Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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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 SharpBrains.com 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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