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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Eight Tips To Understand and Remember What You Read — Especially As You Read Nonfiction

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Despite Insta­gram, YouTube, Face­book, Twit­ter, and tele­vi­sion, (or per­haps pre­cise­ly because of all of them) tra­di­tion­al read­ing is still an impor­tant skill. Whether it is mag­a­zines, pro­fes­sion­al man­u­als or fas­ci­nat­ing books, peo­ple still need to read, now and in years ahead. And much of it is non­fic­tion mate­r­i­al, where it’s impor­tant to real­ly under­stand and then remem­ber what you are read­ing.

An unfor­tu­nate rea­son why many peo­ple don’t read much these days is that they don’t read well. Read­ing, for them, is slow, hard work and they don’t remem­ber as much as they should. They often have to read some­thing sev­er­al times before they under­stand and remem­ber what they read.

Why? You would think that every­one learns how to read well at school. Schools do try, but I work with mid­dle-school teach­ers and they tell me that many stu­dents are 2–3 years behind grade lev­el in read­ing pro­fi­cien­cy. Some of the blame can be placed on fads for teach­ing read­ing, such as phon­ics and “whole lan­guage,” which some­times are pro­mot­ed in shal­low ways that don’t respect the need for both approach­es. And much of the blame can be laid at the feet of par­ents who set poor exam­ples and, of course, on the young­sters who are too dis­tract­ed by social media and tele­vi­sion to learn how to read well.

Now the good news. For any­one who missed out on good read­ing skills, it is not too late to improve now. I sum­ma­rize below what I think it takes to read with good speed and com­pre­hen­sion. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

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