Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Nintendo BrainAge, Lumosity, Happy Neuron, MyBrainTrainer…

A collection of recent announcement in the “brain games” or “brain training games” space:

The Wii sets new generational standards for the videogame industry

  • “The ageing of the Japanese population compelled gamemaker Nintendo to widen its audience. Now, the Wii is leading the industry standards. But hardcore gamers are still too important to be neglected.”

Strain your brain the smart way

  • “George Harrison, Nintendo’s senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications, has said that more than half of the company’s marketing for Wii is aimed at adults. And the system has been presented at conventions for the aging “gray gamer” population.” and talks about sudoku, Brain Age, Big Brain Academy, and more.

SBT Announces the Acquisition of Quixit

Exercise and The Brain in Newsweek

The new edition of Newsweek brings us a great cover story titled Stronger, Faster, Smarter. “Exercise does more than build muscles and help prevent heart disease. New science shows that it also boosts brainpower—and may offer hope in the battle against Alzheimer’s.” Check it out!

We addressed the question Is physical fitness important to your brain fitness? recently:

According to Fred Gage, PhD, of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, “We now know that exercise helps generate new brain cells, even in the aging brain.

According to the research of Richard Smeyne, PhD at Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, with just two months of exercise there are more brain cells and that higher levels of exercise were significantly more beneficial than lower amounts, although any exercise was better than none. He also found that Read the rest of this entry »

Neurogenesis and How Learning Saves Your Neurons

Jon Barron’s blog highlighted this recent press release from The Society for Neuroscience.

For decades, it was believed that the adult brain did not produce new neurons after birth. But that notion has been dispelled by research in the last ten years. It became clear by the mid- to late-1990’s that the brain does, in fact, produce new neurons throughout the lifespan.

This phenomenon, known as neurogenesis, occurs in most species, including humans, but the degree to which it occurs and the extent to which it occurs is still a matter of some controversy, says Tracey Shors, PhD, at Rutgers University.

“However, there is no question that neurogenesis occurs in the hippocampus, a brain region involved in aspects of learning and memory. Thousands of new cells are produced there each day, although many die with weeks of their birth.” Shors’ recent studies have shown a correlation in animal models between learning and cell survival in the hippocampus.

Read the rest of this entry »

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