dis­tri­b­u­tion mod­el may per­haps explain that. We pre­dict that tech­nol­o­gy will help com­ple­ment the role of ther­a­pists, help­ing more peo­ple bet­ter cope with change, life, anx­i­ety, and a range of cog­ni­tive and emo­tion­al chal­lenges. With­out any stig­ma. Just as nat­u­ral­ly as one trains abdom­i­nal mus­cles today.

Brain Teas­er
Games for the Brain: Quick, can you iden­ti­fy what is going on in these pho­tographs?

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We hope you enjoyed this edi­tion. As always, you are wel­come to share these arti­cles with friends, and to give us feed­back, for extra brain work­out.

Brain Health and Alzheimer’s Prevention

We just received these two very thought-pro­vok­ing essays on Alzheimer’s Dis­ease and brain health, as part of a writ­ing work­shop, led by Susan Hill in Lake­land, Flori­da, with a group of grade 9–11 home­school­ers.

With­out fur­ther ado, here you are both Essays:

Essay A. Pre­vent­ing Alzheimer’s at Work

– By Josh H

5,000,000: that is the num­ber of peo­ple in the Unit­ed States alone who are affect­ed by Alzheimer’s dis­ease. Research has shown that those who held jobs such as san­i­ta­tion work­ers or trash col­lec­tors in their 30s, 40s, and 50s are more at risk for Alzheimer’s dis­ease than peo­ple who held jobs such as doc­tors or sci­en­tists at the same age. If every­one knew this, the world would ben­e­fit, and it could impact the lives of every­one.

Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Training and Brain fitness games

Fun quick arti­cle, titled Review: Lat­est Brain-Teas­ing Video Games, on Brain Train­ing, “Nin­ten­do Brain Age”, “Big Brain Acad­e­my”, “Hot Brain”, “Brain Boost”, “Brain Genius”, “Brain Juice”, “Brain Chal­lenge”, “Mind Quiz”…

Please remem­ber to use our check­lists on How to Select the Right Brain Fit­ness Pro­gram-short check­list or the full length ver­sion-, if you are look­ing for real ben­e­fits beyond enter­tain­ment.

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

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