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Cognitive Health News Roundup

July is shap­ing up to be a fas­ci­nat­ing month, full of cog­ni­tive health research reports and appli­ca­tions. Here you have a roundup, cov­er­ing food for the brain, cog­ni­tive assess­ments, men­tal train­ing and DNA, and more.

1) Brain foods: the effects of nutri­ents on brain func­tion (Nature Neu­ro­science)

“Brain foods: the effects of nutri­ents on brain func­tion”, by Fer­nan­do Gmez-Pinil­la.

Abstract: Read the rest of this entry »

Mysteries of Brain and Mind

Sev­er­al recent NYT arti­cles focus on sev­er­al fas­ci­nat­ing fron­tiers of brain sci­ence. We know much more about brain and mind than only 20 years ago, yet expo­nen­tial­ly less than 20 years from now.

A few wor­thy explo­rations on mind­ful­ness, per­cep­tu­al capac­i­ties, and the pow­er of place­bo: Read the rest of this entry »

Mindfulness Meditation for Adults & Teens with ADHD

We have talked about the val­ue of med­i­ta­tion before (see Mind­ful­ness and Med­i­ta­tion in meditationSchools), as a form of well-direct­ed men­tal exer­cise than can help train atten­tion and emo­tion­al self-reg­u­la­tion.  Which oth­er stud­ies have shown how it strength­ens spe­cif­ic parts of the brain, main­ly in the frontal lobe.

Dr. Rabin­er shares with us, below, an excel­lent review of a new study that ana­lyzes the ben­e­fits of mind­ful­ness for ado­les­cents and adults with atten­tion deficits. He writes that “although this is clear­ly a pre­lim­i­nary study, the results are both inter­est­ing and encour­ag­ing.”

- Alvaro

Does Mind­ful­ness Med­i­ta­tion Help Adults & Teens with ADHD

– By Dr. David Rabin­er

Although med­ica­tion treat­ment is effec­tive for many indi­vid­u­als with ADHD, includ­ing ado­les­cents adults, there remains an under­stand­able need to explore and devel­op inter­ven­tions that can com­ple­ment or even sub­sti­tute for med­ica­tion. This is true for a vari­ety of rea­sons includ­ing:
1) Not all adults with ADHD ben­e­fit from med­ica­tion.
2) Among those who ben­e­fit, many have resid­ual dif­fi­cul­ties that need to be addressed via oth­er means.
3) Some adults with ADHD expe­ri­ence adverse effects that pre­vent them from remain­ing on med­ica­tion.

Read the rest of this entry »

Self-Regulation and Barkley’s Theory of ADHD

A CDC report esti­mat­ed that, in 2003, 4.4 mil­lion youth ages 4–17 lived with diag­nosed ADHD, and 2.5 mil­lion of them were receiv­ing med­ica­tion treat­ment. Now, which is the core deficit under­ly­ing ADHD-so that treat­ments real­ly address it? and how are ADHD and brain devel­op­ment relat­ed? Keep read­ing…

ADHD & the Nature of Self-Con­trol — Revis­it­ing Barkley’s The­o­ry of ADHD

— By David Rabin­er, Ph.D

As implied in the title of his book, ADHD and the Nature of Self-Con­trol, Dr. Barkley argues that the fun­da­men­tal deficit in indi­vid­u­als with ADHD is one of self-con­trol, and that prob­lems with atten­tion are a sec­ondary char­ac­ter­is­tic of the dis­or­der.

Dr. Barkley empha­sizes that dur­ing the course of devel­op­ment, con­trol over a child’s behav­ior grad­u­al­ly shifts from exter­nal sources to being increas­ing­ly gov­erned by inter­nal rules and stan­dards. Con­trol­ling one’s behav­ior by inter­nal rules and stan­dards is what is meant by the term “self-con­trol”.

Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Exercises for the Weekend

Rubik's Cube brain exerciseHere you have a few fun brain exer­cis­es to train our atten­tion and work­ing mem­o­ry (the abil­i­ty to keep infor­ma­tion cur­rent for a short peri­od while using this infor­ma­tion). Giv­en them a try! They are not as easy as they may sound…

  1. Say the days of the week back­wards, then in alpha­bet­i­cal order.
  2. Say the months of the year in alpha­bet­i­cal order. Easy? well, why don’t you try doing so back­wards, in reverse alpha­bet­i­cal order.
  3. Find the sum of your date of birth, mm/dd/yyyy. Want more exer­cise? Do the same with friends’ and rel­a­tives’ date of birth.
  4. Name two objects for every let­ter in your com­plete name. Work up to five objects, try­ing to use dif­fer­ent items each time.
  5. Wher­ev­er you are, look around and with­in two min­utes, try to find 5 red things that will fit in your pock­et, and 5 blue objects that are too big to fit.

PS: Enjoy these 50 brain teasers to test your cog­ni­tive abil­i­ty. Free, and fun for adults of any age!

 

 

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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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