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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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The State of Mindfulness Science: 10 Key Research Findings to Encourage and Guide your Meditation Practice in 2018

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Dur­ing the past two decades, more and more sci­en­tists have stud­ied mindfulness—a Bud­dhist-inspired col­lec­tion of prac­tices aimed at help­ing us to cul­ti­vate moment-to-moment aware­ness of our­selves and our envi­ron­ment. Their ear­ly find­ings trig­gered an enor­mous amount of enthu­si­asm for med­i­ta­tion.

Some­times, how­ev­er, jour­nal­ists and even sci­en­tists (who should know bet­ter) have over­stat­ed the phys­i­cal and men­tal health ben­e­fits, which has fed grow­ing skep­ti­cism about mind­ful­ness. Read the rest of this entry »

Brainy Innovation Tips from Edward Kliphuis, Investment Director with Merck Ventures

Edward Kli­phuis

Ques­tion: Edward, please share 1–2 major brain health needs you observe right now whose solu­tion demands a cre­ative and sig­nif­i­cant tech-enabled inno­va­tion.

Answer: We need to tar­get depres­sion, stress and fatigue in a quan­tifi­able man­ner (ie. no well­ness-like claims, but real data sup­port­ing an improve­ment in the afore­men­tioned indi­ca­tions). Treat­ments and ear­ly detec­tion too.

Also, ways  to mon­i­tor lon­gi­tu­di­nal cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties (ie. per­son-spe­cif­ic brain func­tion over the course of a num­ber of years). Done on a wider pop­u­la­tion this could pro­vide insights into the impact of cer­tain exter­nal fac­tors such as food, air qual­i­ty, etc.

 

Ques­tion: And what advice would you give an entre­pre­neur launch­ing an inno­va­tion to address those needs–for the approach to be suc­cess­ful and sus­tain­able?

Answer: Focus on the right mod­el from day one: You need to iden­ti­fy right away the best approach for the oppor­tu­ni­ty at hand — for exam­ple, reg­u­lat­ed med­ical approach vs. gen­er­al well­ness? Both are viable but going from unreg­u­lat­ed to reg­u­lat­ed is hard­ly pos­si­ble where­as the oppo­site is viable (although cre­ates a risk of off-label use…)

 

– Edward Kli­phuis is an Invest­ment Direc­tor with Mer­ck Ven­tures BV, the Cor­po­rate Ven­ture Cap­i­tal arm of Mer­ck KGaA, Darm­stadt, Ger­many. He is respon­si­ble for the New Busi­ness­es fund, which invests glob­al­ly in trans­for­ma­tion­al ideas dri­ven by great entre­pre­neurs. The New Busi­ness­es fund seeks to invest in strate­gic oppor­tu­ni­ties beyond Merck’s cur­rent busi­ness­es, make cross over invest­ments between busi­ness­es and invest in dig­i­ti­za­tion oppor­tu­ni­ties. The total vol­ume of the cor­po­rate ven­ture fund is €300 mil­lion. He will serve as a Judge in the first Brainnova­tions Pitch Con­test host­ed by the 2017 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit: Brain Enhance­ment in the Dig­i­tal Age (Decem­ber 5–7th, 2017).

– Brain­no­va­tions Judg­ing Pan­el

Trend: Measuring physiological responses–including brain activity–to design stimulating, “conscious” cities

Stan­ley Park, Van­cou­ver. Cred­it: Alamy Stock Pho­to.

 

The hid­den ways that archi­tec­ture affects how you feel: An era of “neu­ro-archi­tec­ture” (BBC Future)

We shape our build­ings and after­wards our build­ings shape us,” mused Win­ston Churchill in 1943 while con­sid­er­ing the repair of the bomb-rav­aged House of Com­mons. More than 70 years on, Read the rest of this entry »

Update: Why Untrained Brains Are A Bit Like Puppies (And How Dance Offers Great Brain Training)

Time for Sharp­Brains’ April e-newslet­ter, fea­tur­ing what’s new in brain health and cog­ni­tive per­for­mance. Quite stim­u­lat­ing read­ing 🙂

New thinking

New research

therapy controlNew tools

Upcoming event

 

Final­ly, here you have 5 quick brain teasers to sharp­en two key cog­ni­tive skills: atten­tion and work­ing mem­o­ry.

 

Have a great month of May,

 

The Sharp­Brains Team

I am excited”: Making Stress Work for You, Instead of Against You

Image: The Yerkes-Dod­son Law (YDL)

How much stress is good for you?

In 1908, Robert Mearns Yerkes and John Dilling­ham Dod­son designed an exper­i­ment that would begin to tack­le the ques­tion, “How much stress is good for you?”

The researchers tracked mice to see how stress would affect their abil­i­ty to learn. Simple—yet painful, because how do you stress out mice? Read the rest of this entry »

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