Category Archives: Concentration

Gender & the Brain: Differences between Women & Men

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A study completed recently in December 2013 on nearly 1,000 brain scans has surprisingly confirmed what many of us thought…that there are major differences between the male & female brain.  Women’s and men’s brains are indeed wired in fundamentally different ways.

The research showed that on average, female brains are highly connected across the left and right hemispheres, and connections in male brains are typically stronger between the front and back regions. Men’s brains tend to perform tasks predominantly on the left-side, which is the logical/rational side of the brain. Women, on the other hand, use both sides of their brains because a woman’s brain has a larger Corpus Callosum, which means women can transfer data between the right and left hemispheres faster than men.

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Here is a list of the basic differences between women & men based on research studies of the brain done up to now.  This might be a handy list to show to your other half to avoid future misunderstandings!

  • Brain Size & Brain Connections: Women’s brains are 8% smaller than men’s, but have more interconnections.  Women perform better at “bigger picture” & situational thinking while men do better on more specific spatial thinking (problem solving, and pattern prediction involving objects and their spatial relationships).
  • Multi-tasking: Men tend to be better at learning and performing a single task, like cycling or navigating, and women are better at juggling different tasks at once.
  • Social Context: Women are better at social thinking & interactions than men, while men are more abstract and task-orientated.  This is why women are normally better at communication while men more often prefer relying on themselves to get things done.
  • Emotions: Women typically have a larger limbic system than men, which makes them more in touch and expressive with their emotions.  Women are usually more empathic and comprehensive in thinking, while men focus on exact issues and disregard impertinent information.  Men have a difficult time understanding emotions not explicitly verbalized but can think more logically, while women have a more wholesome view of thinking & understanding but their emotions can sometimes influence decisions.
  • Math Skills: A brain area called the “Inferior-Parietal Lobule (IPL)” is normally larger in men than women.  This area is thought to control mathematical processes, which explains why men typically can perform mathematical tasks better than women.
  • Pain: Women tend to perceive pain more intensely than men.  The Amygdala is the brain area activated when pain is felt. The right Amygdala is activated for men and the left Amygdala is activated for women. The right Amygdala has more connections with external functions while the left Amygdala has more connections with internal functions.
  • Coordination & Movement: Men are generally better with coordination, controlling their movements, and have faster reaction times.
  • Language: Women are more attuned to words and sounds and are normally better at learning languages.  This is also why men tend to have a harder time expressing emotions verbally.
  • Memory: Women generally have better memory than men.  They have greater activity in the brain’s hippocampus, which is part of the brain that helps store memories. Studies have shown women are generally better at recalling words, names, faces, pictures, objects, and everyday events.
  • Sense of Direction: Men has shown to have better visual-spatial & geographic memory and thinking, meaning they tend to have a better sense of direction and remembering where locations and areas are.
  • Risks & Rewards: Men has a brain wired for risk-taking more than women.  Male brains get a bigger burst of endorphins, sensation of pleasure, when faced with a risky or challenging situation.  And the bigger the reward is, the more likely a man will take a risk.
  • Senses & Sex: Men focus more on their visual sense, among other senses of perception; while women tend to use multiple senses. In terms of sexual activity, men are prevalently turned on by what they see, whereas women are turned on by multiple sources: ambience, touch, scent, as well as visual perception.

What did you think about the list?  Tell us in the comments!  Be sure to follow our blog for more lifestyle & health tips and lists.  Also, both our female and male readers can benefit from a stronger & healthier brain by playing Fit Brains brain training games, so check it out!

 

 

NEW APP — Fit Brains: Focus Trainer has been released!

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Do you ever have trouble paying attention or concentrating, whether at work or school, or even during the simplest tasks at home?  Most of us have room to improve when it comes to our focus skills, so we’re very excited to announce that we have released a brand new app today to help you with this!

Introducing Fit Brains: Focus Trainer, a specialized “Target Trainer” designed to improve your Attention & Concentration through a collection of fun brain games.

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If you have been playing the original Fit Brains Trainer app, you’ll know the app targets different brain areas.  As each individual have selected areas where they need additional work on, we decided to create specific “Target Trainers” targeting each of the crucial brain areas.  This app will be targeting your Focus & Concentration skills.

Fit Brains: Focus Trainer has 300+ unique training sessions and games.  Training is designed to improve the crucial areas of concentration:

  • Vigilance
  • Divided Attention
  • Mental Calculation
  • Visual Processing
  • Auditory (Listening) Processing

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Performance tools will allow you to track your performance in the different focus areas and improve your scores over time.  Best of all, if you’re logged into your Fit Brains account on your app, your scores & progress will be connected across all your Fit Brains apps!  This means you will have one main overall brain score (your Fit Brains Index) you can increase & improve by playing any of the Fit Brains apps!

So what are you waiting for?  Don’t get distracted, download Fit Brains: Focus Trainer now!

Thank you very much for being a part of Fit Brains’ community, we hope you have been enjoying all the new & existing Fit Brains apps (check out the column on the right for all our current brain apps!).  We have many more brain games & health apps coming your way, so stay updated with us on Facebook, Twitter, & this blog!

Happy brain training!

RECIPE: Moist Raisin Bran Muffins (improves concentration, coordination, memory)

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Raisins are also great to eat to boost brain health.  Raisins contain high amounts of boron that is an essential mineral for a healthy brain.  100 mg of raisins contains 2.2 mg of boron. Boron improves concentration & hand-eye coordination and also enhances memory.

Here is an easy & delicious recipe for moist raisin bran muffins!  For the health-conscious, the sugar & milk in this recipe can be substituted.  Click here for a great article from Allrecipes.com on sugar substitutes for baking.

Moist Raisin Bran Muffins

Serving: 2 Dozen

What you Need:

  • 4 cups raisin bran cereal
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Putting it all Together:

  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients, then make a well in the center.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks, oil, vanilla and milk.
  • Beat until you see a light froth at the top then add to dry ingredients, stirring the whole time.
  • Pour the batter into a greased muffin pan, 3/4 of the way up.
  • Bake for 22-25 minutes, then let cool for 10 before serving!

Leave a comment below & let us know how the recipe worked out for you.  Check out the Fit Brains collection of recipes, we will add new brain healthy recipes every couple of days so visit often!

Fit Brains Trainer – App for Students!

Fit Brains Trainer

Did you know Fit Brains Trainer is also a very useful app and excellent tool for students?

High school, college, grad school students listen up:  Fit Brains Trainer can help you work out & train the crucial brain areas you use when you learn, study, and take exams!

The games you play will automatically adapt to your skill level and recommendations will be given based on your strengths & weaknesses.  You will be able to track your performance with tools & progress charts, and compare & compete with peers to improve your scores!  Most useful of all, you can target your training at different brain areas you know you need to improve.

Fit Brains for Students

All Fit Brains games are categorized into the 5 major brain areas of Memory, Speed, Concentration, Problem-Solving, and Visual.  Below are some tips to help you find out what brain area you should focus on:

  • Play Fit Brains Memory games if you need help remembering exam notes, remembering presentation speeches, and recalling what your professor taught in class,
  • Play Fit Brains Speed games if you constantly run out of time to write exams, if you want to answer questions faster when a professor calls on you, or if you want to improve your processing time and skill when reading textbooks.
  • Play Fit Brains Concentration games if you have a hard time focusing on studying, if you constantly fall asleep in class, or if your mind wanders around a lot when writing exams.
  • Play Fit Brains Problem-Solving games if you want to get better at noticing issues and problems, analysing information, and finding effective solutions in a timely manner.
  • Play Fit Brains Visual games if you need to improve on identifying differences visually.  These games are most useful for students that consistently need to look at highly visual details or images, and students that look at charts and fluctuating numbers on a daily basis.

What are you waiting for? Download the app now, ace your exams, & challenge your friends for the fittest brain!

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RECIPE: Lemon Garlic Hummus (improves memory & learning)

Hummus for the brain

Hummus is a Mediterranean staple that is rich in B vitamins and Omega-3s, nutrients that are essential to brain health!  Hummus is made out of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are healthy fats that will keep your brain nourished and focused.  Hummus is great as a study or work snack as it’ll help your brain remember things easier and stay concentrated.  Hummus also has no sugar and relatively little sodium, which is a bonus to maintaining a healthy diet as well!

Check out this simple & delicious Hummus recipe we have for you below that’ll help keep your brain performing at its best!

Lemon Garlic Hummus

Serves: 1-4

What you Need:

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups chickpeas, drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Whole wheat pita bread, cut into wedges

Putting it all Together:

  • In a blender, combine the oil, lemon juice, beans, garlic and salt.
  • Cover and process until smooth.
  • Transfer to a small bowl and serve with whole wheat pita wedges!

Leave a comment below & let us know how the recipe worked out for you.  Check out the Fit Brains collection of recipes, we will add new brain healthy recipes every couple of days so visit often!

New App for Kids – Fit Brains: Sparky’s Adventures!

You asked for it, and now we delivered…

Our newest iOS brain training app for kids has launched!  Fit Brains: Sparky’s Adventures is now available for download on iPhones and iPads at the iTunes store.

Fit Brains: Sparky’s Adventures offers a first-of-its-kind approach to child learning and development. With a library of 200+ fun & healthy brain games designed for children ages 2 to 8, this app will stimulate the 5 key areas of your child’s brain and automatically adapts to the specific needs of your child.

Features:

  1. 200+ games for your child that are both fun and educational
  2. Each game stimulates & improves a key area of the brain: Memory, Concentration (Attention), Problem-Solving, Speed, Visual
  3. Automatic adjustment of game difficulty to match your child’s skill level and continuing growth
  4. Rewarded treats that can be added to the “playground” to keep your child engaged and motivated
  5. The “Parents Corner” offers detailed tools & charts tracking your child’s progress in different areas
  6. A “Fit Brains Age Index” to show which age group your child is performing the closest to

Benefits for your Child:

  • Stimulate brain processing
  • Develop critical thinking skills
  • Strengthen early cognitive performances
  • Increase memory/recall for learning
  • Deeper concentration & attention times
  • Enhance problem-solving
  • Improve visual learning
  • Decrease boredom & increase educational fun!

In the Media:

The original Fit Brains Trainer has been highly successful, used and praised by people all over the world.  However, we have gotten many requests for additional tools & products and we knew we had to start expanding our training to the entire family.  We saw the lack of a comprehensive brain trainer for young children, and heard from many of our fans that they wanted a Fit Brains app geared toward their kids.  It was here that Fit Brains: Sparky’s Adventures was born.

We hope this new app will bring education into playtime fun for your children.  Leave us a comment below and let us know your child’s experience with the app!

 

Top 10 Brain Foods

You are what you eat” – that’s a saying we always hear!  However, most people think about how food affects the body, but not the brain.  The brain needs proper nutrients just like the rest of your body.  It actually needs more energy to operate properly than other organs!

Here are 10 brain foods you can incorporate into your daily diet to maintain a healthy brain:

 

1. Salmon - Improves brain tissue development, fights cognitive decline.
2. Blueberries - Improve memory, reduce stress, reduce age-related declines in motor function and coordination.
3. Avocados - Increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure to maintain effective mind functioning.
4. Flax Seeds - Build and protect neurons, aid the processing of sensory information.
5. Coffee (in moderation) - Reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia…and of course, gives you a brain energy boost!
6. Nuts - Improve memory and mental clarity, fight insomnia.
7. Whole Grains - Promote cardiovascular health, which improves circulation flow to the brain.
8. Tomatoes - Eliminate free radicals in your body, prevent age-related cognitive diseases.
9. Eggs - Provides energy for your brain, improves memory.
10. Dark Chocolate (in moderation) - Increases focus and concentration, improves your mood!

 

What foods do you eat to keep your mind active & healthy?  Leave a comment and let us know!