Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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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 »

Let’s discuss how to Outsmart Smart Technology to Reclaim our Health and Focus

I’m excit­ed to share that the upcom­ing 2019 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit will fea­ture, on May 8th, a fas­ci­nat­ing pre­sen­ta­tion and dis­cus­sion with Dr. Mar­garet Mor­ris, who spent 13 years as a researcher at Intel and recent­ly wrote a very time­ly book — Left to Our Own Devices: Out­smart­ing Smart Tech­nol­o­gy to Reclaim Our Rela­tion­ships, Health, and Focus (MIT Press, 2018).

Please learn more about the fan­tas­tic Sum­mit Agen­da and con­sid­er join­ing us!

To bet­ter under­stand Dr. Mor­ris’ work and insights you can read this great book review over at Psy­chi­atric Times:

Mor­ris is a skill­ful sto­ry­teller and takes that chal­lenge to task. Across eight easy-to-read chap­ters, she illus­trates how peo­ple, most like­ly younger users, “hack” tech­nolo­gies to fos­ter con­nec­tion, mind­ful­ness, and well-being. The chap­ters are cen­tered around a col­lec­tion of per­son­al nar­ra­tives from peo­ple who per­son­al­ized their dig­i­tal devices and expe­ri­ence pos­i­tive results. Mor­ris records these sto­ries with a gen­tle, engag­ing, and upbeat tone that requires no for­mal back­ground in either men­tal health or tech­nol­o­gy … This book is a good read for today’s dig­i­tal health ini­tia­tives and for clin­i­cians hop­ing to keep up to date in cur­rent trends in men­tal health tech­nol­o­gy. It reminds us that putting a device in a patient’s hands will often lead to out­comes that we could nev­er have imag­ined. It also pokes holes in the once reign­ing view that robot­ics and chat­bots are dehu­man­iz­ing and anti­so­cial. If any­thing, the nar­ra­tives sug­gest that tech­nol­o­gy can help patients mon­i­tor their emo­tion­al states and improve shar­ing and con­nec­tions. The book under­scores how use­ful it is to study how patients use apps in real-world set­tings and to learn from their lived expe­ri­ences.

 

Your take?

Three key insights to celebrate the holidays meaningfully

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There is plen­ty of evi­dence to con­vince us that social con­nec­tion is key to well-being. But rela­tion­ships are com­pli­cat­ed, bring­ing good and bad into our lives. 

Let us share a few key insights from sci­en­tif­ic stud­ies pub­lished in 2018 on top­ics rel­e­vant to lead­ing a mean­ing­ful life. They won’t solve all of our social problems—but we hope they will help you to bet­ter under­stand your­self and the peo­ple around you.

Keep on read­ing!

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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