Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Brain Fitness Newsletter: November Edition

Brain exercise, brain exercisesHere you are have the Month­ly Digest of our Most Pop­u­lar Blog Posts. You can con­sid­er it your month­ly Brain Exer­cise Mag­a­zine.

(Also, remem­ber that you can sub­scribe to receive our RSS feed, check our Top­ics sec­tion, and sub­scribe to our month­ly newslet­ter at the top of this page if you want to receive this Digest by email).

Grat­i­tude is a very impor­tant emo­tion to cul­ti­vate, as Pro­fes­sor Robert Emmons tells us in this inter­view, based on his last book. Please take some time to read it, and to find at least one thing you are thank­ful for-it will be good for your health.

We are grate­ful about a very stim­u­lat­ing Novem­ber:

Brain Fit­ness Mar­ket News

10 Neu­rotech­nol­o­gy Trends: a lead­ing indus­try orga­ni­za­tion released their Top 10 Neu­roTrends for 2007, and brain fit­ness mat­ters appeared in 3 of them.

Thank Boomers for Buff­ing Up Brain Mar­ket: great overview of the mar­ket from a tech­nol­o­gy point of view, quot­ing our mar­ket pro­jec­tions. To clar­i­fy the num­bers men­tioned: we project $225m in the US alone for the brain fit­ness soft­ware mar­ket (grow­ing from $70m in 2003), bro­ken-down as fol­lows: $80m for the Con­sumer seg­ment, $60m in K12 Edu­ca­tion, $50m in Clin­i­cal appli­ca­tions, and $35m in the Cor­po­rate seg­ment. The Con­sumer seg­ment, with a healthy aging val­ue propo­si­tion, is the most recent one but the most rapid­ly grow­ing.

Exer­cise On the Brain: a NYT OpEd: a wide­ly read opin­ion piece in the New York Times, writ­ten by 2 neu­ro­sci­en­tists, that some­how seems to miss the research behind the val­ue of men­tal stim­u­la­tion and cog­ni­tive train­ing. Oth­er neu­ro­science teams and us write let­ters to the edi­tor that go unpub­lished. Should you have any con­tacts with jour­nal­ists, please ask them to con­tact us: we are always hap­py to serve as a resource to the media.

Posit Sci­ence @ GSA: well-designed Brain Train­ing Works: a time­ly heads up on how well-designed com­put­er-based pro­grams can be a great com­ple­ment to oth­er inter­ven­tions. We will be inter­view­ing the lead­ing researcher behind that study dur­ing the next 2 weeks, so keep tuned!

Brain and Mind News and Arti­cles: a vari­ety of links to good media reports, includ­ing a spec­tac­u­lar spe­cial on mem­o­ry in Nation­al Geo­graph­ic.

News You Can Use

Mar­i­an Dia­mond on the brain: lead­ing neu­ro­sci­en­tist Mar­i­an Dia­mond, now 81, shares her pre­scrip­tion for life­long brain health- diet, exer­cise, chal­lenge, new­ness and ten­der lov­ing care.

From Med­i­ta­tion to MBSR (Mind­ful­ness Based Stress Reduc­tion): a report on the ben­e­fits of med­i­ta­tion and how it is becom­ing more main­stream in med­i­cine.

Teasers

50 Mind and Brain Games for adults: you may have seen these teasers, but we want to alert you we have opened a new sec­tion in the site where you can eas­i­ly find our grow­ing col­lec­tion of teasers

Your Haiku, please?: a friend­ly chal­lenge to your brain.

Edu­ca­tion and Life­long Learn­ing

Car­ol Dweck on Mind­sets, Learn­ing and Intel­li­gence: we found a fas­ci­nat­ing inter­view on the impor­tance on hav­ing a growth and learn­ing ori­ent­ed mind­set. Both for kids and adults.

Is Intel­li­gence Innate and Fixed?: some reflec­tions based on biol­o­gy.

Cor­po­rate Train­ing, Well­ness and Lead­er­ship

Cog­ni­tive Fit­ness and The Future of Work: an excel­lent con­cept map on how neu­ro­science may influ­ence the work­place of the future, drawn in real time as I spoke at an Insti­tute for the Future event.

Emo­tion­al Intel­li­gence and Faces: how many uni­ver­sal emo­tions and facial expres­sions are there?

Events

Use It or Lose It, and Cells that Fire togeth­er Wire togeth­er: I spoke at the Ital­ian Con­sulate in San Fran­cis­co, where we explored some of the basic con­cepts we should all know about how our brains and mind work.

Let me prac­tice the Grat­i­tude concept…Thank You for your atten­tion and par­tic­i­pa­tion!

You can also enjoy our pre­vi­ous edi­tions of this month­ly digest:

- Octo­ber

- Sep­tem­ber

- August

- July

Brain Fitness News

Anoth­er great week full of inter­est­ing and rel­e­vant arti­cles. We will start a new tra­di­tion: we will end up the week (either on Fri­day or dur­ing the week­end) with a round-up of the arti­cles we haven’t been able to com­ment on dur­ing the week. Please feel free to send us your sug­ges­tions too!

(You can join our month­ly newslet­ter by sub­scrib­ing at the top of this page).

Brave Heart: does will pow­er reside in heart?

  • A recent study has looked into the issue of whether cog­ni­tive self -reg­u­la­tion (will pow­er / moti­va­tion) is also asso­ci­at­ed with HRV. The study report­ed that high­er base­line HRV was asso­ci­at­ed with more will-pow­er and abil­i­ty to resist temp­ta­tion.”

Book review: Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain by Sharon Beg­ley

  • Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain is as enter­tain­ing as it is edi­fy­ing. This unlike­ly page turn­er fas­ci­nates, and sug­gests opti­mism about your brain’s capac­i­ties.
    Con­sid­er­ing the aging baby boom gen­er­a­tion and the demands this group has cre­at­ed in every phase of life, if a cul­ture of men­tal fit­ness devel­ops, it won’t sur­prise me. Being a boomer myself, I’m all for it. I just hope I don’t have to become a bod­hisatt­va to reap the ben­e­fits.”

Newsweek: Clear link between exer­cise and improved cog­ni­tion

Can Thoughts and Action Change Our Brains?

We final­ly had time to hear and enjoy the 35-minute inter­view with WSJ sci­ence writer Sharon Beg­ley about her new book, Train Your Mind Change Your Brain. High­ly rec­om­mend­ed. (Thanks Beate!)

NPR Talk of the Nation, Feb­ru­ary 2, 2007: “For years, sci­en­tists believed the brain’s struc­ture couldn’t be changed. The new sci­ence of neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty says that’s not the case, and argue the brain is much more flex­i­ble than pre­vi­ous­ly thought.”

Lis­ten to the inter­view here.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and other stress management techniques

We have explained before how men­tal stim­u­la­tion is impor­tant if done in the right sup­port­ive and engag­ing envi­ron­ment. Stanford’s Robert Sapol­sky and oth­ers’ have shown that chron­ic stress and cor­ti­cal inhi­bi­tion, which may be aggra­vat­ed due to imposed men­tal stim­u­la­tion, may prove coun­ter­pro­duc­tive. Hav­ing the right moti­va­tion is essen­tial.

A promis­ing area of sci­en­tif­ic inquiry for stress man­age­ment’ is Mind­ful­ness-Based Stress Reduc­tion (MBSR).’ You may have read about it in Sharon Begley’s’ Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain’ book. An increas­ing num­ber of neu­ro­sci­en­tists (such as UMass Med­ical School’s Jon Kabat-Zinn and Uni­ver­si­ty of Wisconsin-Madison’s Richard David­son) have been inves­ti­gat­ing the abil­i­ty of trained med­i­ta­tors to devel­op and sus­tain atten­tion and visu­al­iza­tions and to work pos­i­tive­ly with pow­er­ful emo­tion­al states and stress through the direct­ed men­tal process­es of med­i­ta­tion prac­tices. And have put their research into prac­tice for the ben­e­fit of many hos­pi­tal patients through their MSBR pro­grams.

A Stan­ford psy­chol­o­gist and friend recent­ly alert­ed me to a sim­i­lar pro­gram orga­nized Read the rest of this entry »

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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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