Tag Archives: brain fitness

Not Sure If You Should Take The Leap? Cognitive Benefits of Learning Foreign Languages

We may not look back on our foreign language classes at school with much fondness.However, after reading about the following benefits of learning foreign languages, we may all be searching for our Spanish or French class notes.

Learning a foreign language can be difficult. The older you are, the more challenging it can be. Nevertheless, learning a new language can have a range of cognitive, health and cultural benefits.

Cognitive Benefits of Learning Foreign Languages

Benefits of learning foreign languages: Beneficial for traveling, learning and communicating

Learning a foreign language means you can explore a whole new culture, country, or continent through the native tongue. Learning a foreign language also allows us to communicate with individuals who do not speak our mother tongue.

Benefits of learning foreign languages: Stay young and stave off disease

Research has found that bilingualism can help counteract cognitive decline. In fact, it was noted that bilingual older adults had better memory than monolingual older adults. Furthermore, there has been links between bilingualism and Alzheimer’s, showing the correlation to speaking more than one language and preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, Evy Woumans and colleagues have found that in older adults diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the rate of progression is slower in bilingual patients compared to monolingual patients.

Benefits of learning foreign languages: Be more creative

A review into the cognitive correlates of bilingualism, by Olusola Adesope and colleagues found that bilingualism has been associated with enhanced creativity and abstract thinking. Essentially, being proficient in a foreign language can make you more creative and can help you think outside the box.

Benefits of learning foreign languages: Improved problem-solving skills

Bilinguals tend to have better problem-solving skills than monolinguals. In addition, bilinguals tend to perform better on tasks like the Stroop test, which requires an element of conflict management. Being fluent in a foreign language has been linked to enhanced inhibitory control ability. This means that bilinguals are better at ignoring information that interferes with their ability to complete a task. The message here seems to be that learning a foreign language can help us to solve problems faster and help us to ignore irrelevant information.

Benefits of learning foreign languages: Better cognitive control

Researchers Viorica Marion and Anthony Shook tested bilinguals in experiments of task switching. Participants were required to switch between sorting objects based on colour and by shape. Compared to monolinguals, bilinguals displayed high levels of cognitive control. They find it easier to switch between tasks compared to monolinguals. Essentially, learning a foreign language may improve our task switching ability. Researchers propose enhanced cognitive control is due to the ability to balance two languages. Bilingual language processing networks for both languages are active at the same time. As both languages are activated, the individual responds in the correct language by learning to inhibit one language over the other. By doing this, bilinguals improve their inhibitory control mechanism, to the point where when processing language, the process of inhibiting the language that isn’t needed at a particular time becomes second nature. Wondering how you can train your brain and cognitive skills? Try some fun brain games!

Benefits of learning foreign languages: Changes brain structure

Bilingualism has been found to increase neuroplasticity. Researcher Rosanna Olsen and colleagues investigated structural brain differences in monolinguals and bilinguals using fMRI. Scans revealed that bilinguals display increased activation in the dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC plays an important role in tasks which require control). This part of the brain is associated with attention and inhibition. The researchers found that the hippocampus and the left superior temporal gyrus are more malleable in bilinguals (The hippocampus is associated with memory and the superior temporal gyrus is associated with sound processing). Furthermore, these structures as well as the frontal lobe are thicker in bilingual individuals (The frontal lobes are associated with executive functions such as problem solving and executive control-need some exercises to improve executive functions?). Increased volumes of white matter have been noted in frontal and temporal lobes. According to researcher Christos Pilatsikas and colleagues, when learning a second language age doesn’t matter, as adults who have learnt a foreign language have shown increase white matter. Being proficient in a foreign language can improve connections of brain regions that control our memory, executive functioning, attention and inhibition processes.

Benefits of learning foreign languages: Improves attention and attention control

Studies have shown that on tasks of attention control, bilinguals tend to perform better than monolinguals. Also bilinguals tend to have a higher attention capacity. Bilinguals are better at filtering out unwanted information and find it easier to focus on more relevant information.

Improves ability to process information– Benefits of learning foreign languages

Being bilingual can benefit sensory and information processing. Jennifer Krizman and colleagues present participants with target sounds embedded in background noise. Compared to monolinguals, bilinguals found it easier to filter out background noise. The researchers found bilingualism enhances sound processing and sustained attention. The study found that bilinguals process sound similarly to musicians. This means that one of the benefits of learning a foreign language is being able to improve the efficiency of the brain’s auditory system, and enhance our ability to distinguish between similar sounds.

Benefits of learning foreign languages

Enhances working memory– Benefits of learning foreign languages

Managing two languages puts increased pressure our working memory. To ease the pressure, bilinguals become more efficient at information processing. Combining this with their enhanced inhibitory control ability, a bilingual’s working memory capacity and efficiency us greater than monolinguals.

Learning multiple foreign languages

We have already established that being fluent in a foreign language can improve our information processing abilities and enhance our sustained attention. As a result of these enhanced processes, bilinguals find it easier to learn a third or even fourth foreign language.

Learning a foreign language can have numerous benefits on our cognitive functions. It improves executive functions, cognitive control, attention, and memory. In addition, neuroimaging studies have revealed that learning a foreign language in later life can actually grow the brain and improve the connections between different brain regions. What is even more interesting is that learning a foreign language can counteract cognitive decline and slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Regardless of the age at which we learn a foreign language, it is still beneficial for our brains to do so. So, although it may be a little more difficult, it is clearly never too late to reap the benefits of learning foreign languages! Encouraging young children to learn a foreign language may benefit them in later life, so schools should look at making learning a foreign language a compulsory part of the curriculum. Aside from the benefits to cognition and the brain, for all of us who have the travelling bug and want to explore new cultures, learning the lingo is obviously the best place to start!

Do you have any questions or comments? Leave me a note below! 🙂

References

Adesope, O. O., Lavin, T., Thompson, T., & Ungerleider, C. (2010). A systematic review and meta-analysis of the cognitive correlates of bilingualism. Review of Educational Research80(2), 207-245.

Krizman, J., Marian, V., Shook, A., Skoe, E., & Kraus, N. (2012). Subcortical encoding of sound is enhanced in bilinguals and relates to executive function advantages. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences109(20), 7877-7881.

Mårtensson, J., Eriksson, J., Bodammer, N. C., Lindgren, M., Johansson, M., Nyberg, L., & Lövdén, M. (2012). Growth of language-related brain areas after foreign language learning. NeuroImage63(1), 240-244.

Marian, V., & Shook, A. (2012, September). The cognitive benefits of being bilingual. In Cerebrum: the Dana forum on brain science (Vol. 2012). Dana Foundation.

Pliatsikas, C., Moschopoulou, E., & Saddy, J. D. (2015). The effects of bilingualism on the white matter structure of the brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences112(5), 1334-1337.

Woumans, E., Santens, P., Sieben, A., Versijpt, J., Stevens, M., & Duyck, W. (2015). Bilingualism delays clinical manifestation of Alzheimer's disease.Bilingualism: Language and Cognition18(03), 568-574.

Costa, A., & Sebastián-Gallés, N. (2014). How does the bilingual experience sculpt the brain?. Nature Reviews Neuroscience15(5), 336-345.

Olsen, R. K., Pangelinan, M. M., Bogulski, C., Chakravarty, M. M., Luk, G., Grady, C. L., & Bialystok, E. (2015). The effect of lifelong bilingualism on regional grey and white matter volume. Brain research1612, 128-139.

Saidi, L. G., & Ansaldo, A. I. (2015). Can a Second Language Help You in More Ways Than One?. AIMS neurosci1, 52-57.

Frontal Lobe: Areas, functions and disorders related to it

The brain is divided into four lobes, differentiated by their location and functions. In this article, we are going to focus on one of the lobes: the frontal lobe. The frontal lobe is the biggest lobe in the brain and the most important lobe for the human species. 

Why is the frontal lobe so relevant? What are its functions? The following article will give you an all-inclusive look on the frontal lobe. 

Frontal lobe

Frontal Lobe: Anatomy and Functions

The Frontal lobe is located at the front of the brain, at the front of each cerebral hemisphere and in front of the parietal lobe. It is considered the most important lobe due to its functions and because it takes up one-third of the total brain. In other species its volume is inferior (chimpanzees 17% and dogs 7%).

The functions of the frontal lobe depend on the area we focus on. It plays a part on movement control as well as in high-level mental functions or behavior and emotional control. The frontal lobe is divided into two main areas: the motor cortex and the prefrontal cortex.

Motor cortex in the frontal lobe

The main function of the motor cortex is to control voluntary movement, including the ones in expressive language, writing, and ocular movement. This cortex is divided into three areas:

Primary Motor Cortex

Sends commands to the neurons in the brain stems and spinal cord. These neurons are in charge of specific voluntary movements. Inside the primary motor cortex, of both hemispheres, there is a representation of the contralateral half of the body. That is, in each hemisphere, there is a representation of the opposite side of the body.This is known as the motor homunculus and it is inverted, therefore the head is represented at the bottom.

Premotor Cortex

This area is in control of the preparation and movement programming. Premotor cortex automates, harmonizes and archives movement programs related to previous experiences. Within the premotor cortex:

  • Supplementary motor area: in charge of controlling postural stability during stance or walking.
  • Ocular field: controls the joint deviation of the gaze when voluntary exploring a field.
Broca’s Area

It’s considered the center for producing speech, writing, and also in language processing and comprehension. It coordinates movements of the mouth, larynx and respiratory organs that control language expression. Injuries can produce different language disorders. 

Prefrontal Cortex of the Front lobe

The prefrontal cortex is located in the front part of the frontal lobe. It is considered the ultimate expression of human brain development. It is responsible for cognition, behavior and emotional activity. Prefrontal cortex receives information from the limbic system (involved in emotional control) and acts as a mediator between cognition and feelings through executive functions. Executive functions are a set of cognitive skills necessary for controlling and self-regulating your behavior. Within the prefrontal cortex, three areas or circuits are important: dorsolateral, anterior and orbital cingulum.

Dorsolateral area of the frontal lobe

It is one of the most recently evolved parts of the human brain. It establishes connections with the other three brain areas and transforms the information into thoughts, decisions, plans, and actions. It is in charge of superior cognitive abilities such as:

  • Attention: Focus, inhibition, and divided attention.
  • Working memory: maintenance and manipulation of the information.
  • Short-term memory: ordering events.
  • Prospective memory: programming upcoming actions.
  • Hypothesis generator: analysis of the possible outcomes.
  • Metacognition: self-analysis of cognitive activity and continuous performance.
  • Problem Resolution: analysis of the situation and development of an action plan.
  • Shifting: the ability to adapt to new situations.
  • Planning: organizing behavior towards a new objective.

General Cognitive Assessment Battery from CogniFit: Study brain function and complete a comprehensive online screening. Precisely evaluate a wide range of abilities and detect cognitive well-being (high-moderate-low). Identify strengths and weaknesses in the areas of memory, concentration/attention, executive functions, planning, and coordination.

Anterior cingulum of the frontal lobe

This area regulates motivational processes. It’s also in charge of perceiving and resolving conflicts as well as regulating sustained attention.

Orbital area of the frontal lobe

This area is in charge of controlling emotion and social conduct. It regulates emotional processing, controls behaviors based on context and detects beneficial or detrimental change.

A neuroscientist explains the frontal lobe and the types of disorders that can happen after an injury.

Frontal Lobe: Disorders related to it

As we have explained, the frontal lobe is involved in different processes (motors, cognitive, emotional and behavioral). This is why disorders due to injuries suffered to this area can vary from concussion symptoms to others more severe.

Motor disorders

Injuries to the primary or premotor cortex can cause difficulties in the velocity, execution and movement coordination, all leading to different types of apraxia. Apraxia is a disorder in which the individual has difficulty with the motor planning to perform tasks or movements when asked, provided that the request or command is understood and he/she is willing to perform the task. A University of Toronto scientist has discovered the brain’s frontal lobe is involved in pain transmission to the spine. If his findings in animals bear out in people, the discovery could lead to a new class of non-addictive painkillers.

  • Ideomotor apraxia: Deficits or difficulty in their ability to plan or complete previously learned motor actions, especially those that need an instrument or prop. They are able to explain how to perform an action but can’t act out a movement.
  • Limb-kinetic apraxia: voluntary movements of extremities are impaired. For example, they can’t use their fingers in a coordinated fashion (waving).
  • Buccofacial or orofacial apraxia: Difficulty carrying out movements of the face, tongue, mouth, cheeks, etc. on demand.

Apart from the apraxias, other disorders can be developed from injuries to the frontal lobe, such as language disorders or aphasias.

  • Transcortical Motor Aphasia: language disorder due to which the person has a lack of verbal fluency (slow speech with reduced content and poorly organized), limited spontaneous language (lack of initiative) and difficulty or incapacity in writing.
  • Broca’s Aphasia: language disorder that generates a lack of verbal fluency, anomia (inability to access the lexicon to evoke words), poor syntactic construction in speech, difficulties in repetition, reading and writing.

Dysexecutive syndrome

It consists of a group of symptoms, cognitive, behavioral and emotional that tend to happen together. However, the symptoms are going to depend on the injured area:

Dorsolateral Area

An injury in this area is usually related to cognitive problems such as:

  1. Inability to solve complex problems: decrease in fluid intelligence (reasoning, adapting and resolving of new situations, etc.).
  2. Cognitive rigidity and perseveration: the person maintains a thought or action despite being invited to change it.
  3. Decreased learning ability: difficulty in acquiring and maintaining new learning.
  4. Temporal memory impairment: deficit in the order things happened
  5. Deficiency in motor programming and changing motor activities: difficulties in the organization of sequences of movements and the time to change an activity.
  6. A decrease in verbal fluidity: impairment in the ability to recall words after an instruction. This action not only requires the lexical part but also organization, planning, focus and selective attention.
  7. Attention Deficit: difficulty maintaining your attention and inhibiting other irrelevant stimuli or changing the focus of attention.
  8. Pseudo-depressive disorders: similar symptoms to depression (sadness, apathy, etc.).
Anterior cingulum area
  1. Reduction of spontaneous activity: appear to be static.
  2. A loss in initiative and motivation: noticeable apathy.
  3. Alexithymia: difficulty identifying emotions and therefore inability in expressing own emotions.
  4. Language restriction: answers tend to be monosyllabic.
  5. Difficulty in controlling interference: selective attention impairment.
  6. Pseudo-depressive disorders. 
Orbital area

The symptoms of an injury in this area are more behavioral. The person’s behavior tends to be uninhibited.

  1. Changes in personality: high instability between who he is and how he acts. Similar to what happened to Phineas Gage. 
  2. Irritability and aggressiveness: exaggerated emotional reactions in daily life situations.
  3. Echopraxia: imitation of observed movements in others.
  4. Disinhibition and impulsivity: lack of self-control over their behavior.
  5. Difficulty adapting to social norms and rules: behaves socially unacceptable.
  6. Judgment is impaired: many reasoning errors.
  7. Lack of empathy: difficulty understanding other people’s feelings.
  8. Euphoria
 The frontal lobe is incredibly important for humans to function to their full potential. Even without brain injury, it’s crucial to maintain our cognitive skills active. CogniFit offers a complete assessment of your cognitive skills and brain training not only as a rehabilitation due to injury, dementia, etc. but it can also strengthen your current neural patterns. Brain health is essential to lead a full life.
Hope you liked this article, feel free to leave a message below!
This article is originally in Spanish written by Natalia Pasquin Mora, translated by Alejandra Salazar. 

Tips to Keep Your Brain Sharp in the City

Keep your brain sharp in the city

There are many easy ways for city dwellers to keep our brains sharp while on the go. Millions of people live and work in big cities and come in contact with a myriad of faces, sounds and smells on a daily basis. For people who are new to the city, their brains have a field day with all of the external stimuli. But for those of us who have gotten used to city life, we often forget to seek ways to keep our brains sharp when we are in the city.

By following these simple tips, you can help keep your brain sharp while traveling around in the city:

Ditch the Buds

Most city-dwellers become so accustomed to the sounds of the city that they experience something called “habituation.” Habituation is a psychological term for when people pay less and less attention to stimuli that have become familiar. Habituation has proven evolutionarily beneficial for many species of animals and it makes sense. Once we encounter a seemingly non-threatening stimulus countless times (like the sounds outside our apartments), we lose interest in that stimulus and shift our focus to new, potentially urgent stimuli. Yes, music does have positive cognitive effects. But if it ever feels like your learned habituation has sucked you into a routine of ignoring the world outside of your headphones or feeling bored when traveling around the city, leave them at home for a change!

The cognitive benefits of absorbing the surrounding sounds are plenty. Overstimulation of the ears, such as listening to loud music frequently, can lead to less sensitive eardrums. When we receive auditory input, it is processed in the temporal lobe (on the sides of the brain near the ears) and naturally, our ears’ sensitivity declines with age. But if you have a tendency to turn up the volume on the music coming in through your earbuds, you can prevent premature degradation of your eardrums by tuning into the outside world rather than your music every once in a while. Furthermore, the sounds around us can serve as a protective barrier; the whiz of oncoming traffic and the blares of car horns can warn us when we are crossing the street. Who knows? Perhaps by noticing your surroundings once more you might see or hear something that piques your interest, urges you to start a conversation or pleasantly keeps you wondering for the rest of the day.

Walk, Forrest, Walk!

Exercise is a great way to stimulate blood flow, engage the cardiovascular and nervous systems and sharpen the brain. Replacing the time that you stand or sit on public transportation with just a few added minutes of walking can help you feel more awake and more active. Moreover, walking is a convenient way to put the brain to work in ways you otherwise would not if you were stationary.

We all know that walking requires coordination. At a certain stage in our lives the activity becomes second-nature and almost automatic, but as we know from babies and toddlers, that was not always the case. Initially, for us to walk our brains had to learn to do so, which required our brains to make a series of neural connections in the process. Each time we walk we don’t even think about it, but our brains still do although the energy it takes is imperceptible to us. Whenever you can, plan ahead so that you can hop off of the bus four blocks early or get off of the subway one stop before you normally do. By choosing to do so, your body will burn more calories and your brain will fire more neurons.

Keep your brain sharp by noticing your surroundings

Keep Your Head Up

A lot of people keep their eyes on the ground or gaze around randomly in efforts to avoid eye contact with other people. In fact, seeing other human faces is a great way to keep our brains sharp due to the fact that looking at faces is much more cognitively stimulating than staring at the pavement.

When we look at different faces, even if only for a moment, we activate the “facial recognition” region of the brain known as the “fusiform gyrus.” This area has been shown to play an important role in face recognition, as neurons in the region are excited when humans look at another face. With evolution, the benefits of brain excitation when we look at other humans has to do with the importance of our ancestors being able to recognize members of their families, communities and even their enemies. While it would be an unrealistic demand and daunting task to attempt to remember every face that passes you by, just by looking up rather than looking down you can give your brain a bit more of an exercise when walking amongst throngs of people.

In one of the world’s busiest, brightest and most populated cities, there are many ways for New Yorkers to keep our brains sharp while on the go. CogniFit’s online Brain Games offer exciting and effective ways to train your brain while on the go or at home. The Brain Games that CogniFit has created are scientifically validated and have been shown to actually improve and train brain cognition. Go ahead and try some of CogniFit’s unique and specialized Brain Games now.

The tips and exercises I mentioned are just a few ways to keep your brain sharp and put your neurons to work when moving around in a big city. No matter which city you may reside in, you can get more out of your everyday commutes by choosing to actively absorb the world around you.

References:

Gleitman, Henry, James Gross and Daniel Reisberg. Psychology. 8th ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2011. Print.

Jaffe, Eric. “About Face.” APS: Association for Psychological Science. Observer, February 2008. Web. 18 July 2016.

5 Must-Have Features for Your Brain Training Program

5 Must-Have Features for Your Brain Training Program

New Year’s Day is a sacred self-proclaimed starting date for healthier habits. And this year, you have decided your brain health matters. Brain health drives our ability to concentrate, problem-solve, and be creative. It is an important, but often overlooked, component of success. The brain fitness industry is a fast growing business, and new brain training programs appear every day, either online or on smartphones. They claim to improve your brain health, but how many of them really work?

Here are 5 features you should consider before purchasing your next brain training program:

1. Scientifically validated – Although there are many brain training programs available, very few actually have research to back up their claims. Most brain games companies claim that their games are “based on science”, which is a very elusive and misleading marketing term. You should always check that the app has a solid scientific validation and has been validated in peer-reviewed scientific research.

2. Capture your unique cognitive profile – Research shows that to provide you with an effective brain fitness program, the brain training regimen needs to be personalized to match your unique cognitive needs. Unlike physical activity, you cannot discern on your own what you want to improve. Consequently, your brain fitness program must start with a baseline assessment of your unique cognitive profile before your training even begins. Training without a prior assessment is ineffective.

3. Personalize your training regimen – Using your assessment and your ongoing performance, the program should be designed to build the optimal brain training regimen that matches your unique cognitive needs. Some programs lacking assessments claim they are “personalized”, but this generally refers to the fact that your training sessions will include your most highly rated games. Such “personalization” is not effective because people tend to highly rate games that are easy for them, so they naturally avoid the most challenging brain games.

4. Adapt the regimen to your goals – Some programs will allow you to choose your level of difficulty level as you go. However, you will have much better results if you use a brain-training program that comes with an independent and objective assessment of your performance level which indicates that you are ready for more challenging tasks.

5. Provide a comprehensive workout – Since you need your brain training program to tell you what skills need to be improved, make sure the brain fitness program includes a wide range of cognitive skills that you use daily such as memory, attention, perception, and coordination.

Brain fitness in the elderly

Brain Fitness and the Elderly

In today’s society, brain fitness is becoming more and more popular. Brain games are important for everyone of all ages, especially for senior citizens. Why? As we age, our brains tend to deteriorate. Memory loss, slower reaction time and less focus are some of the common things that happen when we get older. With all of this said, brain games are showing up in many retirement communities where brain fitness centers are built, so the elderly can utilize them.

These fitness centers usually have many computers, specific expensive dedicated brain training devices and a training instructor, who consider brain exercises very important. There are simpler and cheaper solution around like the CogniFit personalized brain fitness program which works on a regular Windows or Mac computer using the Internet browser. The International Business Time, CNN Health and NBC list the CogniFit program in the top 2 best app to train your brain. In addition, the CogniFit program is self-explanatory so you do not require an instructor. What else? The CogniFit personalized brain fitness program is one of the few programs that is scientifically validated.

Doing brain exercises can have many benefits. In fact, there are so many benefits; I am going to list only a fraction of them. Some include: improved memory, quicker thinking, faster reaction time, enhanced listening, self-confidence, improved self-image, better driving, sharper vision and better overall well being. Of course, I only scratched the service of the countless things brain exercises can do for you.

Mental exercises not only provide mental stimulation, they provide social stimulation as well. What does social interaction have to do with the brain?  Social interaction involves many cognitive abilities such as concentration, memory and attention. The more we interact the more we use our cognitive abilities. The more we use our cognitive abilities, the stronger the brain gets. Lastly, please do not forget about physical fitness!  Along with mental stimulation and social stimulation, physical stimulation is also crucial to your health and well-being! Makes sure you are physically active at least a few times a week. In addition, you should make an effort to eat healthy. Some of the healthiest brain foods include: fish, tomatoes, blueberries, nuts, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, sage and many whole-grain foods. Mental stimulation, social stimulation and physical stimulation are the trifecta of a healthy lifestyle!

The brain fitness industry has exploded over the last decade. In 2005, the industry accumulated $200 million in revenue, and in 2012, the industry surpassed $1 billion in revenue. Not only that, experts are predicting that by 2020, the brain fitness industry will be worth six billion dollars. Remember, the physical fitness industry boom? Some people are comparing today’s brain fitness industry to the physical fitness boom decades earlier. Perhaps we will have brain trainers in the future. Hey, the idea of physical fitness trainers was taboo only decades ago. Who knows what the future will bring.

Launch of the new CogniFit Professional Platform

The CogniFit team is happy to announce the launch of its professional cognitive platform. This platform offers to professionals an innovative tool to assess, train and track all the different cognitive needs of their clients.

The CogniFit Professional platform allows professionals to recommend assessments or specific brain trainings to their clients based on their unique needs.

As CogniFit offers the possibility to assess and train a large number of cognitive skills and abilities such as memory, attention or focus, professionals can now use the Professional platform to measure and track the evolution of those cognitive skills for the individuals of their choice. The platform has been designed to be simple to use and to easily receive the information needed.

The new CogniFit Professional platform is online and allows to easily access client’s information wherever they are. When a professional recommends an assessment or training to its clients, they will receive specific instructions on how to start with the program and offer them options to choose which information they want to share. The experience is seamless and simple.

Last but not least, professional clients can also generate a professional profile on CogniFit, offering them more reach and visibility to individuals who are looking for solutions to their mental health needs.

The CogniFit Professional platform can be accessed here and is available today in more than 13 languages!

Launch of CogniFit in Russian

Launch of CogniFit in Russian.

The CogniFit team is very happy to announce the launch of the CogniFit brain fitness website in Russian. You can now access CogniFit in Russian here.

CogniFit предлагает вам простую форму для оценки и тренировки ваших когнитивных способностей при помощи игр для мозга.

Do the brain benefits of exercise last

Do the brain benefits of exercise last?

It is well established that exercise bolsters the structure and function of the brain. Multiple animal and human studies have shown that a few months of moderate exercise can create new neurons, lift mood and hone memory and thinking. But few studies have gone on to examine what happens next. Are these desirable brain changes permanent? Or, if someone begins exercising but then stops, does the brain revert to its former state, much like unused muscles slacken?

In a recent study, the brains of the animals that had been inactive for three weeks contained far fewer newborn neurons than the brains of the animals that had rested for only one week. The brains of the animals that had been inactive for six weeks had fewer still. In other words, you need to be consistent to obtain the mental health benefits of physical exercise. The same is the case for brain fitness.

CogniFit Launches Its New Brain Fitness iPad App

We have the pleasure to announce today the release of our newly developed brain fitness iPad app.

Specifically designed for the iPad, you will find that assessing and training your cognitive skills on your tablet device is truly a defining experience. It is a new way to continue your training wherever you are and enjoy the pleasure of using your fingers to do your brain training.

You can find more information on the new Brain Fitness iPad app or download it directly on the iTunes store by clicking here.

Another great review of our iPhone app

Another great review of our iPhone app

Great review of our Brain Fitness iPhone app

Great review of our Brain Fitness iPhone app

Launch of the CogniFit Brain Fitness iPhone Application

It’s a pleasure to finally announce the release of our CogniFit brain fitness mobile app for iPhone! You can download it for free now and start brain training on the go!

The CogniFit brain fitness experience is now available to users through the CogniFit website as well as through their mobile phone.

Leveraging its scientifically validated technology and extensive cognitive database, the CogniFit Brain Fitness mobile application offers a serious program to assess and train the brain on the go. The mobile application seamlessly synchronizes the user’s training and data results with the CogniFit website, offering to users the possibility to continue with their training exactly where they left off.

Ricard Perez, iOS Developer at CogniFit, explains: “The demand for serious mobile brain training is soaring with the rapid growth of smartphones and mounting interest for health & wellness solutions. Thus, leveraging our technology in a mobile platform is a key element for a healthy and more productive lifestyle for individuals around the world. The CogniFit Brain Fitness mobile app released today is the state of the art in the brain training category.”

Neuroscientific research has shown that assessing and training cognitive skills can lead to valuable benefits to the users for a large variety of needs, which may, in turn, be instrumental in improving quality of life. The mobile application assesses and trains a wide selection of cognitive abilities such as working memory, divided attention and concentration.

David Rico, iOS Developer at CogniFit, explains: “Users can now enjoy their free time playing tasks and games that are truly beneficial to them. We have developed an application that is both fun and useful and can be accessed anywhere at anytime. The integration with the CogniFit website offers an unparalleled experience which answers to the needs of our growing number of users and opens the door to many more.”

The CogniFit brain fitness mobile application is available today for free on the iTunes store.

Other links http://finance.boston.com/boston/news/read/22634944/Train_Your_Brain_With_A_Scientific_Program_On_The_Go

 

Memory could be the most malleable and trainable cognitive function

A new study presented today at the annual meeting of the Society of Neuroscience in New Orleans, Louisiana shows that improved working memory function, following the use of CogniFit online brain training platform, may not only be more malleable, but could also be even more trainable that other cognitive functions.

The research, conducted in collaboration with CogniFit, the Department of Psychology of Northwestern University (Dr. K.L. Gigler), the Department of Psychology of the University of Notre Dame (Dr. K. Blomeke) and the department of Psychiatry of Northwestern University (Dr. S. Weintraub & Dr. P.J. Reber) showed that older adults demonstrated improvements on tests of working memory and language, as well as on a composite measure of processing speed.

Participants to the study where older adults, both healthy and with MCI (mild cognitive impairment) and completed an online cognitive training protocol and memory exercise using the CogniFit brain fitness system. Participants, and especially those with memory impairments, further showed improvement on a battery of real world-like assessments.

Dr. Evelyn Shatil, Head of Cognitive Science at CogniFit explains “This new research demonstrates once again the capacity of the CogniFit’s computerized cognitive training to effectively train specific cognitive abilities. What is interesting in this case, is to see that memory, and working memory, more specifically, seems to be one of the best candidate for cognitive training and brain plasticity exercises.”

The most recent studies in neuroscience demonstrate that scientifically validated cognitive training (leveraging brain plasticity) is one of the very few proven ways to improve cognitive skills. These new results should encourage older adults to engage in brain fitness and improve their cognitive abilities and memory.

Don’t Forget To Train Your Brain This Summer!

It’s time for the holidays! If you have the chance to leave during this summer, you know how important is for your body and mind to rest and take some time off from the daily stress. It is important for our mental health and our overall vitality to “shut down” and disconnect.

On the other hand, you also want to avoid keeping your brain inactive for too long. The brain is like a muscle that needs to stay stimulated by doing new activities. During the holidays, it is always a good idea to try new activities and learn and discover new things to challenge your brain.

Activities which are unfamiliar are always great and they will force your brain and cognitive skills to adapt to a new situation. Also make sure to keep training your brain regularly with CogniFit brain fitness exercises to continue training your cognitive abilities!