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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Why we need to extend our mental lifespans to match our physical ones

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Beep!’ This is one of the most mad­den­ing com­put­er games I’ve ever played. I’m track­ing a flock of birds, and when I hit the right one, it explodes with a sat­is­fy­ing ‘phutt’. But as I get bet­ter at spot­ting them, the birds scat­ter ever more wild­ly across the screen, and I hear that unfor­giv­ing ‘beep’: you missed.

Frankly, I feel like giv­ing up. But many play­ers don’t dare. For this is Hawk­Eye, a brain-train­ing pro­gram that claims it can sharp­en my brain beyond sim­ply get­ting faster at mouse-click­ing. Tri­als have found that old­er peo­ple who play enough hours of this par­tic­u­lar kind of game have few­er car crash­es — and even, appar­ent­ly, a low­er risk of demen­tia …  Keep read­ing arti­cle Train your brain: How to keep your mind young over at Spec­ta­tor web­site.

Article in context:

Meta-analysis finds value in teaching the science of neuroplasticity, especially for math achievement among at-risk students

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The ‘Brain’ in Growth Mind­set: Does Teach­ing Stu­dents Neu­ro­science Help? (Edu­ca­tion Week):

Teach­ing stu­dents the sci­ence of how their brains change over time can help them see intel­li­gence as some­thing they can devel­op, rather than innate and unchange­able, finds a new analy­sis of 10 sep­a­rate stud­ies online in the jour­nal Trends in Neu­ro­science and Edu­ca­tion.

Teach­ing stu­dents the con­cept of neuroplasticity—the abil­i­ty of the brain to make new neur­al con­nec­tions as a result of experience—is a com­mon tac­tic in help­ing stu­dents devel­op a so-called “growth” rather than “fixed” mind­set … on aver­age, such inter­ven­tions improved stu­dents’ moti­va­tion, they par­tic­u­lar­ly ben­e­fit­ed stu­dents and sub­jects which pri­or stud­ies have shown are at high risk of devel­op­ing a fixed mind­set. Read the rest of this entry »

New book highlights continued brain development throughout adolescence, even into our 20s

– Dr. Sarah-Jane Blake­more

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Neu­ro­sci­en­tist Probes Myths About the Teenage Brain (Edu­ca­tion Week):

We often think ear­ly child­hood is this dra­mat­ic win­dow of learn­ing and devel­op­ment in the brain, and you’re high­light­ing ado­les­cence as a dif­fer­ent kind of win­dow. Can you talk a lit­tle bit about that?
I was told when I was an under­grad­u­ate that the human brain pret­ty much stopped devel­op­ing after mid-child­hood. From [mag­net­ic res­o­nance imag­ing] of liv­ing brains, we’ve dis­cov­ered that that’s not true at all Read the rest of this entry »

Study suggests canola oil is not as beneficial as advertised; sustained use may cause memory problems and brain damage

Canola oil could cause weight gain and mem­o­ry loss (Los Ange­les Times):

Accord­ing to a recent study con­duct­ed on mice, just two table­spoons of canola oil per day can cause weight gain and severe pro­gres­sion of Alzheimer’s dis­ease. The new results are call­ing into ques­tion pre­vi­ous rec­om­men­da­tions of canola oil as a health­ful alter­na­tive to sat­u­rat­ed fats.

Canola oil is appeal­ing because it is less expen­sive than oth­er veg­etable oils, and it is adver­tised as being healthy,” said lead researcher Domeni­co Prat­icò, M.D. “Very few stud­ies, how­ev­er, have exam­ined that claim, espe­cial­ly in terms of the brain.” Read the rest of this entry »

Enhancing brains the tried-and-true way: 50 Finalists shortlisted for the $1M Global Teacher Prize

Con­grat­u­la­tions to the Top 50 2018 Final­ists!

Now in its fourth year, the US $1 mil­lion Glob­al Teacher Prize award is the largest prize of its kind, and was set up to rec­og­nize one excep­tion­al teacher who has made an out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tion to the pro­fes­sion as well as to shine a spot­light on the impor­tant role teach­ers play in soci­ety. Read the rest of this entry »

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