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.

To learn more and reg­is­ter: click on Sharp­Brains Sum­mit.

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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