“Studies have shown learning a second language can improve a variety of cognitive functions…Scottish researchers found that students demonstrated improved attention abilities after just a week of language learning [Read more…] about To boost attention and other cognitive skills, learn AND continually practice a second language
In a modern society we are confronted with a wide range of increasingly abstract and interconnected problems. Successfully dealing with such an environment requires a highly fit brain, capable of adapting to new situations and challenges throughout life. Consequently, we expect cross-training the brain to soon become as mainstream as cross-training the body is today, going beyond unstructured mental activity and [Read more…] about Can brain training work? Yes, if it meets these 5 conditions
Often in discussing health related findings with non-scientists, I’ve found that scientific literacy in the general population tends to be inadequate for evaluating scientific claims. A surprising number of people are reluctant to study science despite the potential to benefit from the vast amount of useful knowledge being accumulated by scientists. Neil DeGrasse Tyson discussed a similar issue with the New York Daily News several years ago (A Cry to Pass the Science Test, 2006). In a time when scientific information is constantly reshaping our understanding [Read more…] about Why Scientific Literacy and Learning Enhance Brain Function and Neural Health
For millennia, however, we were oblivious to our enormous creative capabilities. We had no idea that our brains were changing in response to our actions and attitudes, every day of our lives. So we unconsciously and randomly shaped our brains and our latter years because we believed we had an immutable brain that was at the mercy of our genes.
Nothing could be further from the truth. [Read more…] about To Harness Neuroplasticity, Start with Enthusiasm
Next Tuesday, November 3rd: I’ll be presenting the SharpBrains Guide to a business/ entrepreneurial audience at the San Francisco Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (you can register online).
Description: While most of us have heard the phrase “use it or lose it,” very few understand what “it” means, or how to properly “use it” in order to improve brain function and fitness. This talk will provide an overview of the most recent research, guidelines and resources to “Use It and Improve It”, summarizing the main findings and topics from the new book The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness. We will debunk 10 common brain fitness myths; discuss how the brain works and the 4 pillars of brain maintenance; explain the difference between mental exercise and mental activity and identify practical ways to integrate this research into our work and lives for maximum brain health and performance.
To order book: Here. (has been among Amazon.com’s Top 10 Preventive Medicine books basically since publication!)
Over the last few weeks I have given a couple of AARP-sponsored talks, both in English and in Spanish (this was my first Spanish presentation on a topic I mostly discuss in English, so I did get some extra brain points by trying to translate “neuroplasticity” and “hippocampus” on the fly), and had a great couple of meetings with AARP staff to explore collaborations. AARP can obviously play a major role in how rationally this whole category of “brain fitness” evolves.
Here you have a couple of my favorite recent media interviews:
4‑minute Video interview on the Gilbert Guide:
Book Reveals Secrets Once Only Known to Scientists
30-minute radio interview on WMBR (MIT campus radio station):
Paradigm Shifts: Brain Fitness (mine is the second interview, starts around the middle)
Finally, a growing number of bloggers are reviewing the book. This is what they say:
- Brain Fitness for Coaching and Leadership (Ed Batista at Stanford Business School)
- Is Your Brain a Couch Potato (Doc Gurley at SF Gate)
- Essential reference for brain fitness, cognitive health, neuroplasticity (Highlight Health)
- Fitbrains learn how to learn (Dr. Larry McCleary)
- Learn about cognitive functioning (Teen Health 411)
- A great dedication: to your Unique Brain, and Unique Mind (Play with your mind)
- Very valuable interviews (Nucleus Learning)
- Authoritative research and perspective (Greenstein Institute)
You can order The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness here.
Title: The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness — Practical Advice to Keep Your Brain Sharp
- Two community-based book talks hosted by New York Public Library and supported by the Einstein Aging Study at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Description: A fit brain? Can you exercise your brain and become mentally fit? Can you continue to learn and increase your brain’s capacity at any age? Alvaro Fernandez, CEO and Co-Founder of SharpBrains, says Yes!, and in this program he will show you how. Based on research compiled from leading scientists in fields of Neuroscience, Gerontology, and Cognitive Science, and presented in his book “The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness”, Alvaro Fernandez will provide ways to maintain and improve your cognitive health.
— Debunk 10 Myths of Brain Fitness
— Examine the 4 Pillars of Brain Maintenance
— Discuss the difference between Mental Exercise and Mental Activity
— Evaluate Brain Training Software
— Explore emerging trends
Book and Bio: Alvaro Fernandez, CEO and Co-Founder of SharpBrains, teaches “Science of Brain Health and Brain Fitness” at UC-Berkeley and San Francisco State University. He is the co-author of The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness.
When and where:
> September 23rd, 10am, New York Public Library, Bronx Library Center. 310 East Kingsbridge Road. (718) 579‑4244. More information here.
> September 25rd, 1pm, New York Public Library, Stephen Schwarzman Building Auditorium. Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street. 917-ASK-NYPL (917–275-6975). More information here.