Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Book review: Grit is a tool in the toolbox, not the silver bullet

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West Point cadets endure a gru­el­ing lev­el of phys­i­cal exer­tion, emo­tion­al chal­lenge, and social abuse. The stan­dards for com­plet­ing the train­ing are high, as is the dropout rate.

Accord­ing to psy­chol­o­gist Angela Duck­worth, who has stud­ied these cadets, what sets the grad­u­ates apart from those who don’t com­plete the train­ing Read the rest of this entry »

Update: Work as a Brain Fitness Program

Here you have the twice-a-month newslet­ter with our most pop­u­lar blog posts. Please brainremem­ber that you can sub­scribe to receive this Newslet­ter by email, sim­ply by sub­mit­ting your email at the top of this page.

There is one type of “brain fit­ness pro­gram” which is not only free but also pays you back. You guessed it, that pro­gram is your “job”. Our occu­pa­tions can pro­vide ben­e­fi­cial men­tal exer­cise if they incor­po­rate the key ingre­di­ents of nov­el­ty, vari­ety, and chal­lenge, and are not a source of chron­ic stress.

We start today’s newslet­ter with two arti­cles relat­ed to the brain val­ue of hav­ing men­tal­ly stim­u­lat­ing jobs.

Your Brain At Work

Your Brain At Work Brochure: Aren’t “tal­ent” and “human cap­i­tal” all about brain fit­ness and cog­ni­tive per­for­mance, real­ly? Indi­vid­u­als and Human Resources depart­ments can access excel­lent cog­ni­tive fit­ness tips, an action plan, and a great brochure pro­vid­ed by the Dana Alliance for Brain Ini­tia­tives and the Con­fer­ence Board for our read­ers.

ABC Reporter Bob Woodruff’s Recov­ery from Trau­mat­ic Brain Injury: For­mer US pres­i­den­tial con­tender and Sen­a­tor John Edwards recent­ly grant­ed an inter­view to reporter Bob Woodruff. The most remark­able aspect of the inter­view? Bob Woodruff’s spec­tac­u­lar recov­ery from the trau­mat­ic brain injury he suf­fered in Iraq 2 years ago. You can’t miss this inter­view with his wife Lee, where we dis­cuss Bob’s recov­ery process (includ­ing mak­ing a doc­u­men­tary, co-writ­ing a book and oth­er projects at ABC), the Bob Woodruff Foun­da­tion, and the over­all chal­lenge of cog­ni­tive reha­bil­i­ta­tion fol­low­ing trau­mat­ic brain injuries.

Research

San­ti­a­go Ramon y Cajal’s “Rec­ol­lec­tions of My Life”: Remark­able and can­did views on neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty, learn­ing, aging and life, straight from the auto­bi­og­ra­phy of one of the founders of mod­ern neu­ro­science, who once said “Every man can, if he so desires, become the sculp­tor of his own brain.”

Can food improve brain health?: Dr. Pas­cale Mich­e­lon pro­vides an overview of the effects of food on the brain, build­ing on Fer­nan­do Gomez-Pinilla’s recent study in Nature Reviews Neu­ro­science. Can­di­dates for “brainy” foods con­tain: Omega-3 fat­ty acid, folic acid, flavonoids, anti-oxi­dant foods. Please note her warn­ing, though: most of the stud­ies show­ing pos­i­tive effects have been con­duct­ed in mice.

The biol­o­gy of aging: A month­ly vir­tu­al gath­er­ing of blog­gers to dis­cuss Biol­o­gy of Aging top­ics includ­ing research, pol­i­cy, lifestyle guid­ance, and open ques­tions. We are aware that “aging” may not be the sex­i­est  of words in our vocab­u­lary… unless you con­sid­er the most com­mon alter­na­tive.

Tech­nol­o­gy

Brain Fit­ness Cen­ters in Senior Hous­ing — A Field in the Mak­ing: The Amer­i­can Seniors Hous­ing Asso­ci­a­tion (ASHA) has released an Spe­cial Issue Brief pre­pared by Sharp­Brains to pro­vide qual­i­ty infor­ma­tion on mar­ket trends, best prac­tices by lead­ing seniors hous­ing and long-term care orga­ni­za­tions, lessons from pilot stud­ies, nav­i­ga­tion­al guid­ance, and more. If you are a pro­fes­sion­al or exec­u­tive in the sec­tor, please con­sid­er pur­chas­ing a copy.

The Future of Com­put­er-assist­ed Cog­ni­tive Ther­a­py: Cog­ni­tive ther­a­py is one of the most researched types of brain train­ing, espe­cial­ly in deal­ing with depres­sion and anx­i­ety. Why don’t more peo­ple ben­e­fit today from it? The lack of a scal­able dis­tri­b­u­tion mod­el may per­haps explain that. We pre­dict that tech­nol­o­gy will help com­ple­ment the role of ther­a­pists, help­ing more peo­ple bet­ter cope with change, life, anx­i­ety, and a range of cog­ni­tive and emo­tion­al chal­lenges. With­out any stig­ma. Just as nat­u­ral­ly as one trains abdom­i­nal mus­cles today.

Brain Teas­er
Games for the Brain: Quick, can you iden­ti­fy what is going on in these pho­tographs?

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We hope you enjoyed this edi­tion. As always, you are wel­come to share these arti­cles with friends, and to give us feed­back, for extra brain work­out.

Your Brain At Work, by the Dana Alliance and The Conference Board

Sev­er­al months ago we came across an excel­lent resource for cognitive/ brain fit­ness aimed at help­ing com­pa­nies offer qual­i­ty brain health infor­ma­tion to their employ­ees.

While it is true that we often tend to believe all this “brain fit­ness” stuff is most rel­e­vant to our par­ents and/ or grand­par­ents, trust me, if you are read­ing this, you need it. Every­one with a brain can ben­e­fit from learn­ing about how his or her brain works and how to main­tain it with prop­er care.

And, from a company’s point of view, aren’t “tal­ent” and “human cap­i­tal” real­ly all about brain fit­ness and cog­ni­tive per­for­mance?

Your Brain At Work - Dana Foundation and the Conference BoardThe Con­fer­ence Board and the Dana Alliance for Brain Ini­tia­tives (descrip­tions below) pub­lished in 2008 a 44-page book­let to “teach sim­ple, prac­ti­cal strate­gies for incor­po­rat­ing brain-friend­ly prac­tices into day-to-day life”.  Your Brain at work: Mak­ing the sci­ence of cog­ni­tive fit­ness to work for you is the first of three planned book­lets on cog­ni­tive fit­ness.

The Con­fer­ence Board and the Dana Alliance have allowed Sharp­Brains to share the fol­low­ing Action Plan with our read­ers, straight from Your Brain at work brochure. At the bot­tom of this post we also share instruc­tions on how indi­vid­u­als and com­pa­nies can get their own copies of this excel­lent brochure. Read the rest of this entry »

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

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