Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


To boost attention and other cognitive skills, learn AND continually practice a second language

language learningStudy: Short-term lan­guage learn­ing boosts cog­ni­tive agili­ty (UPI):

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 the rest of this entry »

Can brain training work? Yes, if it meets these 5 conditions

brain exerciseIn 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 the rest of this entry »

Why Scientific Literacy and Learning Enhance Brain Function and Neural Health

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 the rest of this entry »

To Harness Neuroplasticity, Start with Enthusiasm

We are the archi­tects and builders of our own brains.

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 the rest of this entry »

Brain Fitness Book: talks, interviews, reviews

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’s Top 10 Pre­ven­tive Med­i­cine books basi­cal­ly since pub­li­ca­tion!)

Over the last few weeks I have giv­en a cou­ple of Alvaro presenting 2AARP-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:

You can order The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness here.

All Slidedecks & Recordings Available — click image below

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