Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Six tips for social-emotional learning (SEL) to transfer into real-world skills


Social-emo­tion­al learn­ing (SEL) teach­es the key atti­tudes and skills nec­es­sary for under­stand­ing and man­ag­ing emo­tions, lis­ten­ing, feel­ing and show­ing empa­thy for oth­ers, and mak­ing thought­ful, respon­si­ble deci­sions. For five years, I was an edu­ca­tor in the field teach­ing mind­ful­ness and emo­tion­al skills to teenagers at six dif­fer­ent high schools.

Over and over, I saw the pow­er of mind­ful­ness to trans­form the inner lives of stu­dents. Stu­dents became less stressed, more self-reg­u­lat­ed, and more thought­ful toward their class­mates. But I also saw that Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Mindfulness training for teachers can result in a better learning environment for students

No one would argue with the fact that teach­ing is stress­ful. Not only is the work high­ly chal­leng­ing, teach­ers are also fre­quent­ly under­paid, under­val­ued, and sub­ject to harsh scruti­ny. No won­der teacher burnout is on the rise and that many feel like leav­ing their pro­fes­sion.

But teacher stress is not only a prob­lem for teach­ers; it can also be a prob­lem for stu­dents. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Integrate Social-Emotional Learning into Common Core Standards

Do the Com­mon Core State Stan­dards under­mine social-emo­tion­al learn­ing?

Many edu­ca­tors think so. In a recent Ed Week op-ed, an ele­men­tary prin­ci­pal argued that teach­ers were too busy teach­ing Com­mon Core to address the social-emo­tion­al devel­op­ment of their stu­dents. I’ve heard the same argu­ment from many teach­ers. This is trou­bling giv­en that researchers strong­ly sug­gest that the learn­ing process is  Read the rest of this entry »

Update: Major Implications from Brain Research

Here you have the twice-a-month newslet­ter with our most pop­u­lar blog posts. Please brainremem­ber that you can sub­scribe to receive this Newslet­ter by email, sim­ply by sub­mit­ting your email at the top of this page.

Major Impli­ca­tions from Brain Research

Should Social-Emo­tion­al Learn­ing Be Part of Aca­d­e­m­ic Cur­ricu­lum?: It is clear by now that our brains are more than cog­ni­tive machines. For exam­ple, emo­tions can either enhance or inhib­it our abil­i­ty to learn. Daniel Gole­man explores the impli­ca­tions of “new stud­ies that reveal how teach­ing kids to be emo­tion­al­ly and social­ly com­pe­tent boost their aca­d­e­m­ic achieve­ment.” Brought to you in part­ner­ship with Greater Good Mag­a­zine.

Retain old­er work­ers beyond retire­ment: Busi­ness­Week cov­ers a best prac­tice in a top­ic of grow­ing impor­tance: how large com­pa­nies, such as Amer­i­can Express, can retain old­er work­ers in pro­duc­tive ways beyond a set arbi­trary retire­ment age. As Dr. Art Kramer told us recent­ly, “as a soci­ety, it is a mas­sive waste of tal­ent not to ensure old­er adults remain active and pro­duc­tive.”

Brain­Tech and Sus­tain­able Brains: Build­ing on a recent quote by John Doerr about clean tech­nol­o­gy trends, we won­der… “If Ener­gy is the moth­er of all markets…who would be the father of all mar­kets?” The Human Brain, per­haps?

Health and Research

Exer­cis­ing the body is exer­cis­ing the mind: Dr. Adri­an Pre­da explains research con­duct­ed at Gage lab­o­ra­to­ry that sup­ports the mer­its for phys­i­cal exer­cise to be rec­og­nized as a form of brain exer­cise too.

What You Can do to Improve Mem­o­ry (and Why It Dete­ri­o­rates in Old Age): Is there any­thing we can do besides “exer­cise like crazy, eat healthy foods that you don’t like all that much, pop your statin pills, and take up yoga?” Yes: focus, focus, focus, sug­gests Dr. Bill Klemm.

News and Events

Cog­ni­tive Health News August 2008: This is a roundup of recent brain health news and our com­men­tary, includ­ing the grow­ing adop­tion of Dakim and Nin­ten­do prod­ucts, the cog­ni­tive impact of videogames, and the cog­ni­tive dimen­sion of the obe­si­ty cri­sis.

Exer­cise your brain at these events: Alvaro will present the main find­ings from our mar­ket research at mul­ti­ple con­fer­ences in the US, Cana­da and Dubai dur­ing the rest of  the year.

Edu­ca­tion­al Resources

Where does the “Feel­ing of Know­ing” comes from?: Dr. Gin­ger Camp­bell shares some insights from her recent inter­view with neu­rol­o­gist Robert Bur­ton (author of On Being Cer­tain: Believ­ing You Are Right Even When You’re Not).“While it might be true that one can learn to become more aware of the emo­tion­al sig­nals com­ing from ones body, Dr. Bur­ton argues that “gut feel­ings” or intu­ition should not be assumed to be true with­out test­ing.”

Resources for Brain Health Across the Lifes­pan: Lau­rie Bar­tels shares a list of inter­views, video, arti­cles, and books that go hand-in-hand with the brain-relat­ed top­ics we cov­er.

Brain teas­er

Can you use men­tal self rota­tion to read a map?: please check out this teas­er by Dr. Pas­cale Mich­e­lon, one of our favorites so far.

We hope you have enjoyed this newslet­ter. We encour­age you to stay tuned for our Sep­tem­ber edi­tions, since great con­tent is com­ing. We will soon pub­lish an inter­view with Lee Woodruff, co-author of the book In An Instant: A Fam­i­ly’s Jour­ney of Love and Heal­ing, and dis­cuss the spec­tac­u­lar cog­ni­tive recov­ery of her hus­band, ABC reporter Bob Woodruff, who expe­ri­enced a trau­mat­ic brain injury in Iraq in 2006. We will also inter­view Dr. Mike Pos­ner, emi­nent cog­ni­tive neu­ro­sci­en­tist, to explore recent find­ings on atten­tion and atten­tion train­ing and their impli­ca­tions.

Brain-Based Carnival of Education, 186th Edition

Wel­come to the 186th edi­tion of the Car­ni­val of Edu­ca­tion, the week­ly vir­tu­al gath­er­ing of dozens of blog­gers to dis­cuss all things edu­ca­tion.

Q: Why do you say this edi­tion is “brain-based”?
A: Because the Q&A frame we are using is inspired by how Chris at Ouroboros recent­ly host­ed Encephalon Brain and Mind blog car­ni­val. (Is clas­sic Greek mak­ing a come­back?).

Q: As edu­ca­tors, what inspires us to do what we do?
A: Tra­cy sug­gests, “Hope for the future”.

Q: And what may hap­pen in the future?
A: Eric pro­pos­es that the field can learn much about how ath­letes train their minds and bod­ies to max­i­mize per­for­mance.

Q: What should not hap­pen in the future?
A: Dave hopes we stop the Text­book Insan­i­ty, killing trees to cre­ate books not every­one uses.

Q: What comes first, sub­ject or learn­er?
A: Bogu­sia has “switched sides”. She now cen­ters her teach­ing around her stu­dents, to make sure they appre­ci­ate the beau­ty of the sub­ject.

Q: How do you know if some­thing is devel­op­men­tal­ly appro­pri­ate?
Read the rest of this entry »

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