Posts Tagged Brain teasers

In honor of Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, let’s discuss 10 Key Facts To Harness Brain Plasticity And Prolong Brain Health

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, so let me share 10 Key Facts to harness brain plasticity & prolong brain health that come from the hundreds of scientific and medical studies we analyzed to prepare the book The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness: How to Improve Brain Health and Performance at Any Age:

  • 1. Genes do not determine the fate of our brains (not even the infamous APOE4). Thanks to lifelong neuroplasticity, our lifestyles are as important as our genes-if not even more important- in determining how our brains grow and our minds evolve.
  • 2. There is more than one “It” in “Use It or Lose It” — our performance depends on a variety of brain functions and cognitive skills, not just one (be it “attention” or “memory” or any other).
  • 3. Physical exercise and increased fitness promote brain functioning through a variety of mechanisms, such as increased brain volume, blood supply and growth hormone levels. In particular, cardiovascular exercise seems to bring the greatest brain benefits.
  • 4. Mental stimulation strengthens the connections between neurons (synapses), improving neuron survival and cognitive functioning and building your cognitive reserve–which helps your brain better cope with normal aging and Alzheimer’s pathology in the long-term.
  • 5. The only leisure activity that has been associated with reduced cognitive function is watching television. What could explain that? Well, routine, passive activities do not challenge the brain. Keeping up the challenge requires going to the next level of difficulty, trying something new, generating new thoughts and strategies and lessons learned.
  • 6. The Mediterranean Diet, supplemented with olive oil and nuts, is associated with decreased risk of cognitive decline.
  • 7. Moderate doses of caffeine increase alertness but there is no clear sustained lifetime health benefit (or harm).
  • 8. Taking “brain supplements”  does not seem to boost cognitive function or reduce risks of cognitive decline or dementia, unless directed to address an identified deficiency.
  • 9. Chronic stress reduces and can even inhibit neurogenesis. Memory and general mental flexibility are impaired by chronic stress…so it’s good to see the growing evidence that meditation and biofeedback can successfully teach users to self-regulate physiological stress.
  • 10. No size fits all…so, to improve and prolong brain function, it’s critical to understand and address individual needs and starting point.

What counts in terms of neuroplasticity and brain health is not reading this article–or any other–but practicing healthy behaviors every day. Please revisit the fact above that really grabbed your attention–ideally one that you may have overlooked and therefore may bring most “bang for the buck” now–and make a decision to try something new this summer.

To learn more:

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Update: Why Untrained Brains Are A Bit Like Puppies (And How Dance Offers Great Brain Training)

Time for SharpBrains’ April e-newsletter, featuring what’s new in brain health and cognitive performance. Quite stimulating reading 🙂

New thinking

New research

>New tools

Upcoming event

 

Finally, here you have 5 quick brain teasers to sharpen two key cognitive skills: attention and working memory.

 

Have a great month of May,

 

The SharpBrains Team

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5 quick brain teasers to sharpen two key cognitive skills: attention and working memory

Looking for some fun–and free–cognitive stimulation over the weekend? Here you have a few quick brain teasers to challenge your atten­tion and your work­ing mem­ory (work­ing mem­ory is the capacity to keep infor­ma­tion in your mind while working on processing and integrating it)

Please give them a try…they are not as easy as they may seem 🙂 Read the rest of this entry »

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3 fun brain teasers for adults to challenge your cognitive skills

Brain_cognitiveskillsFirst of all, what is cognition? Cognition has to do with how we understand the world and act in it. Cognitive skills are the brain-based functions that we need to carry out any task from the simplest to the most complex. For example, answering the telephone involves perception (hearing the ring tone), decision taking (answering or not), motor skill (lifting the receiver), language skills (talking and understanding language), social skills (interpreting tone of voice and interacting properly with another human being).

Here are three fun brain teasers to help you challenge your cognitive skills over the weekend, coming from our collection of brain teasers & games for adults of all ages. Enjoy!

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Top 10 Brain Teaser Games of 2015 For Teens and Adults

innovationThese are the 10 brain teasers, games & illusions that SharpBrains readers (primarily adults, but some younger minds too) enjoyed the most in 2015. It is always good to learn more about our brains and to challenge them!

#1. You think you know the colors? Try the Stroop Test

#2. Check out this brief attention experiment

#3. Test your stress level

#4. Guess: Are there more connections in one human brain or leaves in the whole Amazon?

#5. Quick brain teasers to flex two key men­tal mus­cles

#6. Count the Fs in this sentence

#7. Can you iden­tify Apple’s logo?

#8. Ten classic optical illu­sions to trick your mind

#9. What do you see?

#10. Fun Mental Rotation challenge

If you have time for more, check out these Top 25 Brain Teasers, Games and Illusions.

We hope you try them, enjoy them, and share them 🙂

Alvaro Fernandez & the SharpBrains Team

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Brain teasers to help teens and adults test cognitive skills…and cognitive biases

brainteaser_considerlindaBrain teaser: Please con­sider Linda, a 31-year-old woman, sin­gle and bright. When she was a stu­dent, in high school and in col­lege too, she was deeply involved in social jus­tice issues, and also par­tic­i­pated in environmental protests. Which is more prob­a­ble about Linda’s occu­pa­tion today? Read the rest of this entry »

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Update: Innovation to Upgrade Brain Care

Here you have the July107px-gray1197thumbnail edition of our monthly eNewslet ter covering cognitive health and brain fitness topics. Please remem ber that you can subscribe to receive this free Brain Fitness eNewsletter by email, using the box in the right column.

Technology to upgrade brain care: In this extensive interview, Dr. John Docherty helps connect the dots on why new frameworks and tools are a must to put recent brain research to good use. A must read for all professionals in the field.

Research

Findings from NIH Expert Panel: The American Society on Aging asked Alvaro Fernandez to comment on the findings from a major cognitive health research review by the National Institutes of Health. Lifestyle still matters, and protective factors against cognitive decline are led by cognitive training, physical activity and cognitive engagement.

Scientific critique of BBC brain training experiment: Dr. Elizabeth Zelinski shares her concerns about the April 2010 BBC study, which included substantial and unexplained dropout rates, and questionable outcome measurement and interpretation.

The value of being bilingual and building a Cognitive Reserve to preserve learning and memory even in the face of brain damage are explored in recent studies.

San Francisco Bay Area study seeks participants: The Gazzaley Lab at UCSF is looking for participants aged 20-59 to explore the impact of distraction and multitasking on performance across the lifespan.


Innovation

What impressed Innovation Awards Judging Panel: Get some insight into what most impressed the Judging Panel about each Winner and Finalist of the 2010 Brain Fitness Innovation Awards.

New – SharpBrains’ 2010 Market Report: SharpBrains’ flagship, 207-page, third annual market report finds continued growth for digital technologies to assess, enhance and treat cognition.

To manage brain fitness through life, we need to put puzzle pieces together: innovative tools to help us better monitor our cognitive health and take informed action are badly needed….and already emerging.

The internet will fry your brain. Sure: In his latest book, Nicholas Carr does a great job highlighting the implications of lifelong neuro­plasticity, but picks the wrong enemy.

“Serious Games”: Can video games inspire people to perform acts of altruism? Kyle Smith reports.

Teasers

Yahoo Optical Illusions and teasers: Yahoo! has created an expanded section of illusions and teasers, and we were glad to contribute to it. Enjoy…and have a great summer!

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