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Jogging our Brains for Brain Vitality, Healthy Aging-and Intelligence!

Stroop Test

Quick: say the col­or in which each word in this graph­ic is dis­played (don’t just read the word!):

Here you have a round-up of some great recent arti­cles on mem­o­ry, aging, and cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties such as self-con­trol:

1) How to Boost Your Willpow­er (New York Times).

- “The video watch­ers were lat­er giv­en a con­cen­tra­tion test in which they were asked to iden­ti­fy the col­or in which words were dis­played. (Note: now you see why we start­ed with that brain exer­cise…) The word  for instance, might appear in blue ink. The video watch­ers who had sti­fled their respons­es did the worst on the test, sug­gest­ing that their self-con­trol had already been deplet­ed by the film chal­lenge.”

- “Final­ly, some research sug­gests that peo­ple strug­gling with self-con­trol should start small. A few stud­ies show that peo­ple who were instruct­ed for two weeks to make small changes like improv­ing their pos­ture or brush­ing their teeth with their oppo­site hand improved their scores on lab­o­ra­to­ry tests of self-con­trol. The data aren’t con­clu­sive, but they do sug­gest that the quest for self-improve­ment should start small. A vow to stop swear­ing, to make the bed every day or to give up just one food may be a way to strength­en your self-con­trol, giv­ing you more willpow­er reserves for big­ger chal­lenges lat­er.”

Com­ment: learn­ing, build­ing abil­i­ties, are process­es that require prac­tice and grow­ing lev­els of dif­fi­cul­ty. Like train­ing our mus­cles in the gym. So the advice to start small and pro­gres­sive­ly do more makes sense. Many times the ene­my of learn­ing is the stress and anx­i­ety we pro­voke by try­ing to do too many things at the same time…

2) Jog­ging Your Mem­o­ry (Newsweek) Thanks Chris for alert­ing us!

- “No one should expect mir­a­cles soon, if at all. But the deep­er sci­en­tists peer into the work­ings of mem­o­ry, the bet­ter they under­stand 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 »

Top 10 Brain Teasers and Games, with a neuroscience angle

No mat­ter what we are read­ing or doing, there is always the need to take a lit­tle break and chal­lenge our minds (and to learn a bit about how our brains work). Here you have a selec­tion of the 10 Brain Teasers that peo­ple have enjoyed most in this site.

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

2. Can you count?: Bas­ket­ball atten­tion exper­i­ment

3. Plan­ning is not that easy: Tow­ers of Hanoi

4. Inter­ac­tive visu­al illu­sion: the Muller-Lyer Illu­sion

5. Who is this?: A very impor­tant lit­tle guy

5. How many…: Train your Frontal and Pari­etal lobes

6. What’s the miss­ing num­ber: Pat­tern Recog­ni­tion Brain Teas­er

7. Who’s the eldest?: Rea­son­ing Skills Brain Teas­er

8. Brain Puz­zle for the Whole Brain: The Blind Beg­gar

9. Is a cir­cle a cir­cle?: Visu­al Per­cep­tion Brain Teas­er

10. How is this pos­si­ble?
Read the rest of this entry »

#1. The Stroop Test: Great brain teaser to challenge your mental vitality and flexibility

stroop-testReady to test your men­tal vital­i­ty and flex­i­bil­i­ty?

Quick — say aloud what col­or you see in every word, NOT the word you read.

Go from left to right, from top to down. Ready. Set. Go!

—-

Not easy, right? This task is called the Stroop Test, and is used in neu­ropsy­cho­log­i­cal eval­u­a­tions to mea­sure men­tal vital­i­ty and flex­i­bil­i­ty, since per­form­ing well requires strong atten­tion, inhi­bi­tion and self-reg­u­la­tion capa­bil­i­ty (also called exec­u­tive func­tions).

Next brain teas­er in Sharp­Brains’ top 25 series:

Brain exercise: Better than coffee

Young-old Quick! say aloud what col­or you see in every word, NOT the word you read.
The Stroop test is used in neu­ropsy­cho­log­i­cal eval­u­a­tions to mea­sure men­tal vital­i­ty and flex­i­bil­i­ty, since per­form­ing well requires strong inhi­bi­tion capa­bil­i­ty.

Enjoy the day.

For more, click on Top 10 Brain Teasers and Games, with a neu­ro­science angle

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