Cognitive training may benefit ‘Baby Boomers’
Although naturally occurring smallpox was eradicated in 1977, there is concern that bioterrorists might obtain smallpox from a laboratory and release it into the population. Under such circumstances, the supply of smallpox vaccine may be insufficient for universal administration. In a study published in the December 2008 issue of The American Journal of Medicine, researchers
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Posit Science Corporation researcher, Dan Tinker, presented evidence at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Conference in Washington, DC this week indicating that cognitive training may benefit Baby Boomers.
The computerized brain plasticity-based Brain Fitness Program (TM) uses adaptive exercises that target auditory and language systems. The exercises are designed to drive generalized improvements in cognition by improving speed and accuracy of information processing and engaging the neuromodulatory systems of the brain. The effectiveness of the program on memory performance has been demonstrated in older adults, age 60 plus.
In the latest research, 20 study participants trained on the Brain Fitness Program, ten of them on the same version as older adults. The other ten trained on a version using accelerated stimuli, requiring faster auditory processing. Study results showed that the effectiveness of the Brain Fitness Program is improved in “Boomers” with the accelerated version.
Posit Science researcher Jessica Morton presented a battery of tests designed to assess changes in hand dexterity associated with aging. As people age, they have less motor control partly because of changes in the somatosensory cortex. The battery was tested on 10 younger and 10 older subjects. The results show significant age-related differences in performance on most tasks.
Posit Science researcher Korie Michalak presented research indicating that the age-related decline in motor control can be renormalized to that of younger adults or beyond through intensive brain plasticity-based training.
Because the brain is plastic, some of this decline can be reversed by improving the sensory representations in the somatosensory cortex.
The researchers developed a custom computer-based training program to improve motor control of the hand. It required the user to move a cursor along pathways and to various regions on the computer screen. Ten older participants trained for ten 1-hour sessions. By the end of training, their performance on the tasks approached or surpassed the baseline measure from the younger participants.
It turns out there’s a scientific reason why older people tend to see the past through rose-coloured glasses. A University of Alberta medical researcher, in collaboration with colleagues at Duke University, identified brain activity that causes older adults to remember fewer negative events than their younger counterparts. “Seniors actually use their brain differently than younger
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Canadian researchers have found more evidence that older adults aren’t able to filter out distracting information as well as younger adults. In an interesting twist, this latest discovery was made because of - rather than in spite of -the noisy environment that research participants must tolerate when having their brains scanned inside a donut-shaped magnet
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Sleep helps the mind learn complicated tasks and helps people recover learning they otherwise thought they had forgotten over the course of a day, research at the University of Chicago shows. Using a test that involved learning to play video games, researchers showed for the first time that people who had “forgotten” how to perform
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People who received a mild electrical current to a motor control area of the brain were significantly better able to learn and perform a complex motor task than those in control groups. The findings could hold promise for enhancing rehabilitation for people with traumatic brain injury, stroke and other conditions. The study is presented in
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From a young age we are taught about the five senses and how they help us to explore our world. Although each sense seems to be its own entity, recent studies have indicated that there is actually a lot of overlap and blending of the senses occurring in the brain to help us better perceive
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