Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


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.

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