Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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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

Brain Games for Kids, Adults…and Chimps

examples of working memoryDid you read about the recent exper­i­ment where young chimps dis­played amaz­ing visu­al work­ing mem­o­ry capa­bil­i­ty, beat­ing humans? You can watch a short video about it 

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And, you can now test your own skills with the Chimp Game!

 

PS: Enjoy these 50 brain teasers to test your cog­ni­tive abil­i­ty.

 

Brain Fitness News

Anoth­er great week full of inter­est­ing and rel­e­vant arti­cles. We will start a new tra­di­tion: we will end up the week (either on Fri­day or dur­ing the week­end) with a round-up of the arti­cles we haven’t been able to com­ment on dur­ing the week. Please feel free to send us your sug­ges­tions too!

(You can join our month­ly newslet­ter by sub­scrib­ing at the top of this page).

Brave Heart: does will pow­er reside in heart?

  • A recent study has looked into the issue of whether cog­ni­tive self -reg­u­la­tion (will pow­er / moti­va­tion) is also asso­ci­at­ed with HRV. The study report­ed that high­er base­line HRV was asso­ci­at­ed with more will-pow­er and abil­i­ty to resist temp­ta­tion.”

Book review: Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain by Sharon Beg­ley

  • Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain is as enter­tain­ing as it is edi­fy­ing. This unlike­ly page turn­er fas­ci­nates, and sug­gests opti­mism about your brain’s capac­i­ties.
    Con­sid­er­ing the aging baby boom gen­er­a­tion and the demands this group has cre­at­ed in every phase of life, if a cul­ture of men­tal fit­ness devel­ops, it won’t sur­prise me. Being a boomer myself, I’m all for it. I just hope I don’t have to become a bod­hisatt­va to reap the ben­e­fits.”

Newsweek: Clear link between exer­cise and improved cog­ni­tion

All Slidedecks & Recordings Available — click image below

Search for anything brain-related in our article archives

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