“Coffee has been getting considerable attention for a growing list of health benefits, with brain health high among them. While not without a few downsides, studies have shown impressive upsides of moderate coffee consumption, often linked to its high caffeine content. But a new lab study suggests that when it comes to brain health, coffee offers more than the stimulating effects of our favorite legal drug–in fact, decaf could be just as effective [Read more…] about Moderate coffee consumption may promote brain health — and it’s not because of caffeine
You may have noticed that Amazon.com is sharing aggregated data on how ebook readers interact with the books they are reading. For example, the “Popular Highlights” section (towards the bottom of our Kindle book page) ranks the Top 10 sentences that Kindle readers have highlighted and shared while reading The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness: 18 Interviews with Scientists, Practical Advice and Product Reviews, to Keep Your Brain Sharp (April 2009; 182 pages; ranked #1 in Kindle Store’s Preventive Medicine section).
This information is invaluable to authors and publishers — as you can imagine, we’ll make sure to not only maintain but to elaborate on these topics as we prepare future editions of the book.
So, what are so far the Top Ten Quotes on Lifelong Neuroplasticity and Neurogenesis, [Read more…] about Top 10 Quotes on Lifelong Neuroplasticity and Neurogenesis (and a Call to eBook Readers)
You may be reading all about brain fitness and brain training. It seems every week brings a new barrage of articles and studies which often contradict what you read the month before: Does Gingko Biloba help delay Alzheimer’s Disease? Can physical exercise help you stay sharp as you age? Which computer-based “brain fitness programs”, if any, are worth your money?
All this coverage reflects very exciting scientific findings but also poses a key dilemma: How to become an informed lifelong learner and consumer when there are few and contradictory authoritative guidelines?
The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness (to be published in May 2009; $24.95) aims to fill that void. This guide is the result of over a year of extensive research including more than a hundred interviews with scientists, professionals and consumers, and a deep literature review. Below you have some of the main findings from our effort. The guide not only covers these aspects in more depth and offers practical guidance, but also includes 18 interviews with prominent scientists to help you understand the research better.
Can we introduce you to your Brain?
The Guide will start at the obvious starting point: The Human Brain. In order to make informed decisions about brain health, one needs to first understand the basic organization of the human brain and how it tends to change as we get older.
* The brain is composed of a number of regions serving distinct functions. Forget IQ: our life and productivity depend on a variety of brain functions, not just one.
* There is nothing inherently fixed in the trajectory of how brain functions evolve as we age. Your lifestyle, actions, and even thoughts, do matter.
The 4 Pillars of Brain Maintenance
Neuroplasticity is the lifelong capacity of the brain to change and rewire itself in response to the stimulation of learning and experience. The latest scientific research shows that specific lifestyles and actions can, no matter our age, improve the health and level of functioning of our brains.
What factors seem to have the most influence? [Read more…] about Maintain Your Brain and Stay Sharp: An Upcoming Guide and Resource
Here you have several recent articles and developments worthy of attention:
1) Boom times for brain training games (CNN)
2) Navigating the brain fitness landscape: do’s and don’ts (McKnight’s Long Term Care News)
3) USA Hockey and Intelligym (press release)
4) Brain Fitness at New York Public Library (NYPL blog)
5) McDonnell Foundation grant harnesses cognitive science to improve student learning (press release)
6) Health insurance firms offering online cognitive therapy for insomnia (Los Angeles Times)
7) HeadMinder Cognitive Stability Index: Computerized Neurocognitive … (Press release)
8) THE AGE OF MASS INTELLIGENCE (Intelligent Life)
9) Working Later in Life May Facilitate Neural Health (Cerebrum)
10) The Cool Factor: Never Let Them See You Sweat (New York Times)
Links, selected quotes and commentary: [Read more…] about Cognitive News November-December 2008
Spectacular article by Dr. Denise Park in this month’s Cerebrum:
- “Carmi Schooler at the National Institutes of Health, using a technique that allowed him to assess causal relationships, found that adults who performed intellectually challenging jobs across their life span showed more cognitive flexibility in late adulthood than those who performed less demanding jobs.”
— “Perhaps the most compelling evidence regarding the impact of novel experiences on brain volume and function comes from a study at the Max Planck Institute in Germany. Adults with a mean age of 59 spent three months learning to juggle three balls. Although only about half the participants were able to achieve competence in this complex skill, those who succeeded had increased volume in a mediotemporal area of the visual cortex as well as the nucleus accumbens and the hippocampus, suggesting that sustained novel experience can increase the sizes of neural structures. Notably, the changes in the nucleus accumbens and hippocampus were [Read more…] about Work (and Juggle) for Cognitive Health