Neurobics: brain fitness and training
Love your brain!
Even though Valentine's Day is already behind us, I am finding strange love affairs on the Internet and this one has to do with our brains, of all things! As I liked the logo Dr Pascale Michelon used in her article Love your Brain, I am also using it now to talk about neurobics. I love my brain, so that is the reason why I am writing this hub about neurobics.
If you have never heard of the word before, neurobics are mental exercises, brain teasers and puzzles that stimulate the brain, improve its everyday performance and help in the prevention of memory loss. The term was coined by a neurobiologist to explain mental exercises that are designed to keep the brain in a state of alertness. Examples of neurobic exercises are those that are carried out in a non-automatic way, like using your non-dominant had to do what would be a routine action. It has been claimed that Neurobics are like the aerobics of the mind!
I have written a few hubs about those small meditation pieces, usually known as jigsaw puzzles and a list about them appears below.
Retooling brain health for the 21st century
This is the title of the second Sharp Brains Virtual Summit, which will be held from Mar 30 - April 1 2011. The summit is designed for innovators, decision-makers, researchers and professionals who want to learn the latest trends about cognitive research and technologies. Click here to watch a 3 minute tutorial about the Sharp Brains Virtual Summit!
Gaming can make a better world!
If you find jigsaw puzzles, brain teasers and exercises for the brain too boring, or a waste of time, then I would recommend you watch this interesting talk by Jane McGonigal, about how Gaming can make a better world! She talks about games like World of Warcraft, but I think neurobics can also give people the incentive to learn the habits, not of heroes, but of normal people, who can go out and solve everyday problems in the real world, despite any handicaps or disabilities.
Brain: the inside story
The American Museum of Natural History in New York has an exhibit called Brain: the inside story, which is open from November 20 2010 to August 14 2011. In the exhibit one can experience how the brain is continually changing at different stages of our life. One can also discover how scientists can repair and reverse declines in a person's brain function, thanks to new understandings of the workings of the brain.
Brain plasticity video
Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s life long ability to change as a result of its experiences. In other words, that the brain is plastic or malleable. Brain plasticity is a unique characteristic of neuronal cells and there is no other organ in the body that has the capability of reorganizing itself to undertake other functions.To understand the meaning of the term plasticity as it applies to the brain, please watch this interesting video:
Brain health seems to be big business
Brain health seems to be a big business and I can see many advertisements on the Internet (probably because I'm always playing computer games or making jigsaw puzzles!) Some of the big names are:
- Posit Science
- Sharp Brains
They have tests about flexibility, speed and memory. Their brain training products include software programs that speed and sharpen the brain, so people can think faster, focus better and remember more. They concentrate on the auditory and visual senses, as well as driving and brain health.
They also recommend books every month and publish a monthly newsletter with the latest research in brain science. In addition, they have an Internet site that offers free brain games and teasers, as well as a section where you can test your brain in these categories: flexibility, speed and memory.
This is an institution that gathers together scientists, clinicians and executives interested in the brain. In January 2010 they organized the first virtual global summit on Technology for Cognitiive Health and Performance and the second summit will take place from March to Aprll 1st 2011 with the title Retooling brain health for the 21st century.
They also have Internet sites, including Facebook, with brain teasers and games for people to test their attention, memory, logic and more.
I am quite happy using the free games, although there are some firms that require payment, be it once a month ($20) , every 6 months, or yearly.
The following article by Edward Baig from USAtoday, compares some brain game firms in the following article: Playing brain fitness games CogniFit, InSight, Lumosity - USATODAY.com.