At last week's Institute for the Future
client conference, I conducted an on-stage interview with Alvaro Fernandez, co-founder of SharpBrains.com. Alvaro's company creates custom "mind gym" programs for corporations, athletic teams, children, and the elderly, and tracks scientific advances related to cognitive fitness. At the foundation of the SharpBrains programs and other mental fitness companies' offerings is the recent scientific evidence of neuropolasticity, the brain's ability to grow new brain cells and form new connections throughout life. The SharpBrains "fitness regimes" consist of various software games designed, say, to improve memory or improve concentration. Do they work? Alvaro is convinced. And besides, he jokes, if someone doesn't see improvement, he just tells them that "they're already at their peak." (He kids! He kids!) Today's Los Angeles Times profiles the emerging industry of brain training. From the article:
"There is plausibility, both biological and behavioral, to the claim that these may work," says Molly Wagster, chief of the National Institute on Aging's neuropsychology branch. "But it is still a situation of 'buyer beware.' "
Insurance companies such as Humana and Penn Treaty American Corp. have begun to distribute software programs such as Posit Science's Brain Fitness 2.0 to millions of their older customers. In two years on the market, Nintendo's Brain Age, a video game designed to be played on a hand-held game device, has sold 10 million copies worldwide. Retirement communities are rushing to establish brain gyms to help current residents sharpen their mental skills and to attract baby boomers, who may one day put such amenities on a par with a weight room and a track.
"I see this as a new frontier of fitness overall," says Alvaro Fernandez, founder and chief executive of the website SharpBrains .com, which tracks the business and science of brain-training. Americans already understand the value of physical fitness as a means of preserving the body's proper function and preventing age-related diseases, says Fernandez.
He predicts that cognitive fitness will become a goal to which Americans equally aspire as we learn more about aging and the brain.
to Los Angeles Times article, Link to Alvaro's SharpBrains blog
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the Striiv Touch is one of the best gift ideas I’ve landed on. Its simple design works for females and males, and its wide range of features makes it suitable for even the non-fitness enthusiasts in your life.Unlike traditional fitness trackers, the Striiv Touch also acts as a smartwatch. It […]