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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Smart brains in action: 17 Sustainable Develoment Goals (SDGs) To Build A Better World

SDGsYou may have already seen in the news that the U.N. Dreams Big: 17 Huge New Goals To Build A Bet­ter World (NPR):

At the Unit­ed Nations Gen­er­al Assem­bly this week­end in New York, U.N. mem­ber states are set to adopt the new Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals. The goals are meant to guide devel­op­ment pri­or­i­ties around the globe over the next 15 years Read the rest of this entry »

Six New Speakers @ 2011 SharpBrains Summit

We are proud to con­firm six addi­tion­al excel­lent Speak­ers at the upcom­ing 2011 Sharp­Brains Sum­mit (remem­ber, this is a ful­ly vir­tu­al event so it requires no trav­el). Three Speak­ers are based in the US, two in the UK, one in Aus­tralia, and they tru­ly rep­re­sent a range of per­spec­tives and exper­tise to dis­cuss, as the Sum­mit tagline promis­es, Retool­ing Brain Health for the 21st Cen­tu­ry. Read the rest of this entry »

Time to build mental capital and wellbeing along the lifecourse?

brainNow that we are prepar­ing our 2010 mar­ket report we are ana­lyz­ing in depth a num­ber of impor­tant recent devel­op­ments. A major one, whose impli­ca­tions haven’t yet been prop­er­ly digest­ed, was the pub­li­ca­tion in the UK of a fan­tas­tic series of pol­i­cy, sci­en­tif­ic and tech­nol­o­gy reports by the Fore­sight Project on Men­tal Cap­i­tal and Well­be­ing. If you want to have a stim­u­lat­ing and sub­stan­tial read, you can down­load the Exec­u­tive Sum­ma­ry (and most oth­er reports) for free.

I was think­ing about their main rec­om­men­da­tion (the need to focus more atten­tion, as a soci­ety and as indi­vid­u­als, on build­ing men­tal cap­i­tal and well­be­ing tra­jec­to­ries along the life­course), as I came across these appar­ent­ly com­plete­ly sep­a­rate news. Doesn’t the life­long men­tal cap­i­tal frame­work add new light on these arti­cles?

Study Sees Gains In Good Child Care (Wall Street Jour­nal)

A study released Fri­day found that ben­e­fits asso­ci­at­ed with child-care providers and preschool pro­grams that encour­age such activ­i­ties as lan­guage, read­ing and game-play­ing last well into ado­les­cence. In par­tic­u­lar, teenagers who had such child-care per­formed sig­nif­i­cant­ly bet­ter aca­d­e­m­i­cal­ly than those giv­en low-qual­i­ty or no care out­side the home.

High-qual­i­ty care was defined as an envi­ron­ment in which care-givers or teach­ers were warm, engaged and sen­si­tive to a child’s needs, and pro­vid­ed cog­ni­tive stim­u­la­tion through activ­i­ties that would pro­mote lan­guage, such as read­ing, con­ver­sa­tion and game-play­ing.

Time to Review Work­place Reviews? (New York Times)

The focus on work­place health comes as work­er sat­is­fac­tion in the Unit­ed States appears to be at an all-time low. The Con­fer­ence Board report­ed recent­ly that just 45 per­cent of work­ers are sat­is­fied with their jobs, down from 61 per­cent in 1987. The find­ings, based on a sur­vey of 5,000 house­holds, show that the decline goes well beyond con­cerns about job secu­ri­ty. Employ­ees are unhap­py about the design of their jobs, the health of their orga­ni­za­tions and the qual­i­ty of their man­agers.

Dr. Sut­ton, whose new book “Good Boss, Bad Boss” (com­ing from Busi­ness Plus) argues that good boss­es are essen­tial to work­place suc­cess, said sky­rock­et­ing health care costs should moti­vate busi­ness­es to focus on ways to low­er stress.

Alzheimer’s Pre­ven­tion or Cog­ni­tive Enhance­ment (blog post based on NIH inde­pen­dent pan­el)

Firm con­clu­sions can­not be drawn about the asso­ci­a­tion of mod­i­fi­able risk fac­tors with cog­ni­tive decline or Alzheimer’s dis­ease.”

(Note: which is true, but, as we dis­cussed pre­vi­ous­ly, this is being mis­un­der­stood to mean “there is noth­ing we can do to main­tain if not enhance our cog­ni­tive and self-reg­u­la­tion capac­i­ties,” which couldn’t be fur­ther from truth, based on the very sim­ple facts of life­long neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis and neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty.)

The Future of Cognitive Health Tech – Intel’s Perspective

We just announced a new ses­sion at upcom­ing Sharp­Brains Sum­mit:

Mon­day Jan­u­ary 18th, 2010, 3.30–4pm: The Future of Cog­ni­tive Health Tech – Intel’s Per­spec­tive
Two researchers at Intel Cor­po­ra­tion and the Tech­nol­o­gy Research for Inde­pen­dent Liv­ing (TRIL) Cen­tre will pro­vide an overview of why and how Intel Cor­po­ra­tion is sup­port­ing R&D ini­tia­tives to help devel­op home-based auto­mat­ed appli­ca­tions to assess, mon­i­tor and help main­tain cog­ni­tion among old­er adults. They will also share key lessons learned so far, and out­line chal­lenges and poten­tial guide­lines for the field at large based on ethno­graph­ic research and first-hand prod­uct devel­op­ment.

* Mar­garet Mor­ris, Senior Researcher, Intel’s Dig­i­tal Health Group
* Muki Hansteen-Izo­ra, Prod­uct Research and Incu­ba­tion Divi­sion Strate­gist, Intel’s Dig­i­tal Health Group

Muki Hansteen-IzoraMuki Hansteen-Izo­ra, Senior Design Researcher and Strate­gist with the Prod­uct Research and Incu­ba­tion divi­sion of Intel’s Dig­i­tal Health Group. Muki is also the Intel lead and co-PI for the Tech­nol­o­gy Research for Inde­pen­dent Liv­ing (TRIL) Centre’s Cog­ni­tive Func­tion research strand, which is inves­ti­gat­ing how inter­ac­tive media and gam­ing tech­nolo­gies can sup­port cog­ni­tion in old­er pop­u­la­tions. Pri­or to join­ing Intel, Muki served as a lead researcher at Philips Research Labs. He holds a degree in Cul­tur­al Anthro­pol­o­gy from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia at San­ta Cruz, and com­plet­ed his grad­u­ate train­ing in Learn­ing, Design, and Tech­nol­o­gy at Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty.

Margaret MorrisMar­garet Mor­ris, Senior Researcher in Intel’s Dig­i­tal Health Group. Mar­garet stud­ies the ways that emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies can enhance men­tal and phys­i­cal well­be­ing. She con­ducts ethno­graph­ic research to iden­ti­fy needs and works with engi­neers to devel­op and eval­u­ate explorato­ry pro­to­types. Pri­or to join­ing Intel in 2002, she stud­ied tech­nol­o­gy adop­tion in Sapient’s Expe­ri­ence Mod­el­ling group. Margie com­plet­ed her Ph.D. in Clin­i­cal Psy­chol­o­gy with a minor in Behav­iour­al Neu­ro­science at the Uni­ver­si­ty of New Mex­i­co, her clin­i­cal intern­ship at the San Fran­cis­co VA Med­ical Cen­tre, and her post­doc­tor­al fel­low­ship at Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty. She has a B.A. in Eng­lish from Haver­ford Col­lege.

To learn more and reg­is­ter: click on Sharp­Brains Sum­mit.

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