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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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“I am excited”: Making Stress Work for You, Instead of Against You

Image: The Yerkes-Dodson Law (YDL)

How much stress is good for you?

In 1908, Robert Mearns Yerkes and John Dillingham Dodson designed an experiment that would begin to tackle the question, “How much stress is good for you?”

The researchers tracked mice to see how stress would affect their ability to learn. Simple—yet painful, because how do you stress out mice? Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 SharpBrains Resources in 2015 to Navigate the Brain Health Revolution

These are the 10 most popular SharpBrains resources in 2015, spanning a wide range of brain, health & neurotechnology topics and available in multiple platforms:

1. Best prac­tices to assess and enhance brain func­tion via mobile devices and wearables (Slidedeck)

2. Brain Health in the Per­va­sive Neu­rotech­nol­ogy Era (Slidedeck)

3. SharpBrains @ New York Public Library: Practical Advice to Keep Your Brain Sharp (YouTube video)

4. Why We Need to Retool “Use It Or Lose It”: Healthy Brain Aging (ICAA article)

5. Under what con­di­tions does brain train­ing work? (Slidedeck)

6. Pervasive Neurotechnology: A Groundbreaking Analysis of 10,000+ Patent Filings Transforming Medicine, Health, Entertainment and Business (Infographic)

7. Review of The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness (Scientific American blog) — The book is now available in English, Spanish, Japanese and Polish!

8. How Does a Child’s Brain Learn? (Slidedeck)

9. Solving the Brain Fitness Puzzle Is the Key to Self-Empowered Aging (Generations article)

10. 25 Key References to Navigate the Brain Health and Neurotechnology Revolution ( SharpBrains article)

We hope you enjoy them, and share your favorites with other sharp friends and colleagues! To stay on top of new articles and resources, you can follow us via FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and our eNewsletter.

And, if you are looking for some additional cognitive stimulation, check out these great brain teasers, games and illusions, for adults of any age!

Warm regards,

The SharpBrains Team

Presentation: How does a child’s brain learn?

Transcendental Meditation and Working Memory Training To Enhance Executive Functions

New study shows Transcendental Meditation improves brain functioning in ADHD students (press release):

– “Prior research shows ADHD children have slower brain development and a reduced ability to cope with stress,” said Dr. Stixrud. “Virtually everyone finds it difficult to pay attention, organize themselves and get things done when they’re under stress,” he explained. “Stress interferes with Read the rest of this entry »

8 Tips To Remember What You Read

Horizontal Stacked BooksDespite television, cell phones, and Twitter, traditional reading is still an important skill. Whether it is school textbooks, magazines, or regular books, people still read, though not as much as they used to. One reason that many people don’t read much is that they don’t read well. For them, it is slow, hard work and they don’t remember as much as they should. Students, for example,may have to read something several times before they understand and remember what they read.

Why? You would think that schools teach kids how to read well. Schools do try. I work with middle-school teachers and they tell me that many students are 2-3 years behind grade level in reading proficiency. No doubt, television, cell phones, and the Web are major contributors to this problem, which will apparently get worse if we don’t emphasize and improve reading instruction.

Some of the blame can be placed on the fads in reading teaching, such as phonics and “whole language,” which sometimes are promoted by zealots who don’t respect the need for both approaches. Much of the blame for poor reading skills can be laid at the feet of parents who set poor examples and, of course, on the youngsters who are too lazy to learn how to read well.

For all those who missed out on good reading skills, it is not too late. I summarize below what I think it takes to read with good speed and comprehension.

  1. Read with a purpose.
  2. Skim first.
  3. Get the reading mechanics right.
  4. Be judicious in highlighting and note taking.
  5. Think in pictures.
  6. Rehearse as you go along.
  7. Stay within your attention span and work to increase that span.
  8. Rehearse again soon.

1) Know Your Purpose

Everyone should have a purpose for their reading and think about how that purpose is being fulfilled during the actual reading. The advantage for remembering is that checking continuously for how the purpose is being fulfilled helps the reader to stay on task, to focus on the more relevant parts of the text, and to rehearse continuously as one reads. This also saves time and effort because relevant items are most attended.

Identifying the purpose should be easy if you freely choose what to read. Just ask yourself, “Why am I reading this?” If it is to be entertained or pass the time, then there is not much problem. But myriad other reasons could apply, such as:

  • to understand a certain group of people, such as Muslims, Jews, Hindus, etc.
  • to crystallize your political position, such as why a given government policy should be opposed.
  • to develop an informed plan or proposal.
  • to satisfy a requirement of an academic course or other assigned reading.

Many of us have readings assigned to us, as in a school environment. Or the boss may hand us a manual and say Read the rest of this entry »

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