Archive for Pattern Recognition

Brain Games and Teasers and Puzzles

It is always good to stimulate our minds and to learn a bit about how our brain works. Here you have a selection of the 50 Brain Teasers and Games that people have enjoyed the most in our brain fitness 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). Read the rest of this entry »

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Fortune 500’s to Adopt Serious Games for Staff Learning

Fortune 500’s to Adopt Serious Games for Staff Learning
Newswire Today (press release), UK Mar 13, 2007
“Clive Shepherd, a well-known and respected practitioner and commentator in the field of learning has reviewed the report and said: ’ Serious games provide

Related article on Casual Games:

Brain and Mind Fitness and Casual Games: survey results

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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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The Upside of Aging (SmartBrains)-WSJ

Sharon Begley writes another great article on The Upside of Aging – WSJ.com (subscription required)

  • “The aging brain is subject to a dreary litany of changes. It shrinks, Swiss cheese-like holes grow, connections between neurons become sparser, blood flow and oxygen supply fall. That leads to trouble with short-term memory and rapidly switching attention, among other problems. And that’s in a healthy brain.”
  • “But it’s not all doom and gloom. An emerging body of research shows that a surprising array of mental functions hold up well into old age, while others actually get better. Vocabulary improves, as do other verbal abilities such as facility with synonyms and antonyms. Older brains are packed with more so-called …”

We discussed some of this effects with Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg, who wrote his great book The Wisdom Paradox precisely on this point, at The Executive Brain and How our Minds Can Grow Stronger.

In our “Exercising Our Brains” Classes, we typically explain how some areas typically improve as we age, such as self-regulation, emotional functioning and Wisdom (which means moving from Problem solving to Pattern recognition), whereas other typically decline: effortful problem-solving for novel situations, processing speed, memory, attention and mental imagery. 

But the key message is that our actions influence the rate of improvement and/ or decline. Our awareness that “it’s not all doom and gloom” and that there’s much we can do is important. You may want to learn more with our Exercise Your Brain DVD.

You can also learn more on the Successful Aging of the Healthy Brain: a beautiful essay by Marian Diamond on how to keep our brains and minds active and fit throughout our lives.

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Brain Training with Cognitive Simulations

Today we will continue our review of the benefits of brain training for specific occupations: in this case, pilots and basketball players. The lessons can be relevant not only for corporate training but also for education and brain health & wellness.

To do so, we will select quotes from our interview last year with one of the major scientists in the field of cognitive simulations, Professor Daniel Gopher. You can read the full interview here.

Prof. Gopher published an award-winning article in 1994, Gopher, D., Weil, M. and Baraket, T. (1994), Transfer of skill from a computer game trainer to flight, Human Factors 36, 1–19., that constitutes a key milestone in the cognitive engineering field.

On Cognitive Training and Cognitive Simulations

AF: Tell us a bit about your overall research interests

DG: My main interest has been how to expand the limits of human attention, information processing and response capabilities which are critical in complex, real-time decision-making, high-demand tasks such as flying a military jet or playing professional basketball. Using a tennis analogy, my goal has been, and is, how to help develop many “Wimbledon”-like champions. Each with their own styles, but performing to their maximum capacity to succeed in their environments.

What research over the last 15-20 years has shown is that cognition, or what we call thinking and performance, is really a set of skills that we can train systematically. And that computer-based cognitive trainers or “cognitive simulations” are the most effective and efficient way to do so.

This is an important point, so let me emphasize it. What we have discovered is that a key factor for an effective transfer from training environment to reality is that the training program ensures “Cognitive Fidelity”, this is, it should faithfully represent the mental demands that happen in the real world. Traditional approaches focus instead on Continue Reading

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Neuroscience Interview Series: on learning and “brain gyms”

Given that we are getting new readers let’s re-introduce our Neuroscience Interview Series. If you click on the category (in the right bar) that says Neuroscience Interview Series, you will find the updated list of interviews we have conducted (and also some that have found elsewhere, such as the one with Posit Science’s Dr. Michael Merzenich and Dr. John Ratey).

The interviews we have conducted and published so far, with most recent first:

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2007 New Year Resolution: Carnival of Brain Fitness

Happy 2007 to everyone!

We have just formulated our New Year Resolution: make 2007 the year when Brain Fitness became a mainstream concept.

How do we start? well, let’s announce the launch of the Carnival of Brain Fitness (a Blog Carnival is basically the vehicle that blogs use to share posts around specific topics).

Goal: to facilitate a dialogue about this emerging field across multiple perspectives, from scientists and health professionals, to education and training ones, to basically everyone who has conducted an experiment on his on her brain and mind, and has news to report.

Context: The scientific foundations lie in neurogenesis, neuroplasticity, cognitive training and stress management. Medical and health applications range from stroke and TBI rehabilitation to ADD/ADHD and early Alzheimer’s to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and cognitive therapy. Educational and training applications go from helping kids improve reading abilities to helping manage stress and anxiety – including work with the “mental game” in sports and high-demand activities pr professions. Each of us may also have experiences to report, where we saw first hand, no matter our age, our innate ability to refine and transform ourselves (and our brains).

Mechanics: If you’d like to contribute,

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The Dana Guide to Brain Health book review

Dana Press kindly sent us a couple of books. One of them, The Dana Guide to Brain Health: A Practical Family Reference From Medical Experts, is our topic today.

We are impressed by what Dana is doing to insert neuroscience findings and implications into the public discourse.

No big surprise then, to find out so much quality content inside a 700-page one-of-a-kind “guide”, some of it, incidentally, provided by Dr. Goldberg, our Chief Scientific Advisor.

The guide is really 4 books inside a common binding. Priced at a reasonable level, and with superb in-depth text and images in all relevant areas, the book can be used as a 1) Brain 101 tutorial, 2) brief summary of the basics of Brain Care, 3) description of the stages of brain development, 4) reference guide for around 70 brain-related conditions. In my personal opinion, every neuroscience, medical and psychology student, clinician and researcher should have this book in their hands to keep abreast of many recent developments, and also be exposed to professional development courses based on it. Many families and individuals interested in the brain should consider buying it too.

Given the focus of our blog-brain fitness for healthy individuals-, we particularly enjoyed the sections Read the rest of this entry »

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The Hermann Grid Visual Illusion

How many colors do you see in this image?

Hermann Grid

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New Brain Fitness Guide

We are very excited to announce our newly released Brain Fitness for Sharp Brains: Your New New Year Resolution. We wrote it in order to provide an introduction to the concept, science, and practice of brain fitness in plain English, by answering the Top 25 questions we have received over the last four months. Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg, Alvaro Fernandez and myself (Caroline) have been working hard on this.

You can click here to receive your complimentary copy of the complete guide. Otherwise, please make sure to check our new blog location here, as we will publish a new question and its answer every Monday and Thursday before 9AM Pacific Standard Time. If we missed your pressing question, let us know!

Here is a sneak preview of the questions we will be answering …

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