What’s the brain health news for today? Well, the winner of the 2008 USA Memory Championship was recently announced. His name is Chester Santos and he can memorize a deck of cards in three minutes, learn 100 random words and 100 new names and faces in just 15 minutes. How does he do it? That’s his secret. He’s willing to teach you, for a price, of course. He recently quit his software job to teach his memory training techniques full time. According to the Associated Press, the brain fitness software market was worth $225 million in 2007, more than doubling the receipts from 2005.
Due in part to Nintendo’s release of the “Brain-Age game” and now the second version of that game, the industry’s income is expected to grow again and again over the next several years. By 2015, analysts expect to see the industry take in billions of dollars.
Want more of the brain health news for today? While the majority of the games and puzzles target aging baby boomers, teenagers and college students are also getting into brain exercises.
Some teachers are using the techniques to improve their student’s ability to remember facts, dates, names, etc. It is estimated that the K-12 market accounted for $60 million worth of the earnings in 2007.
Will any of these techniques help you, specifically? There’s a bit of a question mark on that. While some techniques work for some people, they don’t necessarily work for everyone.
All that you have to do is read a few software reviews to see that. Some people love the games and teasers. Others are not impressed.
In May of 2008, the brain health news was all about the introduction of Posit Science’s new “cognitive behavioral training”. If you took any psychology classes, that term may bring to mind names like Pavlov and B. F. Skinner, whose techniques were not always pleasant.
But, the term actually encompasses a broad range of behavioral therapies that relieve conditions such as depression, anxiety and even schizophrenia. It is common today to rely on mood altering drugs for those conditions, but when cognitive therapies are combined with drug therapy, the results are always more positive.
Posit Science’s program is rather expensive at $395, but it does combine a kind of personalized program with regular assessments for effectiveness. Instead of a single exercise, the program includes a variety of techniques aimed at improving memory, multi-tasking abilities and mental clarity.
In August of 2008, the brain health news from the Washington Post was a little different. While many of us are exciting about the growing number of available options, some experts warn that consumers may be just as well off to save their money.
The Nintendo game, for example, is very inexpensive and the teasers range from a kind of “rock-paper-scissors” to telling time on an upside down clock. Researchers have shown that video games improve a person’s cognitive function, but only when the volunteers were “non-players”.
Well, that’s it for the brain health news of today. The experts all agree that the best advice is to never stop looking for new challenges.