brain fitness

11 Stories

Middle-Aged Drug Users Have Sharper Minds

50-year-olds with history of toking scored higher on memory tests

(Newser) - Past or present drug use doesn't seem to damage middle-aged brains, a new study finds. British researchers studied the mental sharpness of thousands of 50-year-old subjects, and found that those who had used illicit drugs—mainly marijuana—actually performed better than others on tests of memory and other brain... More »

Fountain of Youth for Your Brain: Slashing Calories

Calories-restricted diets release CREB1, the key to brain health

(Newser) - Scientists have long known that calorie-restricted diets— as in 30% fewer calories than normal —are a key to living longer and keeping your brain healthier. But now, for the first time, they think they know why: Apparently extreme calorie restriction triggers a brain protein, CREB1, that unlocks good genes... More »

Brain's Best Super-Food? A Second Language

But the more languages kids speak, the smaller their vocabulary

(Newser) - Knowing a second language looks good on a college application—but there's a more compelling reason to aim for bilingual babes: Bilingualism also helps with early brain development, fueling the repetition of a mental exercise that creates an extra "cognitive reserve," reports Newsweek . As one researcher explains,... More »

How Naps Can Help You Learn

New study shows a post-snooze memory boost

(Newser) - If you’re a fan of the afternoon nap, there’s no need to be ashamed—in fact, new research gives you the perfect excuse to stop reading this right now and go grab some midday shuteye. In the study, volunteers who napped for 100 minutes prior to completing a... More »

Lose Weight: Do a Puzzle

Mental puzzles can help you shed a few pounds, says brain trainer

(Newser) - Hunkering down with a Sudoku puzzle could help you shed some pounds. Tim Forrester, the man behind brain training website, says mental exercise doubles as real exercise, with the body burning 90 calories for every hour spent working on crossword puzzles or brain teasers. A passive brain requires... More »

Insurer Sees Games as Boost for Old Brains

'Mental fitness' software improves reaction time, peripheral vision

(Newser) - An experiment by Allstate Insurance and a San Francisco software startup that aims to use computer games to improve the mental health of all ages is getting good reviews, the Chronicle reports, including from one local who says improved reaction time and peripheral vision saved him from an accident. “... More »

'Brain Gyms' Offer Grey Matter Workouts

(Newser) - Gyms offering to exercise the brain instead of the body are attracting thousands of aging Americans seeking to tone their gray matter, the Wall Street Journal reports. The gyms are generally based around brain-fitness software, but some offer courses in brain nutrition as well as mental-fitness assessments with personal trainers... More »

Cut Calories for a Sharper Mind

Study finds that restricted eating leads to better memory in older adults

(Newser) - It's been shown in rats and monkeys, and now the first human study looking at the effects of calorie restriction on memory also confirms that eating less can improve your brain. A German research team gave 50 older adults a diet with normal nutrients but 30% fewer calories, and found... More »

Web Use Gives Brain a Boost

For middle-aged, regular Internet surfing is better than reading a book: study

(Newser) - Sudoku not your thing? Web surfing may help boost brain power and prevent brain shrinkage in middle-aged and older people in a way that reading books cannot, the BBC reports. By studying the brain scans of volunteers aged 55 to 76, researchers found that experienced internet users show enhanced activity... More »

Brains Get Noisier as They Age

Study finds neural complexity generates more cranial static

(Newser) - Just because you can't hear it doesn't mean your brain isn't making noise. It is, and scientists using high-tech gear to record it have now discovered that it increases as you mature, reports LiveScience. A comparison of noise generated by groups of children and young adults indicates that brain noise,... More »

Aging Baby Boomers Spur Brain Fitness Industry

Software sales have more than doubled as Boomers look to avoid Alzheimer's

(Newser) - Aging baby boomers, looking for answers on how to avoid—or at least forestall—dementia and Alzheimer’s, are driving the growth of a new industry that uses computer software to help maintain brain fitness, reports Reuters. Sales in the brain stimulation software industry have more than doubled since 2005... More »

11 Stories