Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Forget thinking vs. feeling dichotomy. Think/ feel holistic brain functioning

brain teasers cognitive stimulationMental Math and the Fine-Tuning of Emotions (The Dana Foundation)

“You often hear the word “calculating” used to describe someone who always seems to act deliberately, guided by reason rather than emotion. The idea behind this characterization is that human nature straddles a deep divide between thinking and feeling, but current research suggests otherwise. Brain-imaging studies, in particular, reveal an overlap between the sites in the brain that make it possible for us to perform mental arithmetic and those that enable us to regulate our emotions. In fact, these two dissimilar-seeming functions are housed in the same neighborhood of the cerebral cortex. But they don’t just reside near each other—they actually work together. “It’s possible that training the brain with mental math strengthens the capacity for emotional reappraisal, or perhaps continually running the process of emotional reappraisal increases the ability for mental calculations of other kinds like mental arithmetic.”

To learn more:

Brain teaser to challenge your frontal lobes

Here is a fun brain teaser from puzzle master Wes Carroll.

Tipping the Scales

free brain teasers for frontal lobes

Question:
The top two scales in the image at the right are in perfect balance. How many diamonds will be needed to balance the bottom set?

This puzzle helps you work out your executive functions –supported in the frontal lobes— by using your pattern recognition, hypothesis testing, and logic.


ANSWER:

Four diamonds

SOLUTION:

First add up the number of clubs in the first two scales (5). Then count how many clubs are in the bottom scale (5). The do the same with the spades, which gets you 5 and 5. There are 4 diamonds in the top two balanced scales. Therefore, it must take 4 diamonds to balance the third scale since all the other measurements are the same.

More brain teasers and games for adults of any age:

UT Dallas researcher secures $2.7m grant to better monitor and address TBI-related cognitive and functional deficits

-- Drs. Dan Krawczyk and Kihwan Han review MRI scans. Credit: Center for BrainHealth, Randy Anderson

— Drs. Dan Krawczyk and Kihwan Han review MRI scans. Credit: Center for BrainHealth, Randy Anderson

Scientist Gets Grant for Study of Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injuries (UT Dallas release):

A researcher from the Center for BrainHealth at UT Dallas has been awarded a $2.7 million grant from the Department of Defense (DoD) under the Joint Warfighter Medical Research Program.

The grant, awarded to Dr. Daniel Krawczyk, deputy director of the Center for BrainHealth, will fund research, via a virtual technology platform, to improve cognitive and functional deficits for Read the rest of this entry »

Trend: Consumers experiment with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) with no regulatory oversight

-- DIY tDCS device: Four 9-volt batteries and sticky self-adhesive electrodes, connected by a circuit board. Courtesy of Matt Herich

— DIY tDCS device: Four 9-volt batteries and sticky self-adhesive electrodes, connected by a circuit board. Courtesy of Matt Herich

Students Zap Their Brains For a Boost, For Better Or Worse (NPR):

“Last October, Matt Herich was listening to the news while he drove door to door delivering pizzas. A story came on the radio about a technology that sends an electric current through your brain to possibly make you better at Read the rest of this entry »

To reduce heart disease and stroke risks, regulate stress and improve brain health

heart_brain—–

How stress may increase risk of heart disease and stroke (ScienceDaily):

“Heightened activity in the amygdala — a region of the brain involved in stress — is associated with a greater risk of heart disease and stroke, according to a study published in The Lancet that provides new insights into Read the rest of this entry »

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