–> Learn more about the new book: The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness: How to Optimize Brain Health and Performance at Any Age
Here you have the February edition of our monthly eNewsletter covering cognitive health and brain fitness topics. Please remember that you can subscribe to receive this Newsletter by email, by visiting http://www.SharpBrains.com and subscribing there.
The recent SharpBrains Summit witnessed the convergence of Benjamin Franklin’s words (”Man is a Tool-Making Animal”) with neuroscientist Santiago Ramon y Cajal’s (”Every man can, if he so desires, become the sculptor of his own brain.”) The neuroplasticity revolution that may well transform education, training, healthcare, aging, is under way.
Will the Apple iPad Be Good for your Brain: Prof. Luc Beaudoin lays out key criteria to assess Apple iPad’s potential value for our cognitive fitness, and judges the iPad against a comprehensive checklist. His verdict? Thumbs-up.
Is Working Memory a better predictor of academic success than IQ?: Dr. Tracy Alloway summarizes a recent landmark study, published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, which tracked children over a six-year period. Key finding: Working memory can be a more powerful predictor of academic success than IQ scores.
Building Fit Minds Under Stress: According to Science Daily’s take on a just published study, “a high-stress U.S. military group preparing for deployment to Iraq has demonstrated a positive link between mindfulness training, or MT, and improvements in mood and working memory”.
The Evolution of Empathy: Empathy is not a uniquely human trait, explains primatologist Frans de Waal in this Greater Good Magazine article. Apes and other animals feel it as well, suggesting that empathy is truly an essential part of who we are.
Reflections on Creativity – Interview with Daniel Tammet: Scott Barry Kaufman recently interviewed Daniel Tammet, known for vividly describing autistic savantism from the inside. Their in-depth conversation made Scott reflect that “Daniel Tammet’s feeling of a great loneliness and isolation growing up spoke to me, for sure. But I’m sure it also spoke to a great many people reading the interview.”
The SharpBrains Summit took place January 18-20th, helping engage over 250 participants in 15 countries. Here are a couple of reactions from participants:
5 Key Reflections on “Neurocentric Health”: Institute For The Future researcher Jake Dunagan summarizes his main take-aways, including this overall assessment – “Although the conference was virtual, aside from the rigors of travel and a basket of bagels on the hallway table, my level of intellectual stimulation (and fatigue) mirrored most of my face-to-face conference experiences. It was a technical success and the content was first-rate.” (Thanks, Jake!)
The Future of Cognitive Enhancement: Neuroethics researcher Peter Reinerponders, “Will brain fitness software dominate the world of cognitive enhancement?”. His take: “Prior to this conference I was quite skeptical, but the overall impression that I was left with was that brain fitness software may turn out to have some distinct advantages over pharmacological approaches.” Read his article to discover why.
Network for Brain Fitness Innovation (private LinkedIn group): Members are engaging in many good discussions, including most surprising things learned during the SharpBrains Summit, how to deal with conflicts of interest in industry and academia, resources and conferences relevant to education and children, and ways to elicit a wider interest in brain health.
Looking for Speakers: We are always looking for best practices and research-based innovation. If you are interested in speaking at future SharpBrains events (including Games for Health brain tracks), please Contact Us and tell us about 1) your innovation or research, 2) its measured and/ or potential impact, 3) recent coverage in general, trade, or scientific media, 4) the typical audience you talk to, and a couple of descriptions of recent talks, 5) what you propose talking about.
Brain Fitness Information Package for Libraries: libraries of all kinds can now order a copy of our main report, The State of the Brain Fitness Software Market 2009, at 50% off price. Using discount code sharplibrary leaves this premium report at $645 (offer valid until March 31st, 2010). Offer is valid for individuals and organizations who commit to donating their copy to a library, in good shape, after consulting it.
Finally, a reminder that Brain Awareness Week (March 15-21, 2010) is approaching soon!
In this January issue of our eNewsletter, we will first brief you on the enlightening demos that will take place on Wednesday, January 20th, as part of the SharpBrains Summit, and then present the 15 most stimulating SharpBrains articles of 2009.
If you want to see and discuss the latest programs and technologies for brain fitness, presented by Summit Sponsors, Wednesday January 20th is your day. Each demo will last 30 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of Q&A.
9am. Baycrest/ Cogniciti will introduce the new Memory@Work workshop, designed to teach what memory is, how lifestyle factors such as distraction and stress can affect memory, and how to enhance memory performance at work with the use of enabling strategies.
10am. CogniFit will demo CogniFit Personal Coach and CogniFit Senior Driver, two online programs designed to assess and main cognitive functions for healthy living and safe driving, respectively.
11am. Posit Science will demo InSight, a software-based cognitive training package designed to sharpen brain’s visual system. This is the program being tested by Allstate for safer driving.
Noon. Happy Neuron will introduce HAPPYneuron PRO, a new platform for professionals for the effective delivery and management of cognitive remediation and rehabilitation programs in a patient centric manner.
1pm. SharpBrains will help navigate this growing field by discussing The State of the Brain Fitness Software 2009 report and The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness consumer guide, and summarizing key Summit take-aways.
Learn more and register HERE. Please remember that discount code sharp2010 gives you 15% off, and that registration closes on January 17th.
We want to thank our most recent sponsor, the Arrowsmith Program, a comprehensive suite of cognitive programs for students with learning disabilities available in public and private schools in Canada and the U.S. More information here.
And now, let’s review the (in our view) 15 most stimulating articles of 2009.
The Big Picture
100 is the new 65: Why do some people live, and well, to 100? Researchers are trying to find out, reports Meera Lee Sethi at Greater Good Magazine.
Learning about Learning: an Interview with Joshua Waitzkin: Scott Barry Kaufman interviews “child prodigy” Joshua Waitzkin on The Art of Learning.
Debunking 10 Brain Health Myths: Does your brain have a “Brain Age”? Is a Magic Pill to prevent memory problems right around the corner? Check out the facts to debunk 10 common myths.
Why is working memory relevant to reading and mathematics: A recent large UK study identified 1 in 10 students as having working memory difficulties. Dr. Tracy Alloway elaborates why this matters.
Change Your Environment, Change Yourself: Dr. Brett Steenbarger explains why new environments “force us to exit our routines and actively master unfamiliar challenges.”
Retooling Use it or lose it: Alvaro Fernandez discusses why routine, doing things inside our comfort zones, is the most common enemy of the novelty, variety and challenge our brains need.
Does cognitive training work? (For Whom? For What?): Dr. Pascale Michelon, dissects a couple of recent press releases and the underlying studies to clarifying what they mean – and what they don’t mean.
New Study Supports Neurofeedback Treatment for ADHD: Dr. David Rabiner reports the promising findings from the first well-designed controlled trial on the effect of neurofeedback treatment for ADHD.
Do Art Classes Boost Test Scores? Is there a “Mozart Effect?”: Some researchers suggest so; others are not convinced. Karin Evans offers a thoughtful review of the evidence and asks, “Now, is this the right question?”
Does coffee boost cognitive functions over time? Dr. Pascale Michelon reports good news (long-term effects seem more positive than negative, so coffee leads to no clear harm) and bad ones (no clear beneficial effects on general brain functions).
Brain fitness heads towards its tipping point: How do you know when something is moving towards a Gladwellian tipping point? When insurance companies and policy makers pay attention, Dr. Gerard Finnemore reports.
Visual Representation of the State of the Market 2009: Paul Van Slembrouck beautifully presents the main findings of our 150-page market report, The State of the Brain Fitness Market 2009.
Michael Merzenich on brain fitness: neuroscientist Michael Merzenich discusses neuroplasticity, technology, safe driving, mental health, and the need for standards, automated assessments and “personal brain trainers”.
Stimulate your Concentration Skills: when one really wants to memorize a fact, it is crucial to pay attention. Dr. Pascale Michelon challenges you to count a few simple letters.
Finally, an article that may inspire some New Year Resolutions. In Yes, You Can Build Willpower, Daniel Goleman discusses how the brain makes about 10,000 new cells every day, how they migrate to where they are needed, and how each cell can make around 10,000 connections to other brain cells. Implication? Meditate, mindfully, and build positive habits.
Wishing you a Happy and Productive 2010, and looking forward to meeting many of you (200 so far) at the inaugural SharpBrains Summit!
Here you have the August edition of our monthly newsletter covering cognitive health and brain fitness topics. Please remember that you can subscribe to receive this Newsletter by email, using the box at the top of this page.
Scientific publication Frontiers in Neuroscience recently published a special issue on Augmenting Cognition, and invited me to contribute with an article titled Preparing Society for the Cognitive Age. Groundbreaking brain research has occurred over the last 20 years. The opportunity to improve brain health and performance is immense, but we need to ensure the marketplace matures in a rational and sustainable manner, both through healthcare and non-healthcare channels. Click Here to read my article.
In May 2009 SharpBrains published The State of the Brain Fitness Software Market 2009, the main industry report for leading organizations preparing their members, their clients, and their patients for the cognitive age. 150-pages long, the report includes a market survey with 2,000+ respondents, detailed analysis of 20+ vendors, research briefs written by 12 leading scientists and data and trends for 4 major customer segments.
Below we share the full Executive Summary of the report and announce an exclusive webinar on September 29th to discuss the State of the Market in more depth with buyers of the report.
To order the report and access both the report and the webinar, you can click Here. (Only $975 -a 25% discount- using Discount Code Frontiers2009 before September 28th).
State of the Market