Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Icon

Study: For cognitive training to work, it must induce neuroplasticity in brain regions that matter

connectomeOver the last sev­er­al years, cog­ni­tive train­ing has received large amounts of pub­lic inter­est and sup­port because reli­ably improv­ing cog­ni­tive per­for­mance would have wide reach­ing appli­ca­tions in clin­i­cal pop­u­la­tions, old­er adults, and the pub­lic at large. For exam­ple, cog­ni­tive train­ing could 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

——————

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 »

Attention deficits: drugs, therapy, cognitive training

Shel­ley launched a good dis­cus­sion on The Neu­ro­science of ADHD in her blog, dis­cussing the sit­u­a­tion and pro­vid­ing a tech­ni­cal overview of drug-based inter­ven­tions. Some­thing I hadn’t heard is that “For exam­ple, babies born pre­ma­ture­ly face a sig­nif­i­cant­ly greater risk of devel­op­ing ADHD than full-term babies (socioe­co­nom­ic sta­tus was con­trolled for).”

Which helps me bet­ter under­stand the need to think about pre-school­ers, as dis­cussed in the arti­cle Diag­nos­ing ADD/ ADHD in Preschool­ers, at ADDi­tude Mag­a­zine. I quote:

  • The Preschool ADHD Treat­ment Study, or PATS, con­duct­ed by the Nation­al Insti­tute of Men­tal Health (NIMH), is the first long-term study designed to eval­u­ate the effec­tive­ness of treat­ing preschool­ers with ADHD with behav­ioral ther­a­py, and then, in some cas­es, methylphenidate. In the first stage, the chil­dren (303 preschool­ers with severe ADHD, between the ages of three and five) and their par­ents par­tic­i­pat­ed in a 10-week behav­ioral ther­a­py course. For one third of the chil­dren, ADHD symp­toms improved so dra­mat­i­cal­ly with behav­ior ther­a­py alone that they did not progress to the ADHD med­ica­tion phase of the study.”

As Shelley’s post and the arti­cle explain, drugs do help when used appro­pri­ate­ly. Now, they are not the only answer. I am hap­py to see that behav­ioral ther­a­py can be as use­ful when appro­pri­ate. Which is not a sur­prise, giv­en the grow­ing lit­er­a­ture on dif­fer­ent meth­ods of cog­ni­tive train­ing, includ­ing ther­a­py and work­ing mem­o­ry train­ing like the one dis­cussed with Notre Dame’s Bradley Gib­son and in our post Cog­ni­tive Neu­ro­science and ADD/ADHD Today.

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.

Follow us and Engage via…

twitter_logo_header
RSS Feed

Search for anything brain-related in our article archives

Enter Your Email to receive Sharp­Brains free, monthly eNewslet­ter:

Join more than 50,000 Sub­scribers and stay informed and engaged.