Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Study finds lifelong neurogenesis in the hippocampus, but rates decline with age and, especially, Alzheimer’s disease

Recent, imma­ture neu­rons (in red) and old­er, mature neu­rons (in blue) in the hip­pocam­pus of a 68-year-old’s brain. Cred­it: CSIC

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Old brains still make neu­rons, study finds, offer­ing a pos­si­ble way to pro­tect against Alzheimer’s (STAT):

Reports of old brains’ decrepi­tude have been great­ly exag­ger­at­ed, sci­en­tists report­ed on Mon­day, unveil­ing results that con­tra­dict a much-dis­cussed 2018 study and instead sup­port the idea that human gray mat­ter is capa­ble of gen­er­at­ing new neu­rons up to the ninth decade of life.

The research, pub­lished in Nature Med­i­cine, also found that old brains from peo­ple with­out demen­tia have much high­er rates of such neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis than Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Teaser: Ready to stimulate those neurons in your temporal lobes?

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Lan­guage is processed in the tem­po­ral lobes, on the sides of your brain, next to you tem­ples.

Dif­fer­ent areas in the tem­po­ral lobes (most­ly on the left side) deal with dif­fer­ent aspects of lan­guage. For instance, the Wer­nicke area sup­ports your abil­i­ty to under­stand words. The Bro­ca area, on the oth­er hand, is the one that allows you to pro­duce lan­guage or artic­u­late words.

Let’s try a fun brain teas­er to help exer­cise your brain’s lan­guage areas Read the rest of this entry »

DARPA paving the way for a future brain-based Internet

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DARPA Wants Brain Inter­faces for Able-Bod­ied Warfight­ers (IEEE Spec­trum):

Until now, the neu­ro­science pro­grams at DARPA, the mad sci­ence wing of the Depart­ment of Defense, have focused on tech­nolo­gies for warfight­ers who have returned home with dis­abil­i­ties of the body or brain. For exam­ple, pro­grams have fund­ed research on pros­thet­ic limbs that are wired into the ner­vous sys­tem and brain implants that could treat post-trau­mat­ic stress dis­or­der.

But the way the mil­i­tary fights wars is chang­ing, and so must DARPA’s pri­or­i­ties Read the rest of this entry »

Study finds continued birth of new neurons (neurogenesis) well into our 70s

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New brain mem­o­ry cells devel­op well into old age (Reuters):

Well into our 70s, we con­tin­ue to devel­op new cells in an area of the brain respon­si­ble for new mem­o­ries and explo­ration of new envi­ron­ments, sci­en­tists report.

These new brain cells sus­tain our abil­i­ties to make new mem­o­ries, learn, and cope with the envi­ron­ment, and they are impor­tant for Read the rest of this entry »

DARPA invests in nonsurgical neurotechnologies for eventual use in healthy human subjects

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Non­sur­gi­cal Neur­al Inter­faces Could Sig­nif­i­cant­ly Expand Use of Neu­rotech­nol­o­gy (DARPA News):

Over the past two decades, the inter­na­tion­al bio­med­ical research com­mu­ni­ty has demon­strat­ed increas­ing­ly sophis­ti­cat­ed ways to allow a per­son­’s brain to com­mu­ni­cate with a device, allow­ing break­throughs aimed at improv­ing qual­i­ty of life, such as access to com­put­ers and the inter­net, and more recent­ly con­trol of a pros­thet­ic limb.

The state of the art in brain-sys­tem com­mu­ni­ca­tions has employed inva­sive tech­niques that allow pre­cise, high-qual­i­ty con­nec­tions to spe­cif­ic neu­rons or groups of neu­rons. These tech­niques have helped patients with brain injury and oth­er ill­ness­es. How­ev­er, these tech­niques are not appro­pri­ate for able-bod­ied peo­ple. DARPA now seeks to achieve high lev­els of brain-sys­tem com­mu­ni­ca­tions with­out surgery, in its new pro­gram, Next-Gen­er­a­tion Non­sur­gi­cal Neu­rotech­nol­o­gy (N3). Read the rest of this entry »

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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