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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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The ultimate in transfer from brain training to real-world outcomes: Reducing the risk of at-fault accidents by almost 50%

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Can you train your brain to dri­ve longer into your gold­en years? (CTV News):

For the elder­ly, the loss of a driver’s licence could mean the end of inde­pen­dence and the begin­ning of a decline in health, with far-reach­ing con­se­quences in their dai­ly lives…New assis­tive dri­ving tech­nolo­gies seem like an obvi­ous solu­tion in the years to come, but buy­ing new vehi­cles can be too expen­sive; while options like going for adult dri­ving lessons can be too great a blow to some seniors’ pride. Now, sci­en­tists claim that there’s anoth­er option avail­able to help old­er dri­vers main­tain their abil­i­ties on the road. Read the rest of this entry »

Train your brain with targeted videogames, not with crossword puzzles

cognition-road-tour-combinedStudy shows men­tal agili­ty game slows cog­ni­tive decline in old­er peo­ple (Iowa Now): “Wolin­sky and col­leagues sep­a­rat­ed 681 gen­er­al­ly healthy med­ical patients in Iowa into four groups—each fur­ther sep­a­rat­ed into those 50 to 64 years of age and those over age 65. One group was giv­en com­put­er­ized cross­word puz­zles, while three oth­er groups were exposed to a video game called Read the rest of this entry »

Using Your Head: What is the Future of Brain Health? (Interview Part 1)

Much of health­care deliv­ery has tra­di­tion­al­ly been set-up to deal with a ‘brain­less body’; yet we con­sis­tent­ly com­plain that we can­not change patient and con­sumer behav­iours and main­tain adher­ence to treat­ment pro­grammes. Health­care sys­tems are now recog­nis­ing the lim­its of this mod­el and that there are major ben­e­fits to bet­ter com­pre­hend­ing and engag­ing cog­ni­tive func­tion Read the rest of this entry »

When and Why Should Drivers with Cognitive Impairment Stop Driving (And How to Delay It)

Ontario says tougher rules expect­ed for dri­vers with demen­tia (Toron­to Star):

- “In the wake of a Star series on dri­vers with cog­ni­tive impair­ment, Chiarel­li pre­dict­ed there will be a “tight­en­ing across the board” of the sys­tem that allows many seniors with demen­tia to dri­ve unchecked.”

- “The min­istry is con­sid­er­ing mak­ing the fol­low­ing changes: bet­ter train­ing for fam­i­ly doc­tors on report­ing cog­ni­tive­ly impaired patients who dri­ve; more rig­or­ous on-road test­ing of senior dri­vers; and the intro­duc­tion of grad­u­at­ed licens­ing for some seniors who, like teenage dri­vers, would not be allowed to dri­ve at night or on 400-series high­ways.” Read the rest of this entry »

Allstate: Can we improve Driver Safety using Posit Science InSight?

Insur­ance com­pa­ny All­state and brain fit­ness soft­ware devel­op­er Posit Sci­ence just announced (see press release Pro­tect­ing Penn­syl­va­nia Dri­vers, One Brain at a Time) a very intel­li­gent ini­tia­tive:

Video exer­cis­es aid dri­ving skills (Chica­go Tri­bune)

-“All­state, which called the Posit pro­gram “poten­tial­ly the next big break­through in auto­mo­bile safe­ty,” said it expects its soft­ware exer­cis­es to reduce risky dri­ving maneu­vers by up to 40 per­cent and improve stop­ping dis­tance by an aver­age of 22 feet when trav­el­ing at 55 miles per hour.”

-“We’ll look to see whether over the next six to nine months there will be a reduc­tion in” the num­ber of acci­dents between the group par­tic­i­pat­ing in the video exer­cis­es and those sit­ting out, said Tom War­den, assis­tant vice pres­i­dent of All­state’s research and plan­ning cen­ter.

Tom Warden Allstate

I am for­tu­nate to inter­view Tom War­den, Assis­tant Vice Pres­i­dent and Leader of Allstate’s Research and Plan­ning Cen­ter, based in Men­lo Park, Cal­i­for­nia.

Alvaro Fer­nan­dez: Tom, thank you for your time. Can you please explain the con­text behind this new ini­tia­tive that you just announced?

Tom War­den: Our research cen­ter is con­stant­ly look­ing for new ideas to improve the dri­ving behav­ior of dri­vers of all ages. Recent­ly we have paid extra empha­sis on ways to improve the safe­ty of old­er dri­vers.

Let me pro­vide some back­ground here. All­state, as a com­pa­ny, has always been one of the pio­neers in help­ing to intro­duce new safe­ty mea­sures. For exam­ple, we were among the pio­neers in the 60s to advo­cate for manda­to­ry use of seat­ing belts, giv­en research stud­ies on the ben­e­fits for dri­vers and pas­sen­gers alike. More recent­ly, we helped lob­by for wider adop­tion of airbags, an effec­tive but expen­sive way of pro­tec­tion that only became main­stream when man­u­fac­tur­ers were required to include them.

Let’s talk now about your agree­ment with Posit Sci­ence. What will hap­pen over the next months?

The first thing we are doing is to con­duct a research study to ana­lyze the real-life impact of Posit Sci­ence InSight, a com­put­er-based cog­ni­tive train­ing pro­gram, on acci­dent rates. We know that as dri­vers get old­er Read the rest of this entry »

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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