Learning, Brain & Cognitive Fitness
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Learning, Brain & Cognitive Fitness
Understanding how the brain learns, functions and stays healthy.
Curated by Maggie Rouman
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Yoga better than crosswords for preventing pre-Alzheimer’s memory loss 

Yoga better than crosswords for preventing pre-Alzheimer’s memory loss  | Learning, Brain & Cognitive Fitness | Scoop.it
After 12 weeks the scientists saw similar verbal memory improvements in both groups of volunteers. However, visual-spatial memory was increased to a greater degree in the yoga-meditation group.

Participants practising yoga and meditation were also less likely to be depressed and anxious, and were better able to cope with stress.
Maggie Rouman's insight:
Yoga is not only a great way to find balance, but it helps us as we age.
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Exercise Might Beat Puzzles for Protecting the Aging Brain

Exercise Might Beat Puzzles for Protecting the Aging Brain | Learning, Brain & Cognitive Fitness | Scoop.it

"To help stave off the cognitive decline of aging, you might want to drop the crossword puzzle and head out for a brisk walk or a bike ride.In a study published in the journal Neurology of almost 700 people born in 1936, researchers found physically active people showed fewer signs of brain shrinkage and other deterioration than those who got less exercise. At the same time, social and intellectual activities such as visiting family and friends, reading, playing intellectually stimulating games or learning a new language did nearly nothing to ward off the symptoms of an aging brain, the study said."

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The aging brain: Why getting older just might be awesome - CNN.com

The aging brain: Why getting older just might be awesome - CNN.com | Learning, Brain & Cognitive Fitness | Scoop.it

Google "the aging brain" and you will find a largely sobering landscape of cognitive deterioration. But that's not the whole picture. In his book, "Major Issues in Cognitive Aging," Timothy A. Salthouse, professor of psychology and director of the Cognitive Aging Laboratory at the University of Virginia, writes, "Although there is no shortage of opinions about cognitive aging, it sometimes seems that relatively few of the claims are based on well-established empirical evidence ... assertions about cognitive aging may be influenced as much by the authors' preconceptions and attitudes as by systematic evaluations of empirical research." Salthouse makes two more significant observations about cognitive aging: Discoveries of decline in the laboratory do not necessarily correlate to success out in the real world, and there is often considerable variation among different people of the same age.

Place these findings alongside research about the power of suggestion (both deliberate and otherwise) and how response expectancies -- the ways in which we anticipate a specific outcome -- drive subsequent thoughts and behaviors that will actually help to bring that outcome to fruition. And suddenly you have a whole new narrative about the possibilities of healthy aging.

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Music training has biological impact on aging process

Music training has biological impact on aging process | Learning, Brain & Cognitive Fitness | Scoop.it
Age-related delays in neural timing are not inevitable and can be avoided or offset with musical training, according to the first study to provide biological evidence that lifelong musical experience impacts the aging process.

Via BrainHealth
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Exergaming may offer older people cognitive benefits - Los Angeles Times

Exergaming may offer older people cognitive benefits - Los Angeles Times | Learning, Brain & Cognitive Fitness | Scoop.it
Los Angeles TimesExergaming may offer older people cognitive benefitsLos Angeles TimesExergames -- exercise combined with virtual reality -- might give a cognitive boost to older people more than regular workouts, researchers have found.
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Education for Mental Fitness: “A Sharper Mind, Middle Age and Beyond” | SharpBrains

Education for Mental Fitness: “A Sharper Mind, Middle Age and Beyond” | SharpBrains | Learning, Brain & Cognitive Fitness | Scoop.it
Kudos to Patricia Cohen for one of the best articles I have read in The New York Times in a long time: A Sharper Mind, Middle Age and Beyond, by Patricia (Education for Mental Fitness: “A Sharper Mind, Middle Age and Beyond” | SharpBrains...
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Keeping brains active may help fight Alzheimer's plaque – - CNN.com Blogs

Keeping brains active may help fight Alzheimer's plaque – - CNN.com Blogs | Learning, Brain & Cognitive Fitness | Scoop.it
People who keep their brains active throughout life -- performing brain-stimulating activities like reading, writing, and playing games -- appear to have lower levels of the protein that forms brain clogging amyloid plaque.
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Brain Today: Best Evidence Yet: Using Brain Keeps it Healthy

Brain Today: Best Evidence Yet: Using Brain Keeps it Healthy | Learning, Brain & Cognitive Fitness | Scoop.it
RT @cinnamonshelper: RT @BrainToday: Best Evidence Yet: Using Brain Keeps it Healthy http://t.co/ZZzd1DsH...
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Brutal Truths About the Aging Brain |DISCOVER Magazine

Brutal Truths About the Aging Brain |DISCOVER Magazine | Learning, Brain & Cognitive Fitness | Scoop.it

"A graying world will have more of the experience that comes with age. It will also be slower, fuzzier, more forgetful, and just a bit hard of hearing....With the global population of people over 80 expected to more than quadruple to nearly 400 million by 2050, the aging brain will become an increasingly big headache for humankind. Here are four cognitive systems that tend to decline as we age. Get used to these changes. You’ll be seeing a lot more of them in the future."

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Musicians' Brains Might Have an Edge on Aging - US News and World Report

Musicians' Brains Might Have an Edge on Aging - US News and World Report | Learning, Brain & Cognitive Fitness | Scoop.it

"It's been said that music soothes the savage beast, but if you're the one playing the instrument it might benefit your brain.

A growing body of evidence suggests that learning to play an instrument and continuing to practice and play it may offer mental benefits throughout life. Hearing has also been shown to be positively affected by making music."

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Never Too Late to Learn

Never Too Late to Learn | Learning, Brain & Cognitive Fitness | Scoop.it

Norman Doidge reviews Guitar Zero: The New Musician and the Science of Learning by Gary Marcus....Neuroplasticity is the property of the brain that allows it to change its structure and function through mental experience....

The question thus inevitably arises: What ambitious kinds of learning might we, as adults, undertake? Is the brain plastic enough, say, for a 39-year-old adult without any apparent musical skill to learn an instrument and become a musician? In "Guitar Zero," the cognitive psychologist Gary Marcus sets out to answer this question by using himself as a guinea pig.

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Brain Games May Help Thwart Alzheimer's: Study

Brain Games May Help Thwart Alzheimer's: Study | Learning, Brain & Cognitive Fitness | Scoop.it
ABC News (blog) Brain Games May Help Thwart Alzheimer's: Study ABC News (blog)   Researchers behind a study in this week's Archives of Neurology say they have a found a link between “brain-stimulating activities” and levels of protein thought to cause...

Via Jone Johnson Lewis
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Brain function can start declining 'as early as age 45' | SharpBrains

Brain function can start declining 'as early as age 45' | SharpBrains | Learning, Brain & Cognitive Fitness | Scoop.it
The brain's ability to function can start to deteriorate as early as 45, suggests a study in the British Medical Journal (Your brain function can start declining from as early as age 45!
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The Ten Habits of a Sharp Brain | SharpBrains

The Ten Habits of a Sharp Brain | SharpBrains | Learning, Brain & Cognitive Fitness | Scoop.it
As our final article for 2011, let us repurpose one of SharpBrains' most popular blog posts since 2006.
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The Advantages of the Middle-Age Brain

The Advantages of the Middle-Age Brain | Learning, Brain & Cognitive Fitness | Scoop.it
Despite news reports about cognitive decline starting at 45, the middle-aged brain actually performs better in other ways (There is a silver lining to increased silver hairs: the middle-age brain actually performs better in some ways
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