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Brain Games

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HEALTH
August 24, 2009 | By Chris Woolston, Los Angeles Times
Brain games can definitely fire up your neurons and help you learn new skills -- at least as they relate to the games themselves. But psychologists and neurologists still have one big question: Does mastering any of these brain training games really improve a person's thinking in real life? Can getting better at playing rock-paper-scissors, tracking birds on a screen or fielding rapid-fire math questions really help a person manage schedules, remember names and keep up with work? And can such mental gymnastics slow, or reverse, cognitive decline?
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 20, 2014 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
"None of the Above" and "The Numbers Game" (National Geographic Channel, Mondays). A brace of stunt-science shows -- edutainment is the word. And is actually a word. (First known use: 1973.) Like the network's "Brain Games" and "Duck Quacks Don't Echo," each is founded largely on the proposition that much of what you think you know is wrong and finds its fun in demonstrating that fact, using other facts. (This is that famous troublesome fact-based reality some are loathe to embrace.)
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HEALTH
June 14, 2011 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
Training a child to hold a whole cluster of items in his or her memory for even a short time may feel like trying to hold a wave on the sand. But a study published Monday says it's a drill that can yield lasting benefits. Children who've had such training have better abstract reasoning and solve problems more creatively than kids who haven't, the study found. But here's a warning to parents already grooming their young children for entry into elite universities: Don't automatically rush out to enroll your young genius in brain-training summer camp or invest in DVDs promising to deliver high IQs. These drills, the scientists found, pay the greatest dividends for children who actually need them and who find the escalating challenge of the games fun, not frustrating.
HEALTH
June 1, 2013 | By Lily Dayton
In decades past, if someone mentioned the word "fitness," he or she was probably talking about calisthenic routines performed in a spandex body suit. Today, the term "fitness" is as likely to encompass the body as it is the mind. More than simply memory, "brain fitness" refers to a diverse suite of cognitive functions, including attention, working memory, perception, decision-making and emotional regulation, says Dr. Adam Gazzaley, a neuroscientist at UC San Francisco. "The field of brain fitness is built on the underlying concept of brain plasticity - the idea that the brain can modify or shape itself," he says.
HEALTH
June 1, 2013 | By Lily Dayton
In decades past, if someone mentioned the word "fitness," he or she was probably talking about calisthenic routines performed in a spandex body suit. Today, the term "fitness" is as likely to encompass the body as it is the mind. More than simply memory, "brain fitness" refers to a diverse suite of cognitive functions, including attention, working memory, perception, decision-making and emotional regulation, says Dr. Adam Gazzaley, a neuroscientist at UC San Francisco. "The field of brain fitness is built on the underlying concept of brain plasticity - the idea that the brain can modify or shape itself," he says.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 20, 2014 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
"None of the Above" and "The Numbers Game" (National Geographic Channel, Mondays). A brace of stunt-science shows -- edutainment is the word. And is actually a word. (First known use: 1973.) Like the network's "Brain Games" and "Duck Quacks Don't Echo," each is founded largely on the proposition that much of what you think you know is wrong and finds its fun in demonstrating that fact, using other facts. (This is that famous troublesome fact-based reality some are loathe to embrace.)
SPORTS
April 24, 1988 | Thomas Bonk
When professional golfers talk about their game, they usually tell you it's all in their mind. Sometimes, that's the worst place for it to be, and now, in this age of golf doctors who fix sick swings, there is a new and expanding arena of specialists for golfers who want to play better. One such specialist is Chuck Hogan, who wants his clients to be the best they can be. "I try to tell them they can run their own brain," Hogan said.
HEALTH
May 30, 2011 | By Karen Ravn, Special to the Los Angeles Times
You may be lazing by the pool after a visit or two to the swim-up bar, but parts of your brain are always on duty — ready to leap into action should a stressful event require attention. This skeleton crew of sorts is called the default-mode network. It includes one of the busiest and most important structures in the entire brain, the hippocampus, which is responsible for processing memories. "Whenever you have to look something up or file something away, you ask your hippocampus to do it," says Jens Pruessner, an associate professor in the departments of psychology, psychiatry, neurology and neurosurgery at McGill University in Montreal.
SPORTS
December 30, 1999 | ROB FERNAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
He was small and not particularly fast. His passing arm wasn't the strongest. But Frankie Albert was a winner at every level of football. Though not blessed with great physical talent, Albert beat defenses with brains and guile, first as a running back at Glendale High in the late 1930s, then as a quarterback at Stanford and with the San Francisco 49ers. After losing to Albert's 49ers, a rival coach lamented that he was beaten by a player who had "a million-dollar head and a dime-store arm."
SPORTS
April 15, 1988 | THOMAS BONK, Times Staff Writer
These days, Colleen Walker is thinking about the right side of her brain. This is a (gray?) matter of extreme importance to Walker, the year's wealthiest non-winner on the women's golf tour. She has been so close to victory that she can almost, well, see it in her mind. In just the last two weeks, she was second in the Nabisco Dinah Shore and second at San Diego.
HEALTH
June 14, 2011 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
Training a child to hold a whole cluster of items in his or her memory for even a short time may feel like trying to hold a wave on the sand. But a study published Monday says it's a drill that can yield lasting benefits. Children who've had such training have better abstract reasoning and solve problems more creatively than kids who haven't, the study found. But here's a warning to parents already grooming their young children for entry into elite universities: Don't automatically rush out to enroll your young genius in brain-training summer camp or invest in DVDs promising to deliver high IQs. These drills, the scientists found, pay the greatest dividends for children who actually need them and who find the escalating challenge of the games fun, not frustrating.
HEALTH
May 30, 2011 | By Karen Ravn, Special to the Los Angeles Times
You may be lazing by the pool after a visit or two to the swim-up bar, but parts of your brain are always on duty — ready to leap into action should a stressful event require attention. This skeleton crew of sorts is called the default-mode network. It includes one of the busiest and most important structures in the entire brain, the hippocampus, which is responsible for processing memories. "Whenever you have to look something up or file something away, you ask your hippocampus to do it," says Jens Pruessner, an associate professor in the departments of psychology, psychiatry, neurology and neurosurgery at McGill University in Montreal.
HEALTH
August 24, 2009 | By Chris Woolston, Los Angeles Times
Brain games can definitely fire up your neurons and help you learn new skills -- at least as they relate to the games themselves. But psychologists and neurologists still have one big question: Does mastering any of these brain training games really improve a person's thinking in real life? Can getting better at playing rock-paper-scissors, tracking birds on a screen or fielding rapid-fire math questions really help a person manage schedules, remember names and keep up with work? And can such mental gymnastics slow, or reverse, cognitive decline?
SPORTS
December 30, 1999 | ROB FERNAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
He was small and not particularly fast. His passing arm wasn't the strongest. But Frankie Albert was a winner at every level of football. Though not blessed with great physical talent, Albert beat defenses with brains and guile, first as a running back at Glendale High in the late 1930s, then as a quarterback at Stanford and with the San Francisco 49ers. After losing to Albert's 49ers, a rival coach lamented that he was beaten by a player who had "a million-dollar head and a dime-store arm."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 3, 1998 | LISA FERNANDEZ, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Football players, track stars, actors, jazz musicians and a homecoming princess are among key members of high school teams preparing for Ventura County's annual Academic Decathlon beginning this month. Over its 16 years, the event has taught many students and teachers that being smart doesn't necessarily mean being a card-carrying geek.
NEWS
July 21, 1995 | ROBIN RAUZI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
They're poised over their bells. The room gets quiet. The question is read: In "Sleepless in Seattle," Tom Hank's character was kept awake by a sleep disorder. Is it called insomnia, Indonesia, or kleptomania? Ding! "Kleptomania!" Uh . . . no. Next? "Indonesia?" No. Next? "Um . . . I don't remember what's left." Clearly, these are not auditions for "Jeopardy!" But what 10-year-old needs a lifetime supply of Turtle Wax anyway?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 3, 1998 | LISA FERNANDEZ, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Football players, track stars, actors, jazz musicians and a homecoming princess are among key members of high school teams preparing for Ventura County's annual Academic Decathlon beginning this month. Over its 16 years, the event has taught many students and teachers that being smart doesn't necessarily mean being a card-carrying geek.
SPORTS
April 24, 1988 | Thomas Bonk
When professional golfers talk about their game, they usually tell you it's all in their mind. Sometimes, that's the worst place for it to be, and now, in this age of golf doctors who fix sick swings, there is a new and expanding arena of specialists for golfers who want to play better. One such specialist is Chuck Hogan, who wants his clients to be the best they can be. "I try to tell them they can run their own brain," Hogan said.
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