In two innovative pilot studies, Ian Gotlib and his colleagues at Stanford University, California, showed that brain training can be used to help eliminate depression, even before it starts. They studied young girls (10 to 14 year old) whose mothers were depressed and who thus were at higher risk of developing depression themselves later-on. The girls had not experienced depression per se but already showed behaviors typical of depressed brains, such as overreaction to negative stimuli. [Read more…] about Can Brain Training and Biofeedback Help Prevent Depression
As you have probably noticed, aÃ‚Â growing number of Expert Contributors are writing in our blog, so that we can collectively discuss the latest research and trends on cognitive and brain health, and the implications of brain research in general for our everyday lives.Ã‚Â
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Below you have the profiles of some of our Contributors and links to their best articles with us so far. Enjoy!
Boost your visuospatial skills and learn about your brain
– By Dr. Pascale Michelon
Visuospatial skills are used everyday in many ways, ranging from going from one room to another in your house to solving a jigsaw puzzle and navigating in a new city.
One specific visuospatial skill has to do with moving spatial information around in your head. It is called mental rotation.
Let’s take an example. Can you picture in your head an arrow pointing to the right? Now, turn this arrow so it points to the left. Done?
One of the many Sharp Brains around, who is up to date of everything related to brain health and fitness (yes, Jeanne, that’s you! thanks for being such a great bureau chief!) has sent us a very interesting press note on how brain fitness and training can be applied in the sports performance world. I haven’t been able to track down the research behind the specific programs mentioned in the article, but the theoretical rationale makes sense based on similar programs we are familiar with: you can see below a summary of our interview with Prof. Daniel Gopher, scientific mind behind computer-based cognitive simulations for military pilots and for basketball players.
The note Sports Vision Training Takes Athletes to New Frontiers explains how
- “Specialty sports vision facilities are helping athletes train skills that many believed were “untrainable”; skills like anticipation, field vision, timing, sport intelligence, game tempo, reaction speed, focus and concentration.”
- “What has everyone all worked up is the knowledge that they can actually train athletic skills that many believed were “untrainable.” We’re talking about intangibles like anticipation, field vision, timing, sport intelligence, game tempo, reaction speed, focus and concentration. “One of the worst mistakes an athlete can make is to believe that you’re either born with or without these kinds of skills, and that they’re consequently not trainable, says Brian Stammer, editor of SportsVision Magazine. “If you want to be the best athlete you can be, you must do exercises to condition and sharpen your sensory system, including visual, auditory and brain-processing speed.
- This is the link to the magazine they mention: SportsVision Magazine
And here is the summary of my (AF) interview with Prof. Daniel Gopher (DG) on Cognitive Simulations and cognitive training:
- “AF: …Can you summarize your research findings across all these examples and fields, and how you see the field evolving?
- DG: In short, I’d summarize by saying that
- - Cognitive performance can be substantially improved with proper training. [Read more…] about The new Mental Game: sport psychology, coaches, get ready!