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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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