Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


News: Launch of Brain Start-up Challenge on August 1st

brain_innovationDear SharpBrains community,

We have read Alvaro Fernandez’s publication regarding the BRAIN Initiative in Venture Beat and thought our first-of-a-kind Brain Start-up Challenge would be of interest to many of you.

To provide some background, the National Institutes of Health, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Center for Advancing Innovation and the Heritage Provider Network, have partnered to create a “first of a kind” Brain Challenge. The Challenge will feature 20 rigorously selected brain related inventions that have commercial viability and are important to public health. Read the rest of this entry »

New Report Finds A Brain Health Revolution in the Making, Driven by Digital Technology and Neuroplasticity Research

2010MarketReportIn spite of the recent economic downturn, revenues for digital technologies to assess, enhance and treat cognition, or digital brain health and fitness tools, grew 35% in 2009. “The convergence of demographic and policy trends with cognitive neuroscience discoveries and technological innovation is giving birth to a nascent marketplace that can fundamentally transform what brain health is, how it is measured, and how it is done,” says Alvaro Fernandez, member of the World Economic Forum’s Council on the Aging Society and Editor-in-Chief of the report. “This groundbreaking report can help pioneers shape the emerging toolkit to benefit an aging society that increasingly seeks new ways to enhance cognitive functionality and mental wellness across the lifespan.”

“As the brain is thrust into the center of the healthcare ecosystem, innovative cognitive health and brain fitness applications will play an increasingly important role in defining neurocentric health,” adds Jake Dunagan, Research Director at the Institute For The Future.

Report: Transforming Brain Health with Digital Tools to Assess, Enhance and Treat Cognition across the Lifespan: The State of the Brain Fitness Market 2010.

A majority among the 1,900+ decision-makers and early-adopters surveyed said they trusted the effectiveness of non-invasive options above invasive options to enhance critical brain functionality. Professional and intellectual challenges were rated very effective by 61% of respondents, aerobic exercise and reading books by 42%, meditation by 38%, computerized brain training by 26%, taking prescription drugs by 13%, taking supplements by 12%, and self-medicating with drugs by 1%.

These are among the key findings of a 207-page market report released today by SharpBrains and prepared in collaboration with 24 leading scientists and 10 innovative organizations — the most comprehensive such research study done to analyze emerging research, technologies and marketplace.

“We must do for brain health in the 21st century what we largely accomplished in cardiovascular health in the past century. It’s time to take scientific insights out of the lab and to identify practical applications, making the maintenance of good brain fitness a public health priority,” indicates William Reichman, MD, President and CEO of Baycrest.

Other Report Highlights are: Read the rest of this entry »

Lifelong Learning: Changing My Brain

Hi!Andreas Engvig
This is Andreas, the Norwegian MD/PhD in neuroscience candidate who worked as an intern at SharpBrains a few months ago. Now I’m back in chilly Oslo where I’ve just begun my PhD program on cognitive training for patients with memory problems.

Today I felt it was time to reflect upon my 3 month stay in San Francisco earlier this year. It all started when in April when the Norwegian school of entrepreneurship said: You’ve got a ticket to San Francisco, now you got to find the perfect start-up company to work for.

Being interested in brain training, I googled Brain fitness San Francisco and guess what I found? I got in touch with Alvaro Fernandez, the co-founder of and two months later I started working with him and his team.

As a scientist, being placed in an exciting start-up company in a novel market like brain fitness was a huge learning experience that gave me hands-on knowledge of business and entrepreneurial culture. Being a neuroscience student, I know that learning physically changes my brain, strengthening it.

Here’s a list of some of the key things I’ve learned:

1) First of all, one of key rules for brain fitness is learning. In SharpBrains I immediately got to experience what a great learning culture can be all about  from key insights in entrepreneurship to how to make creative videos and writing for the web. The urge for constant learning is both fun and stimulating  and I appreciate Alvaro’s suggestion to write this post.
Read the rest of this entry »

Memory Improvement Techniques and Brain Exercises

Fitness TrainerA reader (thanks Mike!) sends us this fun article, titled A matter of training, on how to train our memory. Some quotes:

“It’s a skill, not a talent. It’s something anyone could have picked up … I’m not born with this. It’s about training and technique, he says, explaining his unusual ability. Anant holds the Limca Record  the Indian equivalent of the Guinness Record œ for memorising 75 telephone numbers, along with the names of their owners, in less than an hour. He is recognised as “the man with the most phenomenal memory in India.

“Unfortunately, most people think that memorising is very difficult. The moment they see someone demonstrate something like this, they think it’s out of this world.

If you want to remember something, you have to link it to something you already know. Association is the natural principal. For example, if you need directions to a place, a landmark is often used as a point of reference. And if you derive pleasure from something you do, there’s a good chance you’ll remember it. Since the brain already works in this manner, why don’t we take control of it?

“To me, an intelligent person is someone who is able to put together more of his skills to solve a problem. Intelligence is about using strategies.

The key concept here is that memory, as well as other cognitive skills, can be trained through Read the rest of this entry »

MindFit special discount for SharpBrains readers

For a limited time only: we can offer a 10% Discount and Free shipping for SharpBrains readers who want to buy MindFit brain fitness program. Simply visit this website introduce the Discount Code SB-MF-10 in the Discounts/Coupons field as you check out.

Note: by clicking here you will visit a different website, unafiliated with us. Please remember that we have not developed MindFit, but consider it one of the programs with good grades in our 10-Question Evaluation Checklist, so we are glad to have secured this discount.

Below you have some demos, so you get a sense of the types of exercises we are talking about. Have fun!

Inside and Outside Task

The “Inside and Outside” task was designed to train your divided attention skills. Divided attention is the ability to pay attention to more than one thing at a time. Read the rest of this entry »

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