Archive for Vigorous Mind

Brain exercises: Want a workout for your brain?

Very fun article in the Birmingham News today on SharpBrains and brain exercises, titled Want a workout for your brain?.

The journalist explains things very well and with great humor (for the humor, you need to read the article!). Here are some quotes:

– “Think of it as a gymnasium for your mind,” SharpBrains CEO and co-founder Alvaro Fernandez says from his office in San Francisco.

– (On only doing crosswords) “That’s good, but, like your body, you don’t just exercise one part of the brain,” says Fernandez, who holds an MBA and a master’s degree in education from Stanford University. “You need constant variety, and new things, to keep your brain working hard.”

– “He sees mental gymnastics as the next mainstream adult trend and points out that therapists have long used a variety of similar exercises to help in the recovery of brain-injury patients. Athletes and airplane pilots have had access to exercises designed to improve their peripheral vision and reaction times, Fernandez says.”

– “With SharpBrains co-founder Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg, a clinical professor of neurology at the New York University School of Medicine, Fernandez has collected what he says are the best computer-based brain workouts available, including a program to help children with attention deficits and another aimed at reducing stress management among business executives.”

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First Online Brain Fitness Center

See our second press release below, and visit our Press Room for the great press we are starting to get.

SharpBrains introduces First Online Brain Fitness Center 

Unique, Full-Service, Science-Based Fitness Center Ushers in the Next Workout Revolution: Mental Exercise  

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Thirty years after the emergence of the exercise boom, the fitness revolution has finally gone to people’s heads: SharpBrains.com has launched the first online brain fitness center. Complete with a variety of science-based mental exercise equipment, personal brain trainers, and nearly 200 articles, interactive blog postings and interviews with industry experts, SharpBrains is spearheading the evolution of the fitness industry to include a sound mind as well as a healthy body.

The new mental exercise movement is founded on using structured, computer-based brain fitness routines tailored to each member’s specific needs and level of ability. Just as crunches and kick-boxing tone abs and increase cardio strength, programs offered at the brain fitness center target and help train essential core mental muscles to improve memory, concentration, stress management, and decision-making skills. Mental exercise has also been shown to help delay the onset of age-related decline and even dementias such as Alzheimer’s Disease.

“People are realizing that cross-training their brains in addition to their bodies is essential to over-all health,” said Keep Reading

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MindFit and Posit Science in the Wall Street Journal’s “Putting Brain Exercises to the Test”

The Wall Street Journal has a great article today, Putting Brain Exercises to the Test, that compares 6 different computer-based brain exercise programs along ease-of-use, fun, and science behind. We at SharpBrains conducted a very similar exercise last year, coming to basically the same conclusions. 

The article compares Nintendo Brain Age, MyBrainBuilder, MyBrainTrainer, HappyNeuron, MindFit and Posit Science, and ends up recommending Posit Science for speech processing and MindFit as including “All the machines-a total workout”. 

Patti Said of the New England Cognitive Center says that “This one (MindFit) was based the most solidly in cognitive science and what we think stimulates the brain.”

The first fundamental difference we see between a) Brain Fitness Programs such as MindFit and Posit Science, on one side, and b) other “stimulating games”, on the other, is the presence of credible assessments and clear, structured set of activities based on that assessment. Given that MindFit costs $139, vs. Posit’s $395, and that it covers much more ground, we decided to offer MindFit in our Brain Fitness Center.

You can learn more about it here: MindFit helps train 14 different cognitive functions that are important for healthy aging.

Healthy aging is not the only domain for Brain Fitness Programs. You can learn about other applications, such as stress management, basketball game-intelligence, and working memory training for people with attention deficits, in our Get Started section.

Finally, you may want to check out the benefits of brain training for different occupations in Are You A …

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Hello: may we ask…

…a few questions: how did you find us, what we are doing well, what we can do better?

We have just found out that more than 600 people are receiving our feeds, but we only know-and just a bit- the 50-60 who leave comments and link to us. We enjoy having so many readers not just in the US but in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia…(thanks Google Analytics!).

Would you mind writing a comment HERE to allow us to learn about you and your interests, and also include your feedback for us? If you have a blog, please write the URL so we can pay a visit.

Please remember we have moved to a new URL-that’s why we want your comment there, and not in this blog.

Enjoy the weekend, and thanks a lot for your time and attention!

Caroline and Alvaro

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Cogmed, Freeze-Framer, IntelliGym, MindFit, Posit Science

We are spending more time talking to journalists these days. A frequent question we receive is, “OK, which computer-based programs do you consider to be Brain Fitness Programs, not just “games” for pure fun”?.

Our answer: the rate of development of new programs by neuroscientists worldwide is really increasing, and there are already a few out there that combine good underlying science with embedded quality assessments and user-friendly guidelines and exercises from a fitness and prevention (vs. medical “prescription”) perspective. Some of these are:

Cogmed Working Memory Training program (RoboMemo), helps children with attention deficits to overcome the working memory gap. and is distributed exclusively through selected clinical providers.

Freeze-Framer is a biometric-based system that helps people of all ages and occupations (from students to nurses and traders) get into The Zone of optimal learning and performance by managing the negative effects of stress and anxiety. Our partner is the Institute of HearMath.

IntelliGym  provides a mental workout to improve core basketball abilities, such as coordination, attention control, peripheral vision, and perception.  Yes, this can be trained. It is basketball specific, so we don’t recommend it for other sports. Our partner is ACE.

MindFit helps train 14 different cognitive functions that are important for healthy aging. Even if the activities are helpful for people of all ages (I personally use it as my “brain gym” during flights, being in my mid-30s), the look & feel is more appropriate for people over 50, so we recommend it mainly for that group. Our partner is Vigorous Mind.

Posit Science offers an intensive program for training core auditory processing abilities. Auditory processing is one of the areas that typically decline with age, so this would be a great starting point for anyone, usually above 60 given the marketing we see in their website, who may be experiencing problems with his/ her hearing and understanding capabilities. We do not offer this program through our website, but certainly respect their scientists and research.

We are constantly looking for new ones, so keep tuned.

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MindFit Brain Fitness Program review

Getting ready for the holidays, not the best time to write great original content…so let us share the only review we have found so far on one of the programs we offer, MindFit.

First, a good article titled The dawn of cognitive technology, on the science behind the need for structured computer-based programs, with quotes such as Read the rest of this entry »

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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 …

Read the rest of this entry »

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