bharatbhasha.com
Free Articles  >>  Self Improvement >>  Page 338  >> 

Top 7 FAQs on Brain Plasticity and Cognitive Fitness for Life





Copyright (c) 2009 SharpBrains

What does "brain fitness" mean? and what about "brain plasticity"?

These two concepts seem to be everywhere in the media these days, and were nowhere to be seen a few years ago.

What do they mean? How can they help me?

We just polled over a thousand people about their main questions on neuroplasticity and brain fitness. I have selected and answered the 7 most common ones below. I hope you enjoy the FAQ session.

Q: What exactly does neuroplasticity mean, and why is it so important for education and health?

A: Learning changes your brain physically. Neuroplasticity or brain plasticity refers to the brain's ability to CHANGE throughout life. The brain has the amazing ability to reorganize itself by forming new connections between brain cells (neurons). Until recently, scientists thought that the brains of adults were pretty much fixed, rigid. Research has shown that in fact the brain never stops changing through learning.

Q. I read a lot about supplement, exercise, different brain training products...where do I start.

A. You are not alone. We recommend focusing on four pillars of brain fitness: physical exercise, a balanced diet, stress management, and brain exercise. Stress management is important since stress has been shown to actually kill neurons and reduce the rate of creation of new ones. Brain exercises range from low-tech (i.e. meditation, mastering new complex skills, lifelong learning and engagement) to high-tech (i.e. using the growing number of brain fitness software programs).

Q. Everyone seems obsessed with brain games. What about meditation?

A. As Daniel Goleman recently pointed out, "the good news is that we can grow our willpower; like a muscle, the more we use it, the more it gradually increases over time. But doing this takes, of all things, willpower." Mindfulness training has been shown to be an effective practice to drive neuroplasticity and build attention, so it an important part of the mix.

Q. Do brain training exercises and cognitive training programs work?

A. As a category, it certainly seems so, as long as we ask the right questions: Which programs?, Work For Whom, Work For What?. Brain training is a complex field, as companies and newspapers often make contradictory claims. These claims are often based on press releases, without a deeper evaluation of the scientific evidence. In summary, I'd say that research has shown how training can help healthy adults improve specific cognitive skills, and improvements seem to last longer than the training itself. Not only that, but cognitive training seems to help adults in the early stages of cognitive impairment and even Alzheimer's Disease. Now, not all programs do the same, so consumers and professionals must make well-informed decisions. There are no magic pills out there.

Q. So this is more serious than "brain games" like Nintendo Brain Age?

A: Nintendo did indeed create consumer awareness for brain games, but brain training has solid roots in neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience. It is often said that new neuroimaging methods have changed neuroscience in the same way that the telescope changed astronomy: scientists now understand much better than only 20 years ago what haappens inside the brain of a live person.

Q. What about neurofeedback?

A. After many years of more hope than good science, several scientific studies published in 2009 are starting to how how neurofeedback can be effective, for example to help diagnose and treat attention deficits.

Q. Based on all this, how can one improve memory?

A. The most important thing to realize is that the brain does more than "memory". For example, if I don't pay attention to something, how can I expect to remember it later? By choosing to attend to something and focus on it, you create a personal interaction with it, which gives it personal meaning, making it easier to remember. So, programs that build our perception and attention abilities can in fact help improve our memory.

Let me give you an example: can you draw from memory both sides of a penny? Please try, adding all the details that you can remember.

Now go get a real penny and compare. Did you remember all the details? did you draw them in the right location? Most likely not, despite having had thousands of penny coins in your hands for years.

In summary, then, brain fitness means having the mental abilities (such as attention and memory) required to thrive in our lives and jobs. Neuroplasticity means that, with the proper attention and training, we can improve our brain fitness, no matter where we start!


About Author Alvaro Fernandez :

Alvaro Fernandez is the CEO of SharpBrains, an organization whose mission is to provide high-quality information and guidance for cognitive health and brain fitness. Alvaro is a member of the World Economic Forum's Council on The Future of the Aging Society, and teaches at UC-Berkeley Lifelong Learning Institute. He has an MBA and an MA in Education from Stanford University. To learn more, visit <a href="http://www.sharpbrains.com/" target="_blank">http://www.sharpbrains.com/</a>


Article Source: https://www.bharatbhasha.com
Article Url: https://www.bharatbhasha.com/self_improvement.php/183899


Article Added on Saturday, November 7, 2009
LD
Other Articles by Alvaro Fernandez

Healthy Aging for the Brain Understanding the Facts not the Myths
Copyright (c) 2009 SharpBrains Have you noticed that every week some article seems to say exactly the opposite to what another article said the week before? Do supplements improve memory? Are physical and brain activity important and complementary or is either enough? Which brain training approach, if any, is worth one's time and money? First of all, we need to debunk several popular myths on mental fitness and cognitive health. Once you understand the facts, not the myths, you will be able...

Brain Improvement and Cognitive Fitness Fact or Fiction
? You may already have a Nintendo Brain Age game, or at least have heard of it. You may also have read recently that start-up Lumos Labs raised $3m to develop brain training games. From the press release: - Lumos Labs is at the center of a booming interest in cognitive exercise and the emerging science about the remarkable plasticity of the brain, said Amish Jani of Pequot Ventures. This and other developments (such as the success of Nintendo Brain Age, and the PBS special devoted to brain...

Top 10 Brain Training Future Trends New Mind Body Focus Brain Trainers and More
In an emerging, dynamic, high growth market, like brain training, it is difficult to make precise projections. But, we can observe a number of trends that executives, consumers, public policy makers, and the media should watch closely in the coming years, as brain fitness and training becomes mainstream, new brain trainers appear, and an ecosystem grows around it. 1. We predict an increased emphasis on brain maintenance in locations ranging from retirement communities to gyms. As a...

Brain Training It Works to Improve Mental Skills and It Doesn t to reduce Brain Age
Brain Training: It Works (to Improve Mental Skills) and It Doesn't (to reduce Brain Age) Researchers from the Mayo Clinic and USC Davis have just announced publication of their IMPACT study at the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The press release announces: - Of the 487 healthy adults over the age of 65 who participated in a randomized controlled trial, half used the Brain Fitness Program for 40 hours over the course of eight weeks. The Brain Fitness Program consists of six...

Top Ten Cognitive Health Events in 2007 Brain Fitness Program Explained and More
By now, you surely are aware that our brains retain the ability to generate neurons and change over our lifetimes, breaking the scientific paradigm prevalent during the 20th century. And you have read about the growing number of brain games and brain fitness programs offered. Now, you may wonder, why is all this happenning now? To understand that, let's review 10 important events that took place in 2007, a seminal year for the field. 1.In January, many mainstream media publications, such as...

Ready to Measure Your Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health
? You know your weight. And your physical fitness. And a variety of health-related metrics. What about your brain fitness? In years to come, we can expect a growing number of assessments to help each of us address that precise question, using tools that today are only available to researchers and clinicians, raising both opportunities and concerns. Two recent announcements bring out important events in that direction: 1) Last week, OptumHealth announced an exclusive 3-year agreement...

Technology For Brain Health an Upcoming Revolution in Cognitive Assessments and Training
In April 2008, Baycrest, a leading research institute focused on aging and brain function, received $10-million from the Ontario Government to create a groundbreaking Centre for Brain Fitness. Its stated goal was to develop and commercialize a range of products designed to improve the brain health of aging Ontarians and others around the world. Our government is proud to support Baycrest and its invaluable work, which is already leading to the discovery of important new tools and approaches...

Exercise Body and Brain to Maintain Lifelong Cognitive Health
The American Medical News, a weekly newspaper for physicians published by the American Medical Association, just published an excellent article on the importance of Exercise - Physical and Mental: A few quotes from the article titled Steps to a nimble mind: Physical and mental exercise help keep the brain fit: Until recently, conventional wisdom held that our brains were intractable, hard-wired computers. What we were born with was all we got. Age wore down memory and the ability to...

Why We Need Personal Brain Trainers Dr Michael Merzenich and Neuroplasticity
Copyright (c) 2009 SharpBrains I recently had the fortune to interview Dr. Michael Merzenich, a leading pioneer in brain plasticity research, in his office at UCSF. You may have learned about his work in one of PBS TV specials, multiple media appearances, or neuroplasticity-related books. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1999 and to the Institute of Medicine this year. AF (Alvaro Fernandez): Dear Michael, thank you very much for your time today. What are, in your mind,...

The Top 10 Brain Health Books of 2008 Ready for some Mental Exercise
? Here you have The 10 Most Popular Brain Fitness & Cognitive Health Books of 2008, based on book purchases by SharpBrains' readers during 2008. We hope you find them as stimulating as we did! 1. Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School (Pear Press, March 2008) - Dr. John Medina, Director of the Brain Center for Applied Learning Research at Seattle Pacific University, writes an engaging and comprehensive introduction to the many daily implications of...

Click here to see More Articles by Alvaro Fernandez
Publishers / Webmasters
Article ID: 183899
DELINK URL from Authors Bio
REMOVE Article
Tell A Friend
Leave A Comment!
Download this article in PDF
Report Article!
Search through all the articles:


126 Users Online !
Related Articles:
Latest Articles:
 
Self Improvement >> Top 50 Articles on Self Improvement
Category - >
Advertising Advice Affiliate Programs Automobiles
Be Your Own Mentor Careers Communication Consumers
CopyWriting Crime Domain Names DoT com Entrepreneur Corner
Ebooks Ecommerce Education Email
Entertainment Environment Family Finance And Business
Food & Drink Gardening Health & Fitness Hobbies
Home Business Home Improvement Humour House Holds
Internet And Computers Kiddos and Teens Legal Matters Mail Order
Management Marketing Marriage MetaPhysical
Motivational MultiMedia Multi Level Marketing NewsLetters
Pets Psychology Religion Parenting
Politics Sales Science Search Engine Optimization
Site Promotion Sports Technology Travel
Web Development Web Hosting WeightLoss Women's Corner
Writing Miscellaneous Articles Real Estate Arts And Crafts
Aging


Disclaimer: The information presented and opinions expressed in the articles are those of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the views of bharatbhasha.com and/or its owners.


Copyright AwareINDIA. All rights reserved || Privacy Policy || Terms Of Use || Author Guidelines || Free Articles
FAQs Link To Us || Submit An Article || Free Downloads|| Contact Us || Site Map  || Advertise with Us ||
Click here for Special webhosting packages for visitors of this website only!
Vastu Shastra

Economy Linux Hosting with cPanel Provided By AwareIndia







Company IDS