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Video Game Improves Multitasking Skills

Does multitasking seem to be getting tougher for you as the years pass? In fact, that’s quite normal. By the time you are 40, multitasking is nearly twice as challenging as when you were 20. The good news is that playing a video game has just been shown to improve cognitive function and, in particular, multitasking ability in healthy older adults. Adults subjects from 60 to 85 years old became as effective at multitasking as 20 year-olds after just a month of training, according to a new UCSF study. […]

By |September 10th, 2013|

Chew Gum, Get Smart

Need to get smarter, right now? Pop a stick of gum in your mouth.

According to research from St. Lawrence University, you’ll get a boost in cognitive ability for a short time – just 15 to 20 minutes. After that, the benefits fade and gum-chewers perform the same as non-chewers. […]

By |November 30th, 2011|

Study: Brain Games Give Cognitive Boost

At last, there is scientific proof that it’s possible to boost generalized cognitive performance with specific training, in this case web-based brain games.

For years, we’ve heard first that we should keep sharp by doing crossword puzzles or similar brain-challenging […]

By |August 10th, 2011|

A Better Brain in Four Days

We’d all like to think better, but few of us have the time or desire to, say, spend years in a Tibetan monastery learning to meditate. Past studies have shown that such extended training can indeed improve cognitive functioning. Remarkable new research shows that just four days of meditating for 20 minutes per day produced significant benefits as measured by a battery of tests of cognition. […]

By |April 28th, 2010|

Use Your Cell Phone, Save Your Brain

Neuromarketing readers know I sometimes venture into the non-marketing area of brain fitness, and I couldn’t resist passing along this bit of research on cell phone use. For years, we’ve been hearing alarming claims that cell phone use causes brain cancer, though no reputable study has established such a link. Now, a study from the University of South Florida shows that cell phone radiation may be GOOD for you. […]

By |April 13th, 2010|

Sugar as Brain Food

This isn’t great news for dieters, but sometimes sugar can be a good thing. Roy Baumeister, a psychologist at Florida State University, had subjects perform a mentally taxing task – watching a video while being careful to ignore random words scrolling across the bottom of the screen. (Apparently, it takes quite a bit of concentration to NOT look at the scrolling words.) Then, the subjects were given a drink of lemonade and asked to perform another cognitively demanding task, choose an apartment based on descriptions of various options.

The catch was that some subjects drank lemonade made with real sugar, and others had lemonade made with Splenda, a sugar substitute without nutritional value. The performance differences on the apartment task were surprising. […]

By |October 29th, 2009|

Smarts from Sunshine

We all know that sunshine seems to have an impact on your mood, but could it even affect how well you think and make decisions? Surprising new research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham suggests that it can: […]

By |August 7th, 2009|

Another Way Video Games Make You Smarter

One of my most read, tweeted, and retweeted posts lately has been Video Games Make You Smarter… Really. In addition to the cognitive enhancement from “shooter” and other games involving intense screen action, there’s another way that video games can help brain fitness. […]

By |July 28th, 2009|

Video Games Make You Smarter… Really!

Can video games make you a better air traffic controller? How about a better surgeon? And, for the huge demographic bubble of baby boomers, can video games keep you cognitively sharp into old age?

Continuing our focus on brain fitness this week (see also Nap for Success), here’s another surprising research finding: video games make you smarter! And not just any video games like the sedate Tetris… it’s the action-packed shoot-em-ups like Unreal Tournament and Counter Strike that work best. Specifically, visual search skills were dramatically better in hard-core gamers compared to non-gamers: […]

By |July 2nd, 2009|

Nap for Success

Not long ago we learned that daydreaming is the key to creativity, and now I’ve got even better news: napping makes you smarter! Or, according to Richard Restak’s new book, Think Smart: A Neuroscientist’s Prescription for Improving Your Brain’s Performance, at least it helps you learn much more quickly: […]

By |June 29th, 2009|