- “Measuring people’s changes in cognitive abilities is a better predictor of Alzheimer’s disease than changes in biomarkers, researchers from the Benito Menni Complex Assistencial en Salut Mental, Barcelona, Spain, reported in Archives of General Psychiatry, a JAMA journal.”
- “The investigators used a range of tests to assess [Read more…] about Study: Cognitive Markers or Biomarkers to manage Cognitive Health across the Lifespan?
Here you have The 10 Most Popular Brain Fitness & Cognitive Health Books, based on book purchases by SharpBrains’ readers during 2008.
||1. Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School (Pear Press, March 2008)
- Dr. John Medina, Director of the Brain Center for Applied Learning Research at Seattle Pacific University, writes an engaging and comprehensive introduction to the many daily implications of recent brain research. He wrote the article Brain Rules: science and practice for SharpBrains readers.
||2. The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person (Oxmoor House, March 2007)
- Dr. Judith Beck, Director of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research, connects the world of research-based cognitive therapy with a mainstream application: maintaining weight-loss. Interview notes here.
||3. The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science (Viking, March 2007)
- Dr. Norman Doidge, psychiatrist and author of this New York Times bestseller, brings us “a compelling collection of tales about the amazing abilities of the brain to rewire, readjust and relearn”. Laurie Bartels reviews the book review here.
||4. Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain(Little, Brown and Company, January 2008)
- Dr. John Ratey, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, summarizes the growing research on the brain benefits of physical exercise. Laurie Bartels puts this research in perspective here.
||5. The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning (Stylus Publishing, October 2002)
- Dr. James Zull, Director Emeritus of the University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education at Case Western Reserve University, writes a must-read for educators and lifelong learners. Interview notes here.
|6. Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves (Ballantine Books, January 2007)
- Sharon Begley, Newsweek’ excellent science writer, provides an in-depth introduction to the research on neuroplasticity based on a Mind & Life Institute event.
||7. Thanks: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier (Houghton Mifflin, August 2007)
- Prof. Robert Emmons, Professor of Psychology at UC Davis and Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Positive Psychology, writes a solid book that combines a research-based synthesis of the topic as well as practical suggestions. Interview notes here.
||8. The Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes and the Civilized Mind (Oxford University Press, January 2001)
- Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg, clinical professor of neurology at New York University School of Medicine, provides a fascinating perspective on the role of the frontal roles and executive functions through the lifespan. Interview notes here.
|9. The Brain Trust Program: A Scientifically Based Three-Part Plan to Improve Memory (Perigee Trade, September 2007)
- Dr. Larry McCleary, former acting Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Denver Children’s Hospital, covers many lifestyle recommendations for brain health in this practical book. He wrote the article Brain Evolution and Health for SharpBrains.
||10. A User’s Guide to the Brain: Perception, Attention, and the Four Theaters of the Brain (Pantheon, January 2001)
— In this book (previous to Spark), Dr. John Ratey provides a stimulating description of how the brain works. An excellent Brain 101 book to anyone new to the field.
“USA Hockey Inc., is the national governing body for the sport of ice hockey in the United States. As such, its mission is to promote the growth of hockey and provide the best possible experience for all participants by encouraging, developing, advancing and administering the sport.”
Why do we talk about ice hockey in a brain fitness blog?
Well, we recently announced this very innovative initiative, and now can offer more context:
- “USA Hockey, with partners ACE (Applied Cognitive Engineering) and the BIRD (Binational Industrial Research and Development) Foundation, have announced plans to develop a revolutionary product that will, for the first time ever, provide players a training tool to develop “hockey sense.”
- “To be called Hockey IntelliGym, the software-based product will furnish players with a highly effective training tool to develop perception and decision-making skills. Further, it will [Read more…] about Brain Training New Frontier: Ice Hockey!
- “It also found improvements in pupils’ concentration and behaviour.”
- “The study involved more than 600 pupils in 32 schools across Scotland using the Brain Training from Dr Kawashima game on the Nintendo DS every day.”
- “Researchers found that while all groups had improved their scores, the group using the game had improved by a further 50%.”
- “Less able children were found to be more likely to improve than the highest attainers and almost all pupils had an increased perception of their own ability.”
Comment: fascinating results supporting the potential role for “Serious Games” in education. Now, please take the results with a grain of salt, since the study doesn’t seem to have been published yet in any top-tier peer-reviewed journal.. The information publicly available seems to simply consist of a press release by Learning and Teaching Scotland. We hope to see an in-depth report to answer many open questions on the study. In any case, welcome news!
One of our favorite popular science publications is Scientific American Mind, a magazine that always brings good articles on brain & mind issues and some fun teasers.
We are therefore pleased that Scientific American is offering a Special Partnership offer for SharpBrains readers: a subscription to Scientific American Mind magazine, at 55% off the cover price. Plus, they offer an exclusive gift for new subscribers: a special publication on Secrets of the Expert Mind.
You can click Here to learn more about this offer.
Description: SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN MIND is a new magazine from the editors of Scientific American — taking readers inside the most riveting breakthroughs in psychology, neuroscience and related fields.
Dr. Arthur Kramer is a Professor in the University of Illinois Department of Psychology, the Campus Neuroscience Program, the Beckman Institute, and the Director of the Biomedical Imaging Center at the University of Illinois.
I am honored to interview him today.
Dr. Kramer, thank you for your time. Let’ start by trying to clarify some existing misconceptions and controversies. Based on what we know today, and your recent Nature piece (referenced below), what are the 2–3 key lifestyle habits would you suggest to a person who wants to delay Alzheimer’s symptoms and improve overall brain health?
First, Be Active. Do physical exercise. Aerobic exercise, 30 to 60 minutes per day 3 days per week, has been shown to have an impact in a variety of experiments. And you don’t need to do something strenuous: even walking has shown that effect. There are many open questions in terms of specific types of exercise, duration, magnitude of effect but, as we wrote in our recent Nature Reviews Neuroscience article, there is little doubt that leading a sedentary life is bad for our cognitive health. Cardiovascular exercise seems to have a positive effect.
Second, Maintain Lifelong Intellectual Engagement. There is abundant prospective observational research showing that doing more mentally stimulating activities reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Let me add, given all media hype, that no “brain game” in particular has been shown to have a long-term impact on Alzheimer’s or the maintenance of cognition across extended periods of time. It is too early for that-and consumers should be aware of that fact. It is true that some companies are being more science-based than others but, in my view, the consumer-oriented field is growing faster than the research is.
Ideally, combine both physical and mental stimulation along with social interactions. Why not take a good walk with friends to discuss a book? We lead very busy lives, so the more integrated and interesting activities are, the more likely we will do them.