As I continue my investigations and writing about brain health and brain training, I am interested in “vetting” resources that I think are best evidence-based, rich in fact, and readable. Here are five current favorite resource links.
I’m looking forward later today to (virtually) participating in the 2017 SharpBrains Virtual Summit. As I await its starting, I am flooded by emails from brain fitness companies. Lumosity claims to have “…adapted age-old-techniques of Mindfulness training into a series of easy-to-learn courses and activities.” I’ll learn more about that on Thursday from a Summit presentation. BrainHQ from Posit Science shares with me their latest claims. A new blog piece is published by Smartbrainaging.
I now am a subscriber to a number of very science-based brain health resources coming from Harvard Medical School and UC Berkeley, I also now monitor National Institute of Aging clinical trial research. There are some intriguing ongoing randomized trials investigating cognitive, dietary and behavioral interventions (such as exercise programs) for mild cognitive impairment such as these.
I am looking forward to opportunities to interact at the summit with some of these CEO’s, entrepreneurs, and fellow investigators and to continue those relationships over the next few years.
My student research team has now spend a semester investigating brain fitness research claims. We are in the process of reflecting on what we have learned. Here are a few preliminary thoughts which will be expanded into a book.
“Brain Training” is a huge and growing industry with very expensive market research reports! Like this one:
There exist a number of excellent, current, science-based guides to maintaining cognitive fitness and brain health (e.g. this one).
There exist excellent scholarly reviews of the efficacy of “brain fitness” programs (e.g. this one).
Many cognitive training studies and brain training companies overpromise results, cite the same methodologically faulty studies, ignore best practice experimental designs (see point 2 above), and fail to take into consideration placebo effects (See this study.)
Many helpful insights into memory loss can be gleaned from literature such as Lisa Genova’sStill Alice and other like works (Such as these).
Time to log into the summit. To paraphrase the proverb, all work and no play makes David a dull boy.
In response to my soliciting suggestions for improving my Experimental Social Psychology class last semester, one of my students suggested that …”if the class were to have many online assignments, I believe it would be extremely beneficially to teach students how to install software that temporarily restrains them from surfing distracting websites while studying. There are several free programs which can be easily set up in order to increase focus and productivity while completing online homework.” This got me reflecting on how the Internet has challenged my own ability to focus as I sit down tonight to read a book in preparation for reviewing it. Here’s where my distractions led me before setting down! Thanks for the suggestion AW!
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