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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Test your Short-Term Memory: How many letters can you memorize?

Mem­o­ry is more com­plex that we usu­al­ly think. Cog­ni­tive sci­ences have iden­ti­fied dif­fer­ent mem­o­ry sys­tems, each sup­port­ed by dif­fer­ent brain regions. One major dif­fer­ence is between long-term and short-term mem­o­ry (also called work­ing mem­o­ry).

Long-term mem­o­ry is an unlim­it­ed stor­age of mem­o­ries dat­ing as far back as you can remem­ber to a few min­utes ago. For instance, when you remem­ber your first day in high-school or what you said to your col­league two min­utes ago, you are using your long-term mem­o­ry sys­tem. This sys­tem depends most­ly on parts of the tem­po­ral (in blue here) and frontal (in green) regions of the brain.

Short-term or work­ing mem­o­ry is a lim­it­ed stor­age used to briefly keep the infor­ma­tion need­ed for the task at hand. For instance, when you keep in mind a phone num­ber while you are dial­ing it or when you do some men­tal cal­cu­la­tion you are using your work­ing mem­o­ry sys­tem. This sys­tem depends most­ly on parts of the frontal (in green) and pari­etal (in yel­low) regions of the brain.

Work­ing mem­o­ry is cru­cial for most of the tasks we per­form dai­ly. It is also quite vul­ner­a­ble to the aging process. Two good rea­sons to try to main­tain this func­tion! Ready to test and sharp­en your short-term mem­o­ry?

Fol­low this link to mem­o­rize series of let­ters. The first 2 tri­als are very easy but the test gets quite chal­leng­ing after that!

Top 30 Brain Health and Fitness Articles of 2008

Here brain teasers job interview you have Sharp­Brains’ 30 most pop­u­lar arti­cles, ranked by the num­ber of peo­ple who have read each arti­cle in 2008.

Please note that, since the first arti­cle already includes most of our most pop­u­lar brain teasers, we have exclud­ed teasers from the rest of the rank­ing. (If those 50 are not enough for you, you can also try these brain teasers).

Blog Chan­nel
Arti­cle
1. Top 50 Brain Teasers and Games to Test your Brain
It is always good to stim­u­late our minds and to learn a bit about how our brains work. Here you have a selec­tion of the 50 Brain Teasers that peo­ple have enjoyed the most.
2. The Ten Habits of High­ly Effec­tive Brains
Let’s review some good lifestyle options we can fol­low to main­tain, and improve, our vibrant brains. My favorite: don’t out­source your brain (even to us).
3. Why do You Turn Down the Radio When You’re Lost?
You’re dri­ving through sub­ur­bia one evening look­ing for the street where you’re sup­posed to have din­ner at a friend’s new house. You slow down to a crawl, turn down the radio, stop talk­ing, and stare at every sign. Why is that? Nei­ther the radio nor talk­ing affects your vision. Or do they?
4. Brain Plas­tic­i­ty: How learn­ing changes your brain
You may have heard that the brain is plas­tic. As you know the brain is not made of plas­tic! Neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty or brain plas­tic­i­ty refers to the brain’s abil­i­ty to CHANGE through­out life.
5. Top 10 Brain Train­ing Future Trends
In an emerg­ing mar­ket like brain fit­ness train­ing, it is dif­fi­cult to make pre­cise pro­jec­tions. But, we can observe a num­ber of trends that exec­u­tives, con­sumers, pub­lic pol­i­cy mak­ers, and the media should watch close­ly in the com­ing years, as brain fit­ness and train­ing becomes main­stream, new tools appear, and an ecosys­tem grows around it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cognitive Ability: Brain Games or Drugs?

A recent sci­en­tif­ic study is being wel­comed as a land­mark that shows how flu­id intel­li­gence can be improved through train­ing. I inter­viewed one of the researchers recent­ly (Can Intel­li­gence Be Trained? Mar­tin Buschkuehl shows how), and con­trib­u­tor Dr. Pas­cale Mich­e­lon adds her own take with the great arti­cle that fol­lows. Enjoy!

Ref­er­ence: Jaeg­gi, S. M., Buschkuehl, M., Jonides, J., & Per­rig, W. J. (2008). Improv­ing Flu­id Intel­li­gence With Train­ing on Work­ing Mem­o­ry. Pro­ceed­ings of the Nation­al Acad­e­my of Sci­ences of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca, 105(19), 6829–6833

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What is intel­li­gence?

Intel­li­gence is a con­cept dif­fi­cult to define as it seems to cov­er many dif­fer­ent types of abil­i­ties.

One def­i­n­i­tion dis­so­ci­ates between crys­tal­lized intel­li­gence or abil­i­ties and flu­id intel­li­gence. Crys­tal­lized intel­li­gence refers to the knowl­edge acquired through­out life such as vocab­u­lary. Flu­id intel­li­gence is the abil­i­ty that allows us to adapt to new sit­u­a­tions or prob­lems.

Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Teasers and Games for the Brain: Test your Brain

Frontal LobesIt is always good to stim­u­late our minds and to learn a bit about how our brains work. Here you have a selec­tion of the 50 Brain Teasers that peo­ple have enjoyed the most in our blog and speak­ing engage­ments.

Fun exper­i­ments on how our brains work

1. Do you think you know the col­ors?: try the Stroop Test.

2. Can you count?: Bas­ket­ball atten­tion exper­i­ment (Inter­ac­tive).

3. Who is this?: A very impor­tant lit­tle guy (Inter­ac­tive).

4. How is this pos­si­ble?.

5. Take the Sens­es Chal­lenge (Inter­ac­tive).

6. Are there more brain con­nec­tions or leaves in the Ama­zon?.

Atten­tionTwo In One Task

7. How are your divid­ed atten­tion skills? check out “Inside and Out­side” (Inter­ac­tive, from Mind­Fit).

8. Can you walk and chew gum at the same time? try “Two in One” (Inter­ac­tive, from Mind­Fit)

9. Count the Fs in this sen­tence.

10. What do you see? can you alter­nate between 2 views?.

Mem­o­ryPicasso Task

11. Easy one…draw the face of a pen­ny, please. 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 and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

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