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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Eight Tips To Understand and Remember What You Read — Especially As You Read Nonfiction

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Despite Insta­gram, YouTube, Face­book, Twit­ter, and tele­vi­sion, (or per­haps pre­cise­ly because of all of them) tra­di­tion­al read­ing is still an impor­tant skill. Whether it is mag­a­zines, pro­fes­sion­al man­u­als or fas­ci­nat­ing books, peo­ple still need to read, now and in years ahead. And much of it is non­fic­tion mate­r­i­al, where it’s impor­tant to real­ly under­stand and then remem­ber what you are read­ing.

An unfor­tu­nate rea­son why many peo­ple don’t read much these days is that they don’t read well. Read­ing, for them, is slow, hard work and they don’t remem­ber as much as they should. They often have to read some­thing sev­er­al times before they under­stand and remem­ber what they read.

Why? You would think that every­one learns how to read well at school. Schools do try, but I work with mid­dle-school teach­ers and they tell me that many stu­dents are 2–3 years behind grade lev­el in read­ing pro­fi­cien­cy. Some of the blame can be placed on fads for teach­ing read­ing, such as phon­ics and “whole lan­guage,” which some­times are pro­mot­ed in shal­low ways that don’t respect the need for both approach­es. And much of the blame can be laid at the feet of par­ents who set poor exam­ples and, of course, on the young­sters who are too dis­tract­ed by social media and tele­vi­sion to learn how to read well.

Now the good news. For any­one who missed out on good read­ing skills, it is not too late to improve now. I sum­ma­rize below what I think it takes to read with good speed and com­pre­hen­sion. Read the rest of this entry »

How to improve memory skills and remember what you read: Beyond phonics and “whole language”

Horizontal Stacked BooksDespite the increas­ing visu­al media we are increas­ing­ly exposed to, read­ing is still an impor­tant skill. Whether it is school text­books, online news­pa­pers or reg­u­lar books, peo­ple still read, though not as much as they used to. One rea­son that many peo­ple don’t read much is that they don’t read well. For them, Read the rest of this entry »

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Last 33 Hours to Register/ US Asst. Secretary of Adult Education to Open 2011 SharpBrains Summit

Reg­is­tra­tion to par­tic­i­pate in 2011 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit clos­es tomor­row Tues­day, March 29th, at 1pm US Pacif­ic Time/ 4pm US East­ern Time. If you are plan­ning to attend, please Reg­is­ter Now.

We are hon­ored to announce that Dr. Bren­da Dann-Messier, US Depart­ment of Education’s Assis­tant Sec­re­tary for Voca­tional and Adult Edu­ca­tion, will open 2011 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit on Wednes­day, March 30th, shar­ing her Wel­come Remarks with 220+ reg­is­tered par­tic­i­pants.

Bren­da Dann-Messier was nom­i­nated by Pres­i­dent Oba­ma as assis­tant sec­re­tary for voca­tional and adult edu­ca­tion on July 14, 2009. On Oct. 5, 2009 she was con­firmed by the U.S. Sen­ate and began her offi­cial duties on Oct. 13, 2009. More infor­ma­tion on Dr. Dann-Messier’s bio Here.

Sum­mit Agen­da: 80% of the 38,000 adults over 50 sur­veyed in the 2010 AARP Mem­ber Opin­ion Sur­vey indi­cated “Stay­ing Men­tally Sharp” as their top ranked inter­est and con­cern. This con­sumer-fueled inter­est, com­bined with grow­ing research on life­long neu­ro­plas­tic­ity and the cog­ni­tive reserve and with a grow­ing mar­ket­place of “brain fit­ness” prod­ucts and ser­vices, con­sti­tutes a call to action to expand the brain health toolk­it to meet grow­ing needs across the lifes­pan. Intel CEO Paul Otelli­ni is quot­ed as say­ing, “You have to start by think­ing about what peo­ple want to do…and work back­ward,” and the 2011 Sharp­Brains Sum­mit: Retool­ing Brain Health for the 21st Cen­tury will do so by show­cas­ing the lat­est trends tak­ing place among con­sumers and pro­fes­sion­als, in indus­try, research, tech­nol­ogy, and care, to iden­tify crit­i­cal oppor­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges to devel­op a valu­able inno­va­tion ecosys­tem which may exceed $2B world­wide in 2015.

To Learn More About Final Agen­da and Speak­er Ros­ter, click HERE. Please note all times in the agen­da indi­cate US Pacif­ic Time.

You can Learn More and Reg­is­ter HERE, and get a 15% dis­count by enter­ing dis­count code: sharp2011

Intel Corporation and Lumos Labs Become Gold Sponsors of 2011 SharpBrains Summit

We are pleased to make eleven impor­tant announce­ments about the upcom­ing 2011 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit…eleven addi­tion­al rea­sons to con­sid­er reg­is­ter­ing and join­ing our event and com­mu­ni­ty next week.

  1. Intel Cor­po­ra­tion, the “Spon­sors of Tomor­row™”, and Lumos Labs have become Sum­mit Gold Spon­sors.
  2. Sharp­Brains will issue a Cer­tifi­cate of Atten­dance to par­tic­i­pants (20 hours of con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion).
  3. Jamie Wil­son shares 20 rea­sons why vir­tu­al con­fer­ences are the future.
  4. NIH/ NIA Pro­gram Chief Mol­ly Wag­ster will dis­cuss the new NIH Tool­box for Assess­ment of Neu­ro­log­i­cal and Behav­ioral Func­tion.
  5. Yaakov Stern (Colum­bia), David Dar­by (CogState), Kei­th Wesnes (Unit­ed BioSource) and Jef­frey Kaye (Orcat­e­ch) will explore The Role of Cog­ni­tive Health Mon­i­tor­ing Sys­tems.
  6. Alvaro Fer­nan­dez (Sharp­Brains) and Muki Hansteen-Izo­ra (Intel Cor­po­ra­tion) will ana­lyze The State of Inno­va­tion and Emerg­ing Mar­ket­place.
  7. You can still Reg­is­ter and obtain a com­pli­men­ta­ry copy of Sharp­Brains’ mar­ket report The State of the Brain Fit­ness Mar­ket 2010 (which includes mar­ket data, ven­dor analy­sis, inno­va­tion case stud­ies, research briefs, and more.)
  8. Michael Merzenich (UCSF), Alvaro Pas­cual-Leone (Har­vard), Wal­ter Green­leaf (Vir­tu­ally­Bet­ter) and Kate Sul­li­van (Wal­ter Reed) will dis­cuss how Inno­va­tion gets From Lab to Mar­ket­place.
  9. Lumos Labs, Brain Resource, Cogmed, Bay­crest, Cog­niFit, and Posit Sci­ence will present their lat­est tools and solu­tions dur­ing Expo Day.
  10. A total of 19 excel­lent Sum­mit Part­ners help us expand Summit’s reach and influ­ence.
  11. We are plan­ning April/ May social gath­er­ings for Sum­mit par­tic­i­pants in 5 cities: San Fran­cis­co, Los Ange­les, Wash­ing­ton DC, NYC, and Toron­to, and will help facil­i­tate gath­er­ings in any city/ region with at least 10 Sum­mit par­tic­i­pants.

Please vis­it the 2011 Sharp­Brains Sum­mit web­site to Learn More and Reg­is­ter.

Also, please fol­low us via Twit­ter and spread the word about the Sum­mit using hash­tag #svs11

We look for­ward to “meet­ing” many of you next week! Please remem­ber you can enter dis­count code sharp2011 in order to get 15% off reg­is­tra­tion fees.

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