In my mind, that's the real brain game. To find ways to harness our brain's lifelong neurogenesis (creation of new neurons) and neuroplasticity (how the brain changes itself responding to experience) to lead happier, fuller lives.
In short, our brains and minds are far from set in stone due to genetics or age. Education, lifestyle, brain training and decisions under our control matter as much as our genetic inheritance in the trajectory of our mental capacity over time.
While there is much we still do not know about our brains, we do know that the status quo is not an option. It is leaving us woefully unprepared to meet current and future demands.
"Brain age" is a fiction. Some brain functions tend to improve, and some decline as we get older. And there is considerable variability across individuals, which only grows as people get older.
Compared to physical fitness, the fitness of the brain is often overlooked by both individuals and health systems -- but it is easy to see positive and broad changes on how brain health is defined, monitored, maintained, and enhanced, and digital platforms are going to play a key role.
An assessment of basic neurocognitive function should be an essential part of any psychiatric evaluation. The mental health field should adopt a brain-based model for diagnosis and treatment.
We talk to the CEO of Baycrest, a brain fitness institute, about why Ontario and Baycrest chose to become pioneers in this area, and discuss some of the main opportunities, and challenges.
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.
Can you write a haiku describing anything crossing your mind now?