Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Big Business Of Memory and Cognitive Enhancement

An aging population, an economy built on ideas, increasing competition at top high schools and universities…there’s no shortage of explanations for why cognitive and memory enhancement is poised to grow into a massive industry. Who wouldn’t want to feel smarter, sharper, and more on the ball? As an already medicated society, we’re collectively making as shift from “making the sick healthy” to “protecting and enhancing the already healthy.”
Today you can look treat yourself to various natural enhancement options. Start with a nice cup of tea, as the University of Newcastle Plant Research Center has found that both black and green tea can improve memory and prevent Alzheimer’s. Still thirsty? Try a Brainiac, the hip, functional beverage enhanced with “soy phosphatidylserine (PS), ginkgo biloba, and other powerful antioxidants at the forefront of brain science.”
Once you’re thoroughly hydrated the Brain Fitness Program DVD by PBS offers a “scientifically-based set of brain exercises” to improve memory and a range of cognitive functions.
If all else fails, just go for a run or play a game of football. Among neuroscientists, physical exercise is viewed as the ultimate cognitive enhancer (certainly the most effective): “fitness training slows the age-related shrinkage of the frontal cortex, which is important for executive function. In rodents, exercise increases the number of capillaries in the brain, which should improve blood flow, and therefore the availability of energy, to neurons. Exercise may also help the brain by improving cardiovascular health, preventing heart attacks and strokes that can cause brain damage. Finally, exercise causes the release of growth factors, proteins that increase the number of connections between neurons, and the birth of neurons in the hippocampus, a brain region important for memory" (from the NYtimes).


  1. You and your blog readers might be interested in Susanne Jaeggi and Martin Buschkuehl's study on Improving Fluid Intelligence by Training Working Memory (PNAS April 2008) which recorded increases in mental agility (fluid intelligence) of more than 40% after 19 days of focused brain training.

    I was so impressed that I contacted the research team and developed a software program using the same method so that anyone can achieve these improvements at home.
    Mind Sparke Brain Fitness Pro

    mind evolve, llc