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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Musical training as mental exercise for cognitive performance

We often hear (glad­ly!) how teach­ers use our blog arti­cles and brain teasers in their class­es. We also hear how many psy­chol­o­gy and biol­o­gy teach­ers are get­ting their stu­dents excit­ed about brain research, and, to con­tribute to their efforts, we like to rec­og­nize some great ini­tia­tives.

Last year, Jef­frey Gonce, a Psy­chol­o­gy teacher at Red Land High School (West Shore School Dis­trict, PA) asked his stu­dents to “com­plete a project describ­ing a recent brain (or genet­ic) study that affects behav­ior.” The stu­dents could opt to post their arti­cles online, and Jef­frey was kind enough to send us a link to read the results. We enjoyed read­ing them all, and pub­lished in our blog this beau­ti­ful essay, titled “Tis bet­ter to give than receive”, writ­ten by Alexan­dra, which Piano musical training was sub­se­quent­ly includ­ed in a num­ber of neu­ro­science an psy­chol­o­gy blogs.

This year, Jef­frey also sent us his stu­dents’ essays, and we are going to rec­og­nize and pub­lish this great essay by high school stu­dent Megan. Enjoy!
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It has long been the source of sci­en­tif­ic debate as to whether music can improve the cog­ni­tive process­es in chil­dren. Referred to by some as “The Mozart Effect,” a strong Read the rest of this entry »

Bill Clinton on health care and wellness

We read a good arti­cle on med­ical salaries recent­ly, and are hap­py to see an increased empha­sis pre­ven­tion and well­ness rather than on sick­ness.

Along these lines, we were for­tu­nate to attend Heal­thetc yes­ter­day, a day-long health event in San Fran­cis­co co-orga­nized by KCBS and CPMC that had Bill Clin­ton as keynote speak­er. You can read an arti­cle on his great inter­ven­tion here.

Some of the speech high­lights:

1) Clinton’s great overview of key data:

  • 16 vs 10–11: % GDP spent on health care in the US vs. oth­er indus­tri­al­ized coun­tries. This per­cent­age dif­fer­ence equals around $800 bil­lion annu­al­ly
  • 84 vs 100: % pop­u­la­tion with some form of health insur­ance in the US vs. oth­er coun­tries
  • 34 and 37: rank­ing of the US sys­tem as mea­sured by health out­comes and life expectan­cy, respec­tive­ly
  • 34 vs 19: % health care costs spent on admin­is­tra­tion in the US vs. oth­er coun­tries

2) He out­lined the 3 main prob­lems with US Health­care as fol­lows-and empathized that any seri­ous, long-term solu­tion needs to Read the rest of this entry »

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters, and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm and think tank tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

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