Gory neuroscience

I was surprised to read about neuroscience and the brain considered from a particularly intelligent general perspective in the politician Al Gore’s recently published The Assault on Reason (now a Penguin soft-cover). I recommend this book for its perspective about the relationship between “reason” and “marketing” — as “truth” hangs in the balance — in…

Making your blogster feel great!

I was at Scientific Learning yesterday, participating in the filming of a Canadian Broadcasting System-produced documentary, and during one break, had a brief discussion with Bob Bowen (the Scientific Learning President/CEO) about state achievement test scores in one Louisiana school district in which we’ve been tracking kid performance over time. Two years ago, the average…

A sixth misconception about aging: Alzheimers Disease pathology specifically impairs memory/cognitive processes in aging

Our rule when reading about “Ten Misconceptions About Aging” is that you read about prior “misconceptions” before your are entitled to read about this current one, MC #6. If you haven’t done your homework, see blogs on this subject on November 7th, December 5th, April 29th, May 1st and May 5th. Then come back and…

Mr. Leonard Krauss and Dr. Stanley Karansky win a “Merzie”

Over the past three years, we have conducted several research projects at Rossmoor, a retirement community with about 9,000 residents about 20 miles east of San Francisco. Rossmoor is in a beautiful rural setting in a narrow valley surrounded by oak-cloaked hills. I have given a number of lectures there, and am always struck by…

“The Brain Fitness Program” on PBS

Many of you may have seen this program.  At last count, it has been shown several thousand times. Almost every PBS station has repeatedly aired it.  Moreover, like a bad penny, it’ll show up again, in the next pledge-break period!  All of this attention stems from its success. PBS viewers have made this one of…

Poky young brains speed up

An important recent study reported by scientists from Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Cornell and Rutgers universities (Gaab N, Gabrieli JD, Deutsch GK, Tallal P, Temple E,  Restor Neurol Neurosci 25:295-310, 2007) has documented the emergence of more normal brain response patterns resulting from intensive brain plasticity-based training, in children with impairments in language and reading abilities. …

Big Brains in Oregon

This past weekend I visited two outstanding programs in Portland designed to inform Oregon educators (and through them, school-age children) and an interested citizenry about advances in neuroscience. I was very much impressed by these programs; they are good models of what SHOULD be happening, all across America.  <strong>Brain Awareness</strong> (www.oregonbrains.org) targets teachers and school…

An insight into INSIGHT

I spent a little time yesterday, describing the obvious virtues of our new <strong>INSIGHT</strong> brain fitness training program. Here’s two more: 1) Visual cognition is language independent. If your native language is German or Italian or Tagalog or Swahili or Bengali, it should work, for YOU! You need to read a little English to follow…

Rust and Kissinger win coveted “Merzie”

After long consideration, a jury (of one, your honorable scribe) has chosen Susanne Rust and Meg Kissinger of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal as the winners of a prestigious “Merzie” in the category of Investigative Reporting for an article titled “EPA drops ball on danger of chemicals to children”, posted on March 29, 2008. This article…