As you surely know, our brains can continue to generate neurons throughout our lives, thus shattering the scientific paradigm that prevailed during most of the 20th century. There are more and more brain games and brain fitness programs like Cogmed being offered. So what makes these programs so popular now? Learn How to do Brain Fitness Program – Explained.
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Here are 10 critical events that shaped 2007 as a seminal year in the field.
- Following the publication of the ACTIVE study in the Journal of the American Medical Association in December 2006, major mainstream media outlets such as Time Magazine and CBS News covered “brain exercise” in major stories starting in January. In that study, significant percentages of participants aged 65 and older who trained for five weeks enhanced their memory, reasoning, and information processing speed. Researchers found that the participants trained in computer-based programs (for information processing) showed fewer declines in the skill from their initial experience than control group members who did not receive cognitive training. These results were more pronounced than those found in participants trained in traditional programs (for memory and reasoning). Although, for all programs, the benefits of mental exercise were much more significant than a physical activity – as if exercising 10 times this month would be enough to keep you fit five years from now.
- There are two excellent popular science books focused on neuroplasticity in January, Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain (Ballantine Books) by science journalist Sharon Begley and The Brain That Changes Itself (Viking) psychiatrist Norman Doidge. They provide an overview of the science and logic behind various structured “mental exercise” programs, computerized and not (like meditation).
- In conjunction with the American Society on Aging, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the American Society on Aging released a 10-question Checklist to evaluate the growing number of programs making brain-related claims.
- The Journal of Gerontology publishes a special Summer Issue that focuses on research studies on Cognitive Training.
- Nicole Kidman takes over as the spokesperson for ‘Brain Training’ to highlight Nintendo Brain Age’s commercial success in the US and Europe. People are talking about it everywhere.
- A COGNITIVE HEALTH ROADMAP is released by the Centers for Disease Control and the Alzheimer’s Association on June 4th to guide researchers and improve public health education. This aims to keep adults’ cognitive functioning high or even improve it by encouraging proper diet, exercise, and mental stimulation.
- Scientist Susan Greenfield, Director of the Royal Institution in the UK, endorses the MindFit program for training 14 different cognitive skills.
- In November, a panel of panellists at the Gerontology Society of American conference in San Francisco reported very positive results from IMPACT, a study derived from Posit Science’s training program for auditory processing.
- A cognitive assessment company, The Brain Resource Company, signs a multi-million dollar deal with an insurance company to develop more sensitive brain “markers” to adopt cognitive assessments more widely.
- This December, PBS broadcasts a particular program on neuroplasticity, highlighting Michael Merzenich’s research and the Posit Science Brain Fitness 2.0 program.