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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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5 Must-Read Articles, and an Online Course, to Help Children with ADHD

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— Dr. David Rabiner, Research Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke Uni­ver­sity and founder of the Atten­tion Research Update.

Given the ongoing changes and controversies surrounding ADHD diagnosis and treatment, let us highlight 5 key articles written by Duke University’s Dr. David Rabiner to summarize recent scientific findings and their implications, plus a very relevant online course to help parents and professionals help children with ADHD.

1. Study finds large gaps between research and practice in ADHD diagnosis and treatment

  • Key insight: Evidence-based guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics on the evaluation and treatment of ADHD are frequently not followed. Many children are diagnosed with ADHD in the absence of clearly meeting DSM diagnostic criteria, and behavioral treatment is rarely recommended.
  • Key data point: Pediatricians prescribed ADHD medication to roughly 93% of youth diagnosed with ADHD. Documentation that behavioral treatment was recommended, however, was present in only 13% of the charts.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fact: Lifelong neuroplasticity means our 7.5 billion brains can “sculpt” themselves

Much ongoing brain health and brain enhancement innovation is enabled by the core fact—called neuroplasticity–that the human brain continually changes itself through experience. Neuroplasticity–or brain plasticity– refers to the brain’s ability to rewire itself based on experience by generating new neurons and by forming new connections between neurons, among other factors. It was believed for a long time that, after a certain age, the brain became “fixed.” Now we know that the brain never stops changing, and that’s why there’s so much interest and hope around ways to harness that neuroplasticity to lead better lives, to enhance our brains, to delay brain health decline.

What follows from this fact is that we can strengthen specific circuits of the brain (through education, our jobs and lifestyles, and also through mental exercisesmeditation and neurostimulation), in order to learn faster, better and become more resilient.

–> Keep reading the article 5 Facts You Need To Know To Understand, Navigate And Enjoy The Digital Brain Health Revolution over at The Huffington Post.

Cognitive enhancement at the edge: The US Navy tests neuro-priming and other non-pharmacological aids to boost cognition and performance

Super SEALs: Elite Units Pursue Brain-Stimulating Technologies (Military.com):

“At a conference near Washington, D.C., in February, the commander of all Navy special operations units made an unusual request to industry: Develop and demonstrate technologies that offer “cognitive enhancement” capabilities to boost his elite forces’ mental and physical performance Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Mindfulness training for teachers can result in a better learning environment for students

No one would argue with the fact that teaching is stressful. Not only is the work highly challenging, teachers are also frequently underpaid, undervalued, and subject to harsh scrutiny. No wonder teacher burnout is on the rise and that many feel like leaving their profession.

But teacher stress is not only a problem for teachers; it can also be a problem for students. Read the rest of this entry »

Study debunks 4 common myths about brain training and lifelong cognitive enhancement

If the media is your main source of information about brain training and cognitive enhancement, you will probably believe the following:

1) All brain training is the same…

2) …and it simply doesn’t work.

3) Commercial brain training programs, especially, don’t work.

4) How could they work? Genetics is destiny, aging is a predetermined process…so by age 60 or 70 or 80, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

If you tracked and analyzed the scientific literature around cognitive training, cognitive therapies, biofeedback, meditation, brain reserve and neuroplasticity in general, you’d know those 4 beliefs are wrong. They are myths that prevent a more nuanced conversation about brain-enhancing lifestyles and about the emerging brain training and neurotechnology toolkit.

Good news is, a just-published study should help debunk those myths–especially with regards to computerized cognitive training–and provide a better Read the rest of this entry »

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