Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Elizabeth Frates, Director of Medical Student Education at the Institute of Life Medicine, to speak @ 2014 Sharp­Brains Vir­tual Sum­mit

BethFratesWe are proud to announce that Dr. Eliz­a­beth Frates, Direc­tor of Med­ical Stu­dent Edu­ca­tion at the Insti­tute of Lifestyle Med­i­cine, will speak at the 2014 Sharp­Brains Vir­tual Sum­mit (Octo­ber 28–30th) about How front-line pro­fes­sion­als can incor­po­rate the emerg­ing brain health toolk­it to their prac­tices.

Dr. Eliz­a­beth (Beth) Frates is trained as a physi­a­trist as well as a health and well­ness coach. Read the rest of this entry »

Neuroscientists: Develop digital games to improve brain function and well-being

interactivemediaAuthors: Devel­op dig­i­tal games to improve brain func­tion and well-being (UW-Madi­son News):

Neu­ro­sci­en­tists should help to devel­op com­pelling dig­i­tal games that boost brain func­tion and improve well-being, say two pro­fes­sors spe­cial­iz­ing in the field in a com­men­tary arti­cle pub­lished in the sci­ence jour­nal Nature. In the Feb. 28 issue, the two — Daphne Bave­li­er of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Rochester and Richard J. David­son of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wis­con­sin-Madi­son — urge game design­ers and brain sci­en­tists to work togeth­er to design new games that train the brain, pro­duc­ing pos­i­tive effects on behav­ior, such as decreas­ing anx­i­ety, sharp­en­ing atten­tion and improv­ing empa­thy.”

To Learn More:

 

Transcript: Paul Nussbaum on Meditation, Neuropsychology and Thanksgiving

Below you can find the full tran­script of our engag­ing Q&A ses­sion yes­ter­day on holis­tic brain health with clin­i­cal neu­ropsy­chol­o­gist Dr. Paul Nuss­baum, author of Save Your Brain. You can learn more about the full Brain Fit­ness Q&A Series Here.

Per­haps one of the best exchanges was: Read the rest of this entry »

SharpBrains Council Monthly Insights: How will we assess, enhance and repair cognition across the lifespan?

When you think of how the PC has altered the fab­ric of soci­ety, per­mit­ting instant access to infor­ma­tion and automat­ing process­es beyond our wildest dreams, it is instruc­tive to con­sid­er that much of this progress was dri­ven by Moore’s law. Halv­ing the size of semi­con­duc­tor every 18 months catal­ysed an expo­nen­tial accel­er­a­tion in per­for­mance.

Why is this sto­ry rel­e­vant to mod­ern neu­ro­science and the work­ings of the brain? Because trans­for­ma­tive tech­no­log­i­cal progress aris­es out of choice and the actions of indi­vid­u­als who see poten­tial for change, and we may well be on the verge of such progress. Read the rest of this entry »

Another victim of the BBC/Nature “brain training” experiment

Have you read the cov­er sto­ry of the New Sci­en­tist this week: Men­tal mus­cle: six ways to boost your brain?

The arti­cle, which includes good infor­ma­tion on brain food, the val­ue of med­i­ta­tion, etc., starts by say­ing that: “Brain train­ing doesn’t work, but there are lots of oth­er ways to give your grey mat­ter a quick boost.” Fur­ther in the arti­cle you can read “… brain train­ing soft­ware has now been con­signed to the shelf of tech­nolo­gies that failed to live up to expec­ta­tions.”

Such claims are based on the one study wide­ly pub­li­cized ear­li­er this year: the BBC “brain train­ing” exper­i­ment, pub­lished by Owen et al. (2010) in Nature.

What hap­pened to the sci­en­tif­ic rig­or asso­ci­at­ed with the New Sci­en­tist?

As expressed in one of our pre­vi­ous posts: “Once more, claims seem to go beyond the sci­ence back­ing them up … except that in this case it is the researchers, not the devel­op­ers, who are respon­si­ble.” (See BBC “Brain Train­ing” Exper­i­ment: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly).

Read our two pre­vi­ous posts to get to the heart of the BBC study and what it real­ly means. As Alvaro Fer­nan­dez and Dr. Zelin­s­ki explore the poten­tial sci­en­tif­ic flaws of the study, they both point out that there are very promis­ing pub­lished exam­ples of brain train­ing method­olo­gies that seem to work.

BBC “Brain Train­ing” Exper­i­ment: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Sci­en­tif­ic cri­tique of BBC/ Nature Brain Train­ing Exper­i­ment

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