Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Study finds a key ingredient in mindfulness training: Acceptance (not acquiescence)

Life can be stress­ful. Whether it’s the stress that comes with hav­ing too much work to do in too lit­tle time, ful­fill­ing care­giv­ing oblig­a­tions, or deal­ing with a major ill­ness or set­back, some­times it can be hard to cope.

In response to stress, many peo­ple today are turn­ing to med­i­ta­tion or mind­ful­ness apps (myself includ­ed). But not all mind­ful­ness prac­tice is equal­ly effec­tive for com­bat­ing stress Read the rest of this entry »

Study finds limited benefits from cognitive bias modification (CBM) training, calls for further research

Faces along a pos­i­tive-neu­tral to neg­a­tive-neu­tral spec­trum, and a sad face, from Peters et al. (2017)‘s CBM for facial inter­pre­ta­tion train­ing. Cred­it: Uni­ver­si­ty of Bris­tol

Could cog­ni­tive inter­ven­tions be use­ful in treat­ing depres­sion? (Sci­ence News):

A new study by exper­i­men­tal psy­chol­o­gists from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Bris­tol has exam­ined whether cog­ni­tive bias mod­i­fi­ca­tion (CBM) for facial inter­pre­ta­tion, a dig­i­tal health inter­ven­tion that changes our per­cep­tion for emo­tion­al expres­sions from neg­a­tive to pos­i­tive, might be use­ful in treat­ing depres­sion. Read the rest of this entry »

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Study: Families’ Perspectives on ADHD and its Treatment

In 2005 the Amer­i­can Acad­e­my of Pedi­atrics (AAP) began an ini­tia­tive to pro­mote an approach to care among its mem­bers in which “…the pedi­atric team works in part­ner­ship with a child and a child’s fam­i­ly to assure that all of the med­ical and non-med­ical needs of the patient are met.” A crit­i­cal­ly impor­tant focus of this approach is the role of the fam­i­ly and child — as devel­op­men­tal­ly appro­pri­ate — in the devel­op­ment of an over­all plan of care.

This shared deci­sion-mak­ing approach is espe­cial­ly impor­tant for con­di­tions like ADHD where there is not a sin­gle treat­ment that is the most appro­pri­ate and pre­ferred option for all patients. How­ev­er, Read the rest of this entry »

What You Can do to Improve Memory (and Why It Deteriorates in Old Age)

After about age 50, most peo­ple begin to expe­ri­ence a decline in mem­o­ry capa­bil­i­ty. Why is that? One obvi­ous answer is that the small arter­ies of the brain begin to clog up, often as a result of a life­time of eat­ing the wrong things and a lack of exer­cise. If that life­time has been stress­ful, many neu­rons may have been killed by stress hor­mones. Giv­en theImprove Memory Bill Klemm most recent sci­en­tif­ic lit­er­a­ture, reviewed in my book Thank You, Brain, For All You Remem­ber. What You For­got Was My Fault, dead neu­rons can’t be replaced, except in the hip­pocam­pus, which is for­tu­nate for mem­o­ry because the hip­pocam­pus is essen­tial for mak­ing cer­tain kinds of mem­o­ries per­ma­nent. Anoth­er cause is incip­i­ent Alzheimer’s dis­ease; autop­sies show that many peo­ple have the lesions of the dis­ease but have nev­er shown symp­toms, pre­sum­ably because a life­time of excep­tion­al men­tal activ­i­ty has built up a “cog­ni­tive reserve.

So is there any­thing you can do about it besides exer­cise like crazy, eat healthy foods that you don’t like all that much, pop your statin pills, and take up yoga?

Yes. In short: focus, focus, focus.

Chang­ing think­ing styles can help. Research shows that Read the rest of this entry »

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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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