Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Debate: What are the ethics of discouraging much-needed innovation given potential privacy concerns?

CNN’s Ana Maria Mon­tero inter­views Ned Sahin. The dis­cus­sion about the impact of EU pri­va­cy laws starts in minute 10.

Sto­ry descrip­tion (CNN Mon­ey): Ned Sahin is founder and CEO of neu­rotech­nol­o­gy start-up Brain Pow­er, whose tool “Empow­er Me” uses smart glass­es like Google Glass to coach those with autism. It helps school­child­ren learn social and cog­ni­tive skills and can even guide adults through an inter­view process. Brain Power’s prod­uct is sold to many schools in the U.S. but may nev­er make it to mar­ket in Switzer­land Read the rest of this entry »

Challenging status quo: Why shouldn’t behavioral therapy, instead of medication, be first-line treatment for ADHD?

ADHD-BehavioralTherapy

— Par­tic­i­pants at a social skills train­ing camp. Source: Flori­da Inter­na­tion­al Uni­ver­si­ty

Behav­ioral Ther­a­py First for ADHD Treat­ment? (Web­MD):

Behav­ioral ther­a­py should be used before med­ica­tion in treat­ing chil­dren with atten­tion-deficit hyper­ac­tiv­i­ty dis­or­der (ADHD), accord­ing to new research. Read the rest of this entry »

Brain teasers to understand and boost cognitive abilities

brain circuitsFirst of all, what is cog­ni­tion? Cog­ni­tion has to do with how a per­son under­stands and acts in the world. It is a set of men­tal process­es that are part of near­ly every human action. For instance, answer­ing the tele­phone involves per­cep­tion (hear­ing the ring tone), deci­sion tak­ing (answer­ing or not), motor skill (lift­ing the receiv­er), lan­guage skills (lis­ten­ing and talk­ing), social skills (inter­pret­ing tone of voice and inter­act­ing prop­erly).

Cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties are sup­port­ed by spe­cific neu­ronal net­works and brain struc­tures. For instance mem­ory skills rely main­ly on parts of the tem­po­ral lobes and parts of the frontal lobes (behind the fore­head). In the arti­cle What are Cog­ni­tive Abil­i­ties and Skills? you can find good expla­na­tion and exam­ples, togeth­er with stim­u­lat­ing brain teasers to exer­cise the cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties described. Learn, and have fun!

 

The Business and Ethics of the Brain Fitness Boom — Part 4: The Future

Build­ing Blocks for a Bet­ter Future

The best alter­na­tive for tomor­row should be bet­ter than the best alter­na­tive avail­able today. How do we get there, when “cog­ni­tion” and “brain fit­ness” remain elu­sive con­cepts in pop­u­lar cul­ture? I believe that the lack of pub­lic edu­ca­tion is the major obsta­cle that lim­its the brain fit­ness field’s poten­tial to deliv­er real-world ben­e­fits, since only informed demand will ensure the ongo­ing devel­op­ment of ratio­nal, struc­tured “rules of the road.” What could be done to address this and oth­er par­tic­u­lar obsta­cles? Read the rest of this entry »

The Business and Ethics of the Brain Fitness Boom — Part 3: The Real Need

Engag­ing peo­ple where they are in the life-course

Eighty per­cent of the 38,000 adults over age 50 who were respon­ders in the 2010 AARP Mem­ber Opin­ion Sur­vey indi­cat­ed “stay­ing men­tal­ly sharp” was their top ranked inter­est and con­cern (Dinger, 2010). What exact­ly does this phrase mean? And what role can tech­nol­o­gy play in “stay­ing men­tal­ly sharp”? Intel CEO Paul Otelli­ni has said, “You have to start by think­ing about what peo­ple want to do… and work back­ward.” Read the rest of this entry »

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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