Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Four tips to practice good mental hygiene during the coronavirus outbreak

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Just a few days ago my son’s col­lege, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wash­ing­ton, announced it would be can­celling all in-per­son class­es and finals to help con­tain the spread of the coro­n­avirus. One con­firmed on-cam­pus case prompt­ed the university’s response.

Though the uni­ver­si­ty will incur high costs—they have to deep-clean the whole cam­pus, for example—I, for one, am tru­ly grate­ful for their swift action and putting stu­dents first. It’s one of the many ways that I feel cared for in the midst of this cri­sis, and one of many car­ing acts that I expect to see in the weeks ahead.

Why expect more coop­er­a­tion and com­pas­sion in the face of an epi­dem­ic? Read the rest of this entry »

Meditation app Headspace raises $93 million in equity and debt to accelerate clinical validation and geographic expansion

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Head­space rais­es $93 mil­lion in equi­ty and debt as it pur­sues clin­i­cal val­i­da­tion for mind­ful­ness (TechCrunch):

Head­space, the Los Ange­les-based mind­ful­ness and med­i­ta­tion com­pa­ny locked in a bit­ter com­pet­i­tive strug­gle with Calm for lead­er­ship in the men­tal well­ness world, has raised new cap­i­tal to try to take the pole posi­tion.

The com­pa­ny has just closed on $93 mil­lion in new equi­ty and debt financ­ing Read the rest of this entry »

Four guidelines for smart use of smartphones

These days, you can’t go any­where with­out hear­ing about how tech­nol­o­gy is ruin­ing every­thing, includ­ing our hap­pi­ness. There is some truth to this, but it’s not the whole sto­ry.

Tech­nol­o­gy can be bad for us—for exam­ple, when social media gives us FOMO (fear of miss­ing out) or traps us in fil­ter bub­bles that pre­vent us from see­ing mul­ti­ple points of view on impor­tant issues. As a soci­ety, we are increas­ing­ly con­cerned that tech­nolo­gies like smart­phones and social media result in more social com­par­i­son, bul­ly­ing, and loneliness—all stum­bling blocks to hap­pi­ness. Tech­nol­o­gy seems to be bad for our hap­pi­ness when it inter­feres with the men­tal, social, emo­tion­al, and behav­ioral process­es that con­tribute to well-being.

But we often fail to real­ize (and dis­cuss) the ways that tech­nol­o­gy can also sup­port hap­pi­ness and well-being—for exam­ple Read the rest of this entry »

Study finds a key ingredient in mindfulness training: Acceptance (not acquiescence)

Life can be stress­ful. Whether it’s the stress that comes with hav­ing too much work to do in too lit­tle time, ful­fill­ing care­giv­ing oblig­a­tions, or deal­ing with a major ill­ness or set­back, some­times it can be hard to cope.

In response to stress, many peo­ple today are turn­ing to med­i­ta­tion or mind­ful­ness apps (myself includ­ed). But not all mind­ful­ness prac­tice is equal­ly effec­tive for com­bat­ing stress Read the rest of this entry »

Report calls for wide classroom-based adoption of ten brain fitness programs designed to improve foundational executive functions

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Nation­al Non­prof­it Releas­es Report Call­ing for Brain Fit­ness Inter­ven­tions in All U.S. Schools (press release):

Brain­Fu­tures released a report today that makes a clear case for inte­grat­ing proven brain fit­ness pro­grams into all U.S. class­rooms. Over a decade of research has shown that evi­dence-based pro­grams can improve stu­dents’ exec­u­tive func­tion skills and proso­cial behav­iors, which are more accu­rate pre­dic­tors of aca­d­e­m­ic readi­ness and life suc­cess than IQ or any oth­er per­for­mance mark­ers. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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