Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Exercising the body is exercising the mind

I apologize for the long delay in getting back to this column but I have a good excuse. We just recently had a baby, and boy, that takes care right there of the physical exercise need. Between carrying the baby upstairs and downstairs, running to get the baby, getting out of the bed and picking the baby up and putting the baby down a couple of times a night no you need not worry about getting your daily exercise dose in…Now, the majority of the answers to my post on the brain virtues of physical exercise suggests that most people think that the brain benefits of physical exercise are mostly to be understood as complementary effects of a healthy life style.

Is this correct? In my post today I will attempt to answer this question.

First, while generally healthier people seem to have healthier brains, the physical exercise effect on the brain seems to be independent of other things. One of the most important development in neuroscience was when the official dogma claiming that there was no neurogenesis (production of new brain cells) in the adult brain was toppled. Now we know that the brain is “plastic” meaning that, under the right circumstances, the brain can change Read the rest of this entry »

Neurogenesis and Brain Plasticity in Adult Brains

Back in July, I wrote a post entitled 10 Brain Tips To Teach and Learn. Those tips apply to students of any age, including adults, for ideally adults are still learners. Why is adult learning relevant in a brain-focused blog, you may wonder:

The short of it

As we age, our brain:

still forms new brain cells
can change its structure & function
finds positive stress can be beneficial; negative stress can be detrimental
can thrive on novel challenges
needs to be exercised, just like our bodies

The long of it

Adults may have a tendency to get set in their ways have been doing it this way for a long time and it works, so why change? Turns out, though, that change can be a way to keep aging brains healthy. At the April Learning & the Brain conference, the theme of which was neuroplasticity, I attended several sessions on adult learning. Here’s what the experts are saying.

Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Fitness News and Events

Quick links to excellent resources:

1) FEATURE-Brain fitness seen as hot industry of the future (Reuters)

2) Learning & the Brain Conference for Educators and Clinicians. April 26-29, 2008. Cambridge, MA

3) Brain Health Across the Lifespan Seminar for Health & Aging Professionals. May 15th, 2008. San Francisco, CA

For more info, Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Teaser for the Frontal Lobes: Tipping the Scales

Here is a new brain teaser from puzzle master Wes Carroll.

Tipping the Scales

free brain teasers for frontal lobes

Question:
The top two scales are in perfect balance. How many diamonds will be needed to balance the bottom set?

This puzzle works your executive functions in your frontal lobes by using your pattern recognition, hypothesis testing, and logic.
ANSWER:

Four diamonds

SOLUTION:

First add up the number of clubs in the first two scales (5). Then count how many clubs are in the bottom scale (5). The do the same with the spades, which gets you 5 and 5. There are 4 diamonds in the top two balanced scales. Therefore, it must take 4 diamonds to balance the third scale since all the other measurements are the same.

 

More brain teaser games:

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