Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Grand Rounds: Brain and Cognition edition

Encephalon (brain & mind blog carnival, edition ) finally meets Grand Rounds (health & medicine blog carnival).

What a nice surprise. Hello. Nice to meet you!

Note: Chronic Babe wins a complimentary copy of The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness for basically inventing cognitive sleep therapy. Congrats!

Life and Death

MindHacks discusses an unexpected surge in brain activity when blood pressure drops to zero.

In Sickness & In Health suffers a death in the family. Adam shem tov. A man of good name.

BrainBlogger wonders, is religion a “natural” phenomenon?

Mind and Empathy

Behaviorism & Mental Health finds that everyone can have a mental illness – take a look at “Adjustment Disorder“.

ACP Internist reinforces the importance of empathy. Novel Patient encourages patients to dream big, Florecendotcom highlights how patients themselves contribute to patient safety. The Hippocratic Oaf discusses the feelings of a medical student. Clinical Cases wonders what doctors  in training carry in their white coats.

Advances in the History of Psychology examines an important early step in the journey to conceptualize cognition and emotion from a neural point of view.

The Fitness Fixer empathizes with her feet.


How to Cope With Pain discusses a controversial treatment for severe pain.

Neurophilosopher shows how vision (viewing one’s body) can modulate the senses of touch and pain. Fun experiments  included. Neurocritic takes things one step further, and takes us to the potential future of tattoo removal.

Providentia announces a new NFL Concussion Committee. 300,000 sports-related traumatic brain injuries occur in the United States alone each year.

SharpBrains answers 15 common questions related to neuroplasticity.

Medical Smartphones Read the rest of this entry »

Neuroscience Core Concepts: What is “It” in Use It or Lose It?

We all have heard “Use It or Lose It”. Now, what is “It”? how does “it” work? why is “it” our best (and too often unrecognized) friend?

The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) has just released a user-friendly publication titled Neuroscience Core Concepts, aimed at helping educators and the general public learn more about the brain.

Description: “Neuroscience Core Concepts offer fundamental principles that one should know about the brain and nervous system, the most complex living structure known in the universe. They are a practical resource about:

  • – How your brain works and how it is formed.
  • – How it guides you through the changes in life.
  • – Why it is important to increase understanding of the brain.”

You will enjoy reading the web page explaining in detail 8 Neuroscience Core Concepts:

1| The brain is the body’s most complex organ.

2| Neurons communicate using both electrical and chemical signals. Read the rest of this entry »

A User’s Guide to Lifelong Brain Health: BrainFit for Life

As the Brain Fitness industry continues to gain momentum, and people explore all the incredible brain-training tools being developed, we hope that enthusiasts don’t take their eye off the importance of the physical health of the brain and all the systems it communicates with. The brain is unique in that it houses our cognitive and emotional capacities in the form of the mind. It is a ‘cognitive’ organ that hungers for stimulation from new experiences and challenges. Many brain fitness programs strive to satisfy this need. Yet the brain is also a physical organ that plays by many of the same rules as the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. To stay healthy and perform optimally it requires quality nutrition, physical activity and optimal sleep. The brain, especially, relies on a healthy vascular system to efficiently deliver oxygen and key nutrients and remove waste. In fact, the brain uses approximately 20% of the oxygen we breathe to satisfy its high-energy demands. Given that the brain only weighs about 2% of the body, we can consider it an energy hog and we must cater to its needs very carefully.

Nutrients play key roles in brain function. Several have shown efficacy in clinical trials treating cases of mood disorders, cognitive decline and of course benefiting the physical health of the brain. Nutrients are both the raw materials employed in creating new neural connections and Read the rest of this entry »

Manage Stress for Your Brain Health

We just received this very insightful essay on stress management and brain health written by Landon, a homeschooler and participant in Susan Hill’s writing workshop. Susan asked Meditation School Studentsher students to write about implications of recent brain research.

Enjoy the article and the long weekend (at least here in the US) and Relax…


Stress Management for Your Brain Health

— By Landon N

Thousands and thousands of web-like neurons linked together form a spongy mass inside a skull. This mass, called the brain, is what controls the body and the thoughts that run threw it have a notable effect on the heath of an individual. In addition to thoughts, fear, stress, and emotions also have a strong effect on health. So then, health depends on more than just eating right and exercising; it depends on our mental state as well.

Read the rest of this entry »

Top Ten Tips for Women Who Lead Men

Thinking menEllen recently wrote a nice post titled Top Ten Tips for Men Who Lead Women, and asked for volunteers to offer a complementary perspective. I hope you enjoy!

  1. We men know we are hard to lead, and that can be stressful for you and for us. You should know that stress affects short term memory, so it is important to be able to manage stress well, with meditation or other methods. Check here your level of stress to see how much this point applies to you. Please remember, laughing is good for your brain.
  2. Don’t think too much-we don’t. If we do, we try to find ways to self-talk us out of that uncomfortable state.
  3. Please remember our humble origins. We are tool-using animals, which is why we like playing with all kinds of toys, from a car to that blackberry.
  4. When we are stubborn, you are entitled to remind us that even apes can learn-if you help us see the point. Show us that change is possible at any age. Believe it or not, we can listen.
  5. Especially if we can find common ground: what about chatting about sports psychology?.
  6. Please motivate us to listen and be open minded to learn with wise words. If that doesn’t work, please persevere with nice words. Please don’t ever say that we are worse than pink dolphins-if we feel attacked, we’ll just disengage.
  7. Sometimes we don’t cooperate enough?. Please give us time for our brains to fully evolve, we have been trying for a while!
  8. You can help us grow. For the next leadership workshop, buy us copies of the Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain book. You may think we don’t need this… but at our core we really want to get better at Gratitude and Altruism. We want to be able to play with the ultimate toy: our genes!
  9. If that book is sold out, we could also benefit from reading Damasio’s Descartes Error and discover how emotions are important for good decision-making. Or help us improve our ability to read emotional messages. As long as we believe we can somehow benefit from it, we’ll try!
  10. If you lead someone with Bill Gates-like Frontal Lobes, congratulate him for his brain. If you don’t, encourage him to follow track. Please be patient

Now, any takers for Top Ten Tips for Women Who Lead Women or Men Who Lead Men?

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