Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News



Top 10 High­lights: State of the Brain Fit­ness Soft­ware Mar­ket 2009

1) Growth mar­ket: Con­sumers, seniors’ com­mu­ni­ties and insur­ance providers drove year on year sus­tained growth, from $225m in 2007 to $265m in 2008. Rev­enues may reach between $1 bil­lion to $5 bil­lion by 2015, depend­ing on how impor­tant prob­lems (Pub­lic Aware­ness, Nav­i­gat­ing Claims, Research, Health Cul­ture, Lack of Assess­ment) are addressed.

2) Increased inter­est and con­fu­sion: 61% of respon­dents Strong­ly Agree with the state­ment “Address­ing cog­ni­tive and brain health should be a health­care pri­or­i­ty.” But, 65% Agree/Strongly Agree “I don’t real­ly know what to expect from prod­ucts mak­ing brain claims.”

3) Invest­ment in R&D seeds future growth: Land­mark invest­ments by insur­ance providers and gov­ern­ment-fund­ed research insti­tutes test­ing new brain fit­ness appli­ca­tions plant­ed new seeds for future growth.

4) Becom­ing stan­dard in res­i­den­tial facil­i­ties: Over 700 res­i­den­tial facil­i­ties – most­ly Inde­pen­dent and Assist­ed Liv­ing facil­i­ties and CCRCs – have installed com­put­er­ized cog­ni­tive train­ing pro­grams.

5) Cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion: Con­sumers seem more sat­is­fied with com­put­er-based prod­ucts than paper-based options. But, sat­is­fac­tion dif­fers by prod­uct. When asked “I got real val­ue for my mon­ey”, results were as fol­lows: (65% Agree), Puz­zle Books (60%), Posit Sci­ence (52%), Nin­ten­do (51%) agreed. Posit Sci­ence (53% Agree) and (51%) do bet­ter than Puz­zle Books (39%) and Nin­ten­do (38%) at “I have seen the results I want­ed.”

6) Assess­ments: Increas­ing adop­tion of com­put­er-based cog­ni­tive assess­ments to base­line and track cog­ni­tive func­tions over time in mil­i­tary, sports, and clin­i­cal con­texts. The Alzheimer’s Foun­da­tion of Amer­i­ca now advo­cates for wide­spread cog­ni­tive screen­ings after 65–75.

7) Spe­cif­ic com­put­er­ized cog­ni­tive train­ing and videogames have been shown to improve brain func­tions, but the key ques­tions are, “Which ones”, and “Who needs what when?”

8) Aggres­sive mar­ket­ing claims are cre­at­ing con­fu­sion and skep­ti­cism, result­ing in a dis­tract­ing con­tro­ver­sy between two mis­lead­ing extremes: (a) “buy­ing prod­uct XYZ can reju­ve­nate your brain Y years” or (b) “those prod­ucts don’t work; just do one more cross­word puz­zle.” The upcom­ing book The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness aims to help con­sumers nav­i­gate these claims.

9) Devel­op­ers can be clas­si­fied into four groups, based on our Mar­ket and Research Momen­tum analy­sis: we find 4 Lead­ers, 8 High Poten­tials, 3 Cross­words 2.0, and 6 Wait & See com­pa­nies.

10) Increased dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion: Lead­ing com­pa­nies are bet­ter defin­ing their val­ue propo­si­tion and dis­tri­b­u­tion chan­nels to reach spe­cif­ic seg­ments such as retire­ment com­mu­ni­ties, schools, or health­care providers.

Table of Con­tents


Exec­u­tive Sum­ma­ry

Chap­ter 1. A Bird’s-Eye View of the Grow­ing Field
— Mar­ket size, seg­ments and trends
— High­lights of 2008
— Demand: insur­ance com­pa­nies join con­sumers and seniors’ com­mu­ni­ties
— Sci­ence: how to sep­a­rate real­i­ty vs. hope vs. hype
— Sup­ply: significant ven­ture and pol­i­cy-dri­ven invest­ments
— Pol­i­cy: cog­ni­tive health on the government’s radar screen
— Nav­i­gat­ing the land­scape
— Inter­view with Tom War­den – Cog­ni­tive train­ing for dri­ver safe­ty
— Inter­view with Dr. William Reich­man – Update from Baycrest’s Cen­tre for Brain Fit­ness
— Essay by Dr. Torkel Kling­berg – Deal­ing with our overflowing brains

Chap­ter 2. Mar­ket Sur­vey on Beliefs, Atti­tudes, Pur­chase Habits
— Jan­u­ary 2009: sur­vey of 2,000+ deci­sion-mak­ers and ear­ly adopters
— Key take-aways
— Beliefs and atti­tudes
— Like­li­hood of ten 2015 pre­dic­tions
— Pur­chase his­to­ry and eval­u­a­tion cri­te­ria
— Over­all cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion
— Lead­ing prod­ucts by aware­ness, and demo­graph­ic com­par­i­son
— Cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion for four top prod­ucts
— Most impor­tant bot­tle­necks for growth
— Sur­vey details and demo­graph­ic infor­ma­tion

Chap­ter 3. The Emerg­ing Com­pet­i­tive Land­scape
— Nav­i­gat­ing the land­scape
— The Research-Mar­ket Momen­tum Matrix
— Sum­ma­ry table: Sharp­Brains’ Take, Research-Mar­ket Momen­tum
— Lead­ers: High Mar­ket & Research Momen­tum
— High Poten­tials: High Research Momen­tum
— Cross­words 2.0: High Mar­ket Momen­tum
— Wait & See: Nei­ther High Mar­ket or Research Momen­tum
— Inno­v­a­tive Ser­vice Mod­els

Chap­ter 4. The Sci­ence for Brain Fit­ness and Cog­ni­tive Health
— Recent Find­ings in Con­text
— Debunk­ing 10 typ­i­cal myths
— Research Exec­u­tive Briefs: Sum­ma­ry Table
— Dr. Joshua Stein­er­man (Einstein-Montefiore): Neu­ro­pro­tec­tion via cog­ni­tive activ­i­ties
— Dr. Jer­ri Edwards (South Flori­da): Cog­ni­tive aging and dri­ving
— Dr. Susanne Jaeg­gi and Dr. Mar­tin Buschkuehl (Bern, Michi­gan): Work­ing mem­o­ry train­ing and fl uid intel­li­gence
— Dr. Torkel Kling­berg (Karolin­s­ka): Work­ing mem­o­ry train­ing, dopamine, and math
— Dr. Liz Zelin­s­ki (UC Davis): Audi­to­ry pro­cess­ing train­ing
— Dr. David Vance (UAB): Speed-of-pro­cess­ing train­ing
— Dr. Jer­ri Edwards (South Flori­da): Cog­ni­tive train­ing for healthy aging and dri­ving
— Dr. Daphne Bave­li­er & Dr. Shawn Green (Rochester): Action videogames and atten­tion­al skills
— Dr. Arthur Kramer (Illi­nois): Strat­e­gy videogames and exec­u­tive func­tions
— Dr. Yaakov Stern (Colum­bia): The cog­ni­tive reserve and neu­roimag­ing
— Dr. David Rabin­er (Duke): Objec­tive assess­ments for ADHD
— Inter­view with Dr. Mar­tin Buschkuehl: Cross­word puz­zles vs. cog­ni­tive train­ing

Chap­ter 5. Con­sumers – Adopt­ing Cross­words 2.0?
— Key trends and play­ers
— Nin­ten­do Brain Age case study: cre­at­ing a con­sumer cat­e­go­ry
— PBS/ NPR drove pub­lic aware­ness –includ­ing sur­pris­ing claims
— Emerg­ing plat­forms: online, iPhone
— Con­verg­ing trends: exer­cise, gam­ing, life­long learn­ing
— Check­list for con­sumers eval­u­at­ing prod­ucts
— A new resource: The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness
— Inter­view with Dr. Arthur Kramer – The need for walk­ing book clubs

Chap­ter 6: Health­care and Insur­ance Providers — A Cul­ture of Cog­ni­tive Health
— Key trends and play­ers
— Becom­ing main­stream in seniors hous­ing
— Case stud­ies: Erick­son, Senior Star, Bel­mont
— Insur­ance providers lead major cog­ni­tive health ini­tia­tives
— Check­list for providers select­ing brain fi tness pro­grams
— Emerg­ing clin­i­cal appli­ca­tions of cog­ni­tive train­ing
— Alzheimer’s Foun­da­tion of America’s advo­cates for cog­ni­tive screen­ing
— Effect of drugs (includ­ing over the counter ones) on cog­ni­tive decline
— Inno­v­a­tive process to define stan­dard out­comes: schiz­o­phre­nia MATRICS project
— Inter­view with Dr. Gary Kennedy: Ask­ing the right ques­tions to encour­age com­pli­ance
— Inter­view with Dr. McCleary: A mul­ti-pronged approach to brain health

Chap­ter 7: K12 School Sys­tems- Ready for Change?
— Key trends and play­ers
— What Works Clearinghouse’s take on Fast For­Word and Houghton Mifflin´ Earo­bics
— The poten­tial for train­ing exec­u­tive func­tions
— The poten­tial for math per­for­mance
— The Nin­ten­do “con­tro­ver­sy” in the UK
— Inter­view with Dr. Michael Pos­ner — What Is Atten­tion and How It can be Trained

Chap­ter 8: Mil­i­tary, Sports Teams, Com­pa­nies – Brain-Per­for­mance Link
— Key trends and play­ers
— New mil­i­tary pol­i­cy to detect Trau­mat­ic Brain Injury (TBI)
— Auto­mat­ed Neu­ropsy­cho­log­i­cal Assess­ment Met­rics (ANAM)
— Cog­ni­tive base­lines wide­ly used by sports teams
— Land­mark ini­tia­tive by the USA Hock­ey League
— Cog­ni­tive fitness at work, by the Dana Foun­da­tion and the Con­fer­ence Board
— Inter­view with Lee Woodruff: Help­ing vet­er­ans recov­er from TBI

Chap­ter 9: Future Direc­tions – Pro­jec­tions and Bot­tle­necks
— Trends to watch: 2009–2015
— 2015 growth pro­jec­tions
— Bot­tle­necks and pri­or­i­ties

List of Fig­ures

Exec­u­tive Sum­ma­ry
1: Mar­ket report at a glance

Chap­ter 1: A Bird’s-Eye View of the Grow­ing Field
1.1: Brain fitness mar­ket by seg­ment
1.2: Snap­shot of cus­tomer seg­ments
1.3: Brain fitness growth dri­vers
1.4: Aug­ment­ing Cog­ni­tion
1.5: Main fund­ing events in 2008
1.6: Lev­el of clin­i­cal val­i­da­tion: prod­uct and domain
1.7: Type of cus­tomer and deliv­ery vehi­cle

Chap­ter 2: Mar­ket Sur­vey on Beliefs, Atti­tudes, Pur­chase Habits
2.1: Beliefs and atti­tudes
2.2: Like­li­hood of ten 2015 pre­dic­tions
2.3: Pur­chase his­to­ry
2.4: Eval­u­a­tion cri­te­ria
2.5: Over­all Cus­tomer Sat­is­fac­tion
2.6: Top-of-mind prod­ucts
2.7: Demo­graph­ic com­par­i­son
2.8: Cus­tomer Sat­is­fac­tion for four top prod­ucts
2.9: Most Impor­tant Prob­lem
2.10: Demo­graph­ics: source of inter­est
2.11: Demo­graph­ics: age
2.12: Demo­graph­ics: gen­der
2.13: Demo­graph­ics: house­hold income
2.14: Demo­graph­ics: edu­ca­tion lev­el

Chap­ter 3: The Emerg­ing Com­pet­i­tive Land­scape
3.1: The Research-Mar­ket Momen­tum Matrix
3.2: Sum­ma­ry Table: Sharp­Brains’ Take
Chap­ter 4: The Sci­ence for Brain Fit­ness and Cog­ni­tive Health
4.1: Debunk­ing 10 myths
4.2: Research Exec­u­tive Briefs: Sum­ma­ry Table

Chap­ter 5: Con­sumers – Adopt­ing Cross­words 2.0?
5.1: Rev­enue growth in con­sumer seg­ment
5.2: Pro­ject­ed US pop­u­la­tion growth over 55 years old (2000–2030)

Chap­ter 6: Health­care and Insur­ance Providers – A Cul­ture of Cog­ni­tive Health
6.1: Rev­enue growth in health­care & insur­ance seg­ment
6.2: Inci­dence and Annu­al Costs of Brain and Ner­vous Sys­tem Dis­or­ders
6.3: Com­par­i­son of inter­ven­tion options
6.4: Expect­ed preva­lence of Alzheimer’s in US (2000–2050)

Chap­ter 7: K12 School Sys­tems- Ready for Change?
7.1: Rev­enue growth in K12 schools seg­ments

Chap­ter 8: Mil­i­tary, Sports Teams, Com­pa­nies – Brain-Per­for­mance Link
8.1: Rev­enue growth in mil­i­tary & sports seg­ment

Chap­ter 9: Future Direc­tions – Pro­jec­tions and Bot­tle­necks
9.1: Range of Pro­jec­tions for 2015


Advanced Brain Tech­nolo­gies
Applied Cog­ni­tive Engi­neer­ing
Brain Cen­ter Amer­i­ca
Brain Resource Com­pa­ny
CNS Vital Signs
Cog­ni­tive Drug Research
Houghton Mif­flin
Learn­ing Enhance­ment Cor­po­ra­tion
Lex­ia Learn­ing
Lumos Labs
Mar­bles: The Brain Store
Posit Sci­ence
Sci­en­tif­ic Brain Train­ing
Sci­en­tif­ic Learn­ing
Vig­or­ous Mind
Viv­i­ty Labs

All Slidedecks & Recordings Available — click image below

Search for anything brain-related in our article archives

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 and think tank tracking health and performance applications of brain science.