Archive for Freeze-Framer

emWave Stress Relief

Check out the new emWave Stress Relief (previously called Freeze-Framer), an easy-to-use, Windows-based software and biofeedback hardware program for Stress Management that measures your Heart Rate Variability through a finger or ear-clip sensor that plugs into your computer. The program, developed by HeartMath, translates the information into user-friendly graphics displayed on your computer monitor in real-time. emWave PC allows you to track your progress and has interactive games and stunning images that emit varying degrees of color and movement as you adjust your emotional state and get into The Zone of optimal learning and performance. Check out the limited time offer!

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Easy Steps to Improve Your Brain Health Now

Check the blog post Improve Your Brain Health

With tips on

  • Physical Exercise
  • Mental Exercise
  • Good Nutrition
  • Stress Management
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    emWave

    Golf Digest has just published an article on how golfers can see their game improved thanks to stress management programs like emWave, developed by HeartMath. Check more here: emWave in Golf Digest

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    We have moved

    Hello dear readers: after a transition period, we have definitively moved to http://www.sharpbrains.com/blog

    we-moved.jpg

    Please visit us there if you want to keep reading our (close to) daily articles. Please update your feed, and any technorati/ stumbleupon/ del.ic.ious account you may have pointing at this old address. Our new location:
    http://www.sharpbrains.com/blog

    We won’t be posting more articles here.

    We’ll see you there!
    -Caroline & Alvaro

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    Enhancing Cognition and Emotions for Learning – Learning & The Brain Conference

    Alvaro and I had the good fortune to attend a great conference last week called Learning & The Brain: Enhancing Cognition and Emotions for Learning. It was a wonderful mix of neuroscientists and educators talking with and listening to each other. Some topics were meant to be applied today, but many were food for thought – insight on where science and education are headed and how they influence each other.

    Using dramatic new imaging techniques, such as fMRIs, PET, and SPECT, neuroscientists are gaining valuable information about learning. This pioneering knowledge is leading not only to new pedagogies, but also to new medications, brain enhancement technologies, and therapies…. The Conference creates an interdisciplinary forum — a meeting place for neuroscientists, educators, psychologists, clinicians, and parents — to examine these new research findings with respect to their applicability in the classroom and clinical practice.

    Take-aways

    • Humans are a mixture of cognition and emotion, and both elements are essential to function and learn properly
    • Educators and public policy makers need to learn more about the brain, how it grows, and how to cultivate it
    • Students of all ages need to be both challenged and nurtured in order to succeed
    • People learn differently – try to teach and learn through as many different modalities as possible (engage language, motor skills, artistic creation, social interaction, sensory input, etc.)
    • While short-term stress can heighten your cognitive abilities, long term stress kills you — you need to find balance and release
    • Test anxiety and subsequent poor test results can be improved with behavioral training with feedback based on heart rate variability
    • Dr. Robert Sapolsky is a very very enlightening and fun speaker
    • Allow time for rest and consolidation of learned material
    • Emotional memories are easier to remember
    • Conferences like these perform a real service in fostering dialogues between scientists and educators

    The sessions were broken into several subtopics:

    ENHANCING THE BRAIN, COGNITION & EDUCATION
    Topics included: neuroethics, school readiness, “back to basics” versus “discovery learning”, functional neuroimaging, the Six Developmental Pathways of physical, cognitive, language, social, ethical, and psychological skills

    Speakers included: Michael S. Gazzaniga, Ph.D., Kurt W. Fischer, Ph.D., John D.E. Gabrieli, Ph.D., Linda Darling-Hammond, Ed.D., Daniel L. Schwartz, Ph.D., Jeb Schenck, Ph.D., Ross A. Thompson, Ph.D., Fay E. Brown, Ph.D., and Mariale M. Hardiman, Ed.D.

    MOOD, LEARNING & GENDER DIFFERENCES
    Topics included: chronic stress, bipolar disorder, ADHD, autism, learning disabilities, sex differences in learning, and creativity

    Speakers included: Robert M. Sapolsky, Ph.D., Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D., Stephen P. Hinshaw, Ph.D., Bryna Siegel, Ph.D., Kiki D. Chang, M.D., Michael Gurian, M.A., Sam Goldstein, Ph.D., Lawrence H. Diller, M.D., and Terence A. Ketter, M.D.

    ENHANCING MEMORY AND EMOTIONS
    Topics included: mirror neurons, stress, anxiety, emotions, pharmacologic manipulations of memory, emotional events, sex differences, and “brain-considerate” learning environments, social functioning, decision making, motivation, achievement, positive-emotion refocusing

    Speakers included: Kenneth A.Wesson, Ph.D., Kenneth S. Kosik, M.D., Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., Larry Cahill, Ph.D., Mary Fowler, M.A., Rollin McCraty, Ph.D., Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, Ed.D., Ed.M., and Robert Sylwester, Ed.D.

    NEUROSCIENCE, LANGUAGE & READING
    Topics included: reading disorders, dyslexia, assessment, instructional strategies, the achievement gap, and integration of visual, auditory, and language information

    Speakers included: Brian A.Wandell, Ph.D., Connie Juel, Ph.D., and Steven G. Feifer, Ed.D., NCSP.

    THE ARTS, MUSIC & COGNITION
    Topics included: artistic process versus art content, effects of music on cognitive performance, and the generalizability of of artistic abilities to cognitive abilities

    Speakers included: James S. Catterall, Ph.D. and Frances H. Rauscher, Ph.D.

    Conference Co-Sponsors:

    Further Reading

    Save the Date! April 28-30, 2007 is the next conference, Learning & The Brain – Molding Minds: How to Shape the Developing Brain for Learning & Achievement, in Cambridge, Mass. We will post more information about this conference shortly.

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    Brain Fitness February Newsletter/ Brain Awareness Week

    We hope you are enjoying the growing coverage of Brain Fitness as much as we are. Below you have the monthly email update we sent a few days ago.

    In this post, we will briefly cover:

    I. Press: see what CBS and Time Magazine are talking about. SharpBrains was introduced in the Birmingham News, Chicago Tribune and in a quick note carried by the American Psychological Association news service.

    II. Events: we are outreach partners for the Learning & the Brain conference, which will gather neuroscientists and educators, and for the Dana Foundation’s Brain Awareness Week.

    III. Program Reviews: The Wall Street Journal reviewed six different programs for brain exercise and aging, and the one we offer is one of the two winners. A college-level counseling center starts offering our stress management one. And we interview a Notre Dame scientist who has conducted a replication study for the working memory training program for kids with ADD/ ADHD.

    IV. New Offerings: we have started to offer two information packages that can be very useful for people who want to better understand this field before they commit to any particular program: learn more about our Brain Fitness 101 guide and Exercise Your Brain DVD.

    V. Website and Blog Summary: we revamped our home page and have had a very busy month writing many good articles. We also hosted two “Blog Carnivals”- don’t you want to know what that means? Continue Reading

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    Heart Rate Variability as an Index of Regulated Emotional Responding

    Continuing with the theme of a Week of Science sponsored by Just Science, we will highlight some of the key points in: Appelhans BM, Luecken LJ. Heart Rate Variability as an Index of Regulated Emotional Responding. Review of General Psychology. 2006;10:229–240.

    Defining Heart Rate Variability
    Effective emotional regulation depends on being able to flexibly adjust your physiological response to a changing environment.

    “… heart rate variability (HRV) is a measure of the continuous interplay between sympathetic and parasympathetic influences on heart rate that yields information about autonomic flexibility and thereby represents the capacity for regulated emotional responding.”

    “HRV reflects the degree to which cardiac activity can be modulated to meet changing situational demands.”

    The sympathetic (SNS) and parasympathetic (PNS) branches of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) antagonistically influence the lengths of time between consecutive heartbeats. Faster heart rates, which can be due to increased SNS and/or lower PNS activity, correspond to a shorter interbeat interval while slower heart rates have a longer interbeat interval, which can be attributed to increased PNS and/or decreased SNS activity.

    The frequency-based HRV analyses are based on the fact that the variations in heart rate produced by SNS and PNS activity occur at different speeds, or frequencies. SNS is slow acting and mediated by norepinephrine while PNS influence is fast acting and mediated by acetylcholine.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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