Wednesday, February 27, 2013

SHARPBRAINS 2013 Report: Market Intelligence on Digital Brain Health

SHARPBRAINS' annual report on the Digital Brain Health Market was released in January:  

According to their website, "...this new 211-page market report tracks developments at over fifty public and private companies offering fully automated applications designed to assess, monitor and/ or enhance cognition and brain functioning, and provides important industry data, insights and analysis to help executives, entrepreneurs, technology/ health innovators and policy makers navigate the opportunities and risks of the rapidly growing Digital Brain Health field. The report discusses the technology and market opportunities arising from growing neuroscience find­ings on healthy aging, peak performance, and a number of disorders such as attention deficits, dyslexia, stroke and traumatic brain injury, schizophrenia, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease. The report also provides information and frameworks to help institutions make informed investment, partnering and purchase decisions."

Since my posting of last year's report is one of the most popular postings of the past year, I wanted to make sure you all knew about it.

At the same time, you should know that it's a serious report with a similarly serious price tag. If you buy and read it, please send me a review.


Monday, February 25, 2013

True or False neuro-brain quiz

Here’s an “open-book” quiz on our brains that I grabbed from the SHARPBRAINS website. If the statement is correct, it has a (T) after it. If it has a (F), it is false and, therefore, a myth.
  1. We use our brains 24 h a day (T).
  2. Children must acquire their native language before a sec­ond lan­guage is learned. If they do not do so neither language will be fully acquired (F).
  3. Boys have big­ger brains than girls (T). (And, please, no smart comments from either gender)
  4. If pupils do not drink sufficient amounts of water (=6–8 glasses a day) their brains shrink (F).
  5. It has been scientifically proven that fatty acid supplements (omega-3 and omega-6) have a positive effect on academic achievement (F).
  6. When a brain region is damaged other parts of the brain can take up its function (T)).
  7. We only use 10% of our brain (F).
  8. The left and right hemi­sphere of the brain always work together (T).
  9. Differences in hemispheric dominance (left brain, right brain) can help explain individual differences amongst learners (F).
  10. The brains of boys and girls develop at the same rate (F).
  11. Brain development has finished by the time children reach secondary school (F).
  12. There are critical periods in childhood after which certain things can no longer be learned (F).
  13. Infor­ma­tion is stored in the brain in a network of cells distributed throughout the brain (T).
  14. Learning is not due to the addition of new cells to the brain (T).
  15. Individuals learn better when they receive information in their preferred learning style (e.g., auditory, visual, kinesthetic) (F).
  16. Learning occurs through modification of the brains’ neural connections (T).
  17. Academic achievement can be affected by skipping breakfast (T).
  18. Normal development of the human brain involves the birth and death of brain cells (T).
  19. Mental capacity is hereditary and cannot be changed by the environment or experience (F).
  20. Vigorous exercise can improve mental function (T).
  21. Environments that are rich in stimulus improve the brains of pre-school children (F).
  22. Children are less attentive after consuming sugary drinks and/or snacks (F).
  23. Circadian rhythms (“body-clock”) shift during adolescence, causing pupils to be tired during the first lessons of the school day (T).
  24. Regular drinking of caffeinated drinks reduces alert­ness (T).
  25. Exercises that rehearse coordination of motor-perception skills can improve literacy skills (F).
  26. Extended rehearsal of some mental processes can change the shape and structure of some parts of the brain (T).
  27. Individual learners show preferences for the mode in which they receive information (e.g., visual, auditory, kinesthetic) (T).
  28. Learning problems associated with development l differences in brain function cannot be re-mediated by education (T).
  29. Production of new connections in the brain can continue into old age (T).
  30. Short bouts of coordination exercises can improve integration of left and right hemi­spheric brain function (F).
  31. There are sensitive periods in childhood when it’s easier to learn things (T).
  32. When we sleep, the brain shuts down (F).
The SHARPERBRAINS people got this from an article published in "frontiers in Educational Psychology" entitled Neuromyths in education: Prevalence and predictors of misconceptions among teachers.  Here's the link:

i don't know about you, but I was particularly glad to read about #s 6 and 29, and am bit worried about #24.

Image credit: <a href=''>alekup / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Beautiful Bad-Ass Brain Tumor Bloggers: Kaylin Andres Spotlight

When I came home from the hospital without a good chunk of my skull (resected due to an infection from my surgery) I yearned to find folks like me –brain tumor victims who were fighting a battle against a seemingly relentless and demonic disease.

Almost through sheer luck, I then discovered an entire tribe of brutally honest, utterly defiant and powerfully angry brain tumor and cancer bloggers. They were sick; they were mad and they were going to tell the world about it.

One of my favorite Bad-Ass Brain Tumor Bloggers is Kaylin Andres. Her blog is sardonically entitled Cancer is Hilarious which, of course, means it’s not.  As I’ve previously written, she writes about her medical and health challenges with intimacy and rage and honesty that makes me feel likes she’s talking to her best friend over coffee.

As of Feb. 4th she was in the hospital and wrote wonderfully about her latest surgery. Here’s a link to that posting:
If you read it, be sure to click the “flipping the bird” link.


PS – If you’d like to nominate another Beautiful Bad-Ass Brain Tumor Blogger for a “spotlight” posting, send me a note.