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Alvaro Fernandez on Brainf Fitness
 

Alvaro Fernandez on Brainf Fitness

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Alvaro Fernandez's presentation at LearnTrends 08

Alvaro Fernandez's presentation at LearnTrends 08

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    Alvaro Fernandez on Brainf Fitness Alvaro Fernandez on Brainf Fitness Presentation Transcript

    • Brain Fitness for Peak Health and Performance November 20 th , 2008 Alvaro Fernandez © SharpBrains. All rights reserved. No part of this presentation or handout can be reproduced by any means without the written permission of SharpBrains
    • What do you see? © SharpBrains.
    • Overview of session
      • The Brain 101
      • What is “Brain Fitness”, and Why it Matters
      • A growing technology-enabled market
      © SharpBrains.
    • What is this? How many do we have? How many connections can each have? © SharpBrains.
    • Use It or Lose It Source: New Horizons for Learning
    • Each brain is unique
      • The brain is made up of a hundred billion neurons. Each neuron can have between 1 and 10,000 connections to other neurons.
      © SharpBrains.
    • The “3 brains” 1) Reptilian: breathing, movement 3) “Human”: thoughts 2) Mammalian: emotions, memory Graph by Rita Carter, Mapping the Mind © SharpBrains.
    • Parts of the cortex Graph by Morphonix © SharpBrains. Frontal Lobe Goal-oriented thinking and behavior. Parietal Lobe Sensory information, orientation, calculation. Temporal Lobe Auditory. Occipital Lobe Visual.
    • The need for lifelong learning Graph by Elkhonon Goldberg, The Wisdom Paradox
    • The Memory Process Encoding Encoding Retrieval
    • The “sins” of memory…and why “sins” may not be sins
      • Transience: adapt to new demands
      • Absent-mindness: avoid information overload and fragmentation
      • Misattribution: encode information selectively and efficiently
      • Bias: facilitate emotional well-being
      • Blocking: stress blocks memory to favor action.
      Source: Daniel Schacter, The Seven Sins of Memory
    • Overview of session
      • The Brain 101
      • What is “Brain Fitness”, and Why it Matters
      • A growing technology-enabled market
      © SharpBrains.
    • The Science of Brain Fitness
        • Neuroplasticity : the brain retains a lifelong capacity to change responding to experience.
        • Neuroimaging enables the scientific exploration of the live brain.
        • Cognition is a core set of brain functions-not just one.
        • Some cognitive functions improve as we age – others typically decline .
        • The four “pillars” of brain health : nutrition, physical exercise, stress management and brain exercise.
        • Software -based applications can help assess and/ or train specific brain functions.
        • Cognitive assessments will become critical to identify bottlenecks and measure progress.
        • Cross-training the brain builds up the Brain/ Cognitive reserve.
        • This is still an emerging field: much more research needs to be done.
    • What is Brain Fitness/ a “sharp brain”
        • The general state of feeling alert, in control, productive, especially as the result of mental and physical exercise and proper nutrition.
        • Having the mental abilities required to function in society, in our occupations, in our communities.
        • It is not about “IQ”. It is about skills such as attention, memory, emotional self-regulation, planning, resist temptations…
        • Can it be measured today? Yes, but only by neuropsychologists and researchers. We expect to see cheaper and widely available assessments (perhaps via a 30-40 minute set of online assessments) over the next few years.
    • We each build our own Brain Reserve
      • To maximize chances of healthy aging, increasing focus on 4 main "brain health" pillars:
        • a balanced diet
        • physical exercise
        • stress management
        • brain exercise
      • Growing evidence suggests the earlier the better to build a Brain Reserve that may delay decline and problems such as Alzheimer's related symptoms. Studies have shown a risk reduction of up to 38% thanks to these lifestyle habits, with emphasis on physical and brain exercise.
      © SharpBrains 2007. All rights reserved.
    • Working Memory capacity as we age Source: Klingberg et al Working Memory: the ability to keep several units of information “online”. For example, if I tell you know the 7 digits of my phone number.
    • Brain Reserve- Physical exercise
      • Enhances brain structure and function. Exercise improves learning through increased blood supply and growth hormones.
      • If you can only do one thing, focus on cardiovascular training—exercise that gets your heart beating faster, like walking, running, skiing, swimming, biking, hiking, tennis, basketball.
      © SharpBrains 2007. All rights reserved.
    • Brain Reserve- Good Nutrition
      • As a general guideline, what is good for your body is also good for your brain. Eat a variety of foods of different colors while avoiding foods with added ingredients or processed foods.
      • Add some cold-water fish to your diet (tuna, salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines, and herring) which contain omega-3 fatty acids.
      • If you can only focus on one change, eat more vegetables, particularly leafy green ones.
      • Few supplements have shown long-term benefits on memory and other cognitive functions .
      © SharpBrains 2007. All rights reserved.
    • Brain Reserve- Stress Management
      • Since chronic stress reduces and can even inhibit the creation of new neurons, stress management is important.
      • Practice meditation, yoga, or other calming activities as a way to take a relaxing time-out.  If you want a more high-tech option, use biofeedback devices that measure heart rate variability and allow you to see your levels of stress in real-time.
      • If you can only do one thing, set aside 5-10 minutes to just breathe deeply and recharge.
      © SharpBrains 2007. All rights reserved.
    • Brain Reserve- Brain Exercise
      • Mental exercise enhances neuron survival and strengthen the synapses or connections among neurons.
      • The 3 key principles for good brain exercise are:
        • 1.  Novelty: you need to try new things, including things you aren't good at.
        • 2.  Variety: given that the brain is composed of a variety of functionally distinct areas, you need to ensure a complete mental “workout circuit” to maintain sharpness in all areas.  Excessive specialization is not the best strategy for our long-term Brain Health.
        • 3.  Challenge: you need to be exposed to increasing levels of challenge, so the task is never too easy.
      • If you can only do one thing, learn something new every day.
      © SharpBrains 2007. All rights reserved.
    • What is this
    • Ideas to exercise our “mental muscles”
      • Motor coordination: learning how to dance, yoga, choreographed aerobics.
      • Emotions: meditation, cognitive therapy, biofeedback.
      • Memory: categorize information, visualize links.
      • Sensory: wine tasting, let a chocolate melt.
      • Language: write a haiku, do a crossword, learn a language.
      • Visual: guided imagery, reading “mental” maps when we drive.
      • Attention: meditation, writing/ using lists.
      • Executive functions: setting up goals, follow-up on them, make decisions.
      © SharpBrains.
    • Overview of session
      • The Brain 101
      • What is “Brain Fitness”, and Why it Matters
      • A growing technology-enabled market
      © SharpBrains.
    • 2007 welcomed an emerging cognitive/ brain fitness market. © SharpBrains 2008 Sales of brain fitness products in the US more than doubled from 2005 to 2007: from estimated $100m to $225m. CAGR: 50%.
    • Why talk about Brain Fitness now? © SharpBrains 2008
    • The number of people over 50 will double in 30 years. And it’s Baby Boomers.
    • Growing number of studies on the value of computer-based programs Source: Klingberg et al.
    • Evaluation checklist (available at www.sharpbrains.com)
      • 1. Are neuropsychologists behind the program
      • 2. What peer-reviewed research supports it
      • 3. Is there a solid Scientific Advisory Board
      • 4. What are the specific benefits claimed
      • 5. What cognitive function does it train
      • 6. How many hours/ days per week to use it
      • 7. Do the exercises teach something new
      • 8. Always challenging
      • 9. Does the program fit user’s specific goals
      • 10. No stress
      © SharpBrains 2008
        • In summary…
      © SharpBrains.
    • Build a Brain Reserve based on these Pillars
        • A balanced diet
        • Cardiovascular physical exercise
        • Stress management
        • Brain exercise: Novelty, Variety, Challenge (that doesn’t stress us out)
      © SharpBrains.
    • Predictions Brain Fitness Market 2008-2015
      • Cognitive/ Brain Fitness goes Mainstream
        • Increasing Focus on Brain Maintenance
        • Better Integration of Physical and Mental Exercise
        • Public policy initiatives to drive adoption
      • Leveraging Better Tools
        • Wide Use of Cognitive Assessments as Baseline
        • More and Refined computer-based programs
        • Low-tech options to play increasing role
      • A Growing Eco-System
        • Health professionals will need Professional Development
        • Insurance companies will introduce incentives
        • Increased Transfer from military research and applications
        • Corporate Wellness and Training adds a Brain component
      © SharpBrains 2008
    • An Introduction to SharpBrains
      • Market Research and Advisory Services focused on applications of Cognitive Science and Neuroscience.
      • Co-Founded by neuroscientist Elkhonon Goldberg and executive Alvaro Fernandez.
      • Website & newsletter with many free resources:
      • http://www.sharpbrains.com
        • Articles
        • Teasers
        • Interviews with scientists
        • Newsletter
      • Contact: [email_address]
    • Who buys our research publications?
      • Venture Capital
        • Aberdare Ventures
        • Binnacle Capital
        • Osmium Partners
      • Health systems
        • Kaiser Permanente
        • Sutter Health
        • Memorial Hospital
      • Research centers
        • US Army Research Lab
        • Harvard Medical Schools
        • Oregon Center for Applied Science
      • Cognitive Training
        • Posit Science
        • Dakim
        • NovaVision
      • Cognitive Assessments
        • Brain Resource
        • CogState
      • Other
        • AARP
        • Sunrise Senior Living
    • Industry-leading publications at http://www.sharpbrains.com/ State of the Brain Fitness Software Market 2008 ($495) Brain Fitness Centers in Seniors Housing – A Field in the Making ($25) 10-Questions Checklist to Evaluate Programs Making Brain Fitness Claims (Free)
    • SharpBrains.com is a leading Brain Fitness educational resource.