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 more…] about Debate: What are the ethics of discouraging much-needed innovation given potential privacy concerns?
“Behavioral therapy should be used before medication in treating children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to new research. [Read more…] about Challenging status quo: Why shouldn’t behavioral therapy, instead of medication, be first-line treatment for ADHD?
First 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 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 more…] about The Business and Ethics of the Brain Fitness Boom — Part 4: The Future
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 more…] about The Business and Ethics of the Brain Fitness Boom — Part 3: The Real Need
The terminology “fundamental attribution error” describes the tendency to overvalue personality-based explanations for observed human behaviors, while undervaluing situational explanations for those behaviors. I believe that a primary reason behind many perceived and real ethical challenges in the brain fitness field is due not so much to certain stakeholders’ lack of personal or professional ethics, but derives from the flawed societal construct that underpins current, relevant innovations. To improve the ethics of the brain fitness business and its application (and empower consumers’ informed decision making), there must first be agreement about a meaningful, appropriate way to analyze and guide innovation. This is the crux of the problem. The current medical model is not up to the task at hand, since it is heavily skewed toward invasive drugs and devices driven by disease-based models, and fails to leverage [Read more…] about The Business and Ethics of the Brain Fitness Boom — Part 2: The Ethics