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Posts Tagged "brain training"

Beautiful Minds

New Cognitive Training Study Takes on the Critics

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Brain training: yay or nay? It’s not so simple. Traversing the swamp of studies on cognitive training is bound to give even the boldest explorer a migraine. But don’t despair, I’m here to help guide you along! As we all know, people differ quite a bit from one another in how much information they can [...]

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Beautiful Minds

In Defense of Working Memory Training

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One minute we’re being told that brain training makes you smarter, and the next minute we’re told it’s all bogus. Confused? I don’t blame you. The research literature on brain training is confusing and even sometimes contradictory. This is the way of science. I believe, however, that there is hope in making sense of things if the field and the [...]

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Beautiful Minds

Reasoning Training Increases Brain Connectivity Associated with High-Level Cognition

Illustrator: George Doutsiopoulos

A number of studies across various domains– from juggling to taxi navigation to meditation to music to motor learning to processing speed– demonstrate the importance of experience on patterns of neural connectivity. Finally, the cognitive ability domain is catching up. In recent years, neuroscientists have discovered a large-scale brain network critical for novel and complex goal-directed [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

Can Video Games Diagnose Cognitive Deficits?

Five brain-training games available as an iPad “app” from Lumosity were evaluated as tests of cognitive dysfunction in cirrhosis: (a) Circles is a test of spatial orientation, information processing speed and attention. Colored circles appear one at a time and a user must decide whether each is a match when compared with the circle that showed up earlier. (b) Color Match evaluates selective attention, cognitive flexibility and processing speed. The names of two colors appear and the test-taker must decide whether or not the top word names the font color of the bottom word. (c) Memory Matrix taps visuospatial memory. A pattern of tiles appears on a grid; when the pattern disappears, a test-taker attempts to recreate it. (d) Lost in Migration examines attention as well as visual field and focus. Five birds appear and a user indicates the direction of flight of the center bird. (e) Chalkboard Challenge involves quantitative reasoning. A player must determine which arithmetic figure has the greatest value between two choices.

This blog is the third in a series of guest posts on technology and the brain to celebrate Scientific American Mind’s 10-year anniversary. The magazine’s special November/December issue similarly highlights the interface between code and thought in profiling a future, more digital YOU. Video games are an increasingly common pastime, especially for children, adolescents and [...]

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Observations

How a Computer Game Is Reinventing the Science of Expertise [Video]

If there is one general rule about the limitations of the human mind, it is that we are terrible at multitasking. The old phrase “united we stand, divided we fall” applies equally well to the mechanisms of attention as it does to a patriotic cause. When devoted to a single task, the brain excels; when [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

How to Make Kids Smarter—and Ease Existential Terror

A few months ago, I logged on to Lumosity.com to play my daily dose of brain games. The company had given me a free, temporary account so that I could try out their system as part of my research for an article I was writing on brain training. My then 11-year-old son wanted to play, [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Learn to Live in the Now [Video]

Being mindful means being acutely aware of what is happening now—rather than drifting into the past or musing about the future—without emotionally reacting to these ongoing events. Maintaining a focus on the present is associated with a variety of improvements to physical and mental health. Practicing mindfulness can also enhance key aspects of intellect—in particular, [...]

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Talking back

Best Evidence for Brain Training Falls Short

Market researcher SharpBrains has predicted that the brain fitness industry will range anywhere from $2 billion to $8 billion in revenues by 2015. That’s a wide swath, but the companies that sell brain-tuning software could conceivably hit at least the low end of their sales target by then. The question that persists is whether any [...]

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