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Top 15 Brain Fitness Articles of 2008

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Thinking about best ways to maintain your brain in top shape in 2009?

Let me share a quick definition of "brain fitness", and a ranking of the most popular articles of 2008 on the topic. I hope this will help you understand and navigate the array of options to maintain all our brains in top shape in 2009!

Brain Fitness: The general state of feeling alert, in control, productive, especially as the result of mental and physical exercise and proper nutrition. This feeling is based on having the mental abilities required to function in society, in our occupations, in our communities. It is about skills such as attention, memory, emotional self-regulation, planning, overcome distractions...It is not about "IQ".

And here you have SharpBrains' 15 Most Popular Articles of 2008, covering a wide range of brain health and fitness topics. Enjoy:

1. Top 50 Brain Teasers and Games to Test your Brain
It is always good to stimulate our minds and to learn a bit about how our brains work. Here you have a selection of the 50 Brain Teasers that people have enjoyed the most.

2. The Ten Habits of Highly Effective Brains
Let's review some good lifestyle options we can follow to maintain, and improve, our vibrant brains. My favorite: don't outsource your brain (even to us).

3. Why do You Turn Down the Radio When You're Lost?
You're driving through suburbia one evening looking for the street where you're supposed to have dinner at a friend's new house. You slow down to a crawl, turn down the radio, stop talking, and stare at every sign. Why is that? Neither the radio nor talking affects your vision. Or do they?

4. Brain Plasticity: How learning changes your brain
You may have heard that the brain is plastic. As you know the brain is not made of plastic! Neuroplasticity or brain plasticity refers to the brain's ability to CHANGE throughout life.

5. Top 10 Brain Training Future Trends
In an emerging market like brain fitness training, it is difficult to make precise projections. But, we can observe a number of trends that executives, consumers, public policy makers, and the media should watch closely in the coming years, as brain fitness and training becomes mainstream, new tools appear, and an ecosystem grows around it.

6. Brain Exercise and Brain Health FAQs
Answers to 7 most common questions around brain exercise and health, to help you navigate this emerging field.

7. It is Not Only Cars That Deserve Good Maintenance: Brain Care 101
If we can all agree on the importance of maintaining our cars that get us around town, what about maintaining our brains sitting behind the wheel?

8. Evaluation Checklist for Brain Fitness Software and Training Games
Unless you have been living in a cave, you have read by now multiple articles about the brain training and brain exercise craze. Now, how do you know which of the new programs can help you more, or whether you need any of them?

9. Brain Training Games: Context, Trends, Questions
This past Tuesday, the MIT Club of Northern California, the American Society on Aging, and SmartSilvers sponsored an event to explore the realities and myths of this growing field. Here is the summary.

10. Stress Management Workshop for International Women's Day
Global consulting company Accenture organized a series of events, and I was fortunate to lead a fun workshop on The Neuroscience of Stress and Stress Management in their San Francisco office, helping over 125 accomplished women (and a few men).

11. Mindfulness and Meditation in Schools for Stress Management
With eyes closed and deep breaths, students are learning a new method to reduce anxiety, conflict, and attention disorders. But don't call it meditation.

12. Stress and Neural Wreckage: Part of the Brain Plasticity Puzzle
"My brain is...fried, toast, frazzled, burnt out." How many times have you said or heard one version or another of these statements. Most of us think we are being figurative when we utter such phrases, but research shows that the biological consequences of sustained high levels of stress may have us being more accurate than we would like to think.

13. How can I improve my short term memory? Is there a daily exercise I can do to improve it?
By choosing to attend to something and focus on it, you create a personal interaction with it, which gives it personal meaning, making it easier to remember.

14. Cognitive and Emotional Development Through Play
Play is rapidly disappearing from our homes, our schools, and our neighborhoods. Decades of research has shown that play is crucial to physical, intellectual, and social-emotional development at all ages.

15. Judith Beck: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person
Brain Fitness doesn't require the use of expensive equipment. Your brain is enough. We were honored to interview Dr. Judith Beck on how cognitive techniques can be applied to develop a number of important mental skills. The latest application of these?. Losing weight.

If you want to read more articles like these, you can check out the full list of Top 30 Brain Fitness Articles of 2008.

Have a Happy and Healthy 2009!

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