Mark Baxter, Fit Brains and the Power of FUN!

Hello!  My name is Mark Baxter, and I am a Co-founder and the Vice President of Product Development here at Fit Brains.  I have a background in Psychology and have over 8 years of experience in the Games & New Media Industry creating top-quality games for broad audiences, including several hit titles on entertainment portals including Shockwave, Yahoo! and RealArcade.

I will be regularly blogging on a variety of perspectives related to Health and Entertainment, with a significant focus on Brain Fitness.  As such, I will be exploring topics relating to Psychology & Mental Wellness, ‘Brain Games, Serious & ‘Casual’ Gaming, and Online Social Communities.  Serious Games – defined as interactive content that uses entertainment for the purpose of education and/or training – has only recently gained wider acceptance with the advent of industry gatherings like the Serious Games Initiative in 2002.  This genre is growing quickly and covers a wide range of topics, including: education, corporate training, health and environmental awareness, to name just a few.

Increasingly our society is becoming aware of a concept that has long been at the foundation of effective children’s education: fun can be a great motivator for learning and growth! Fortunately, at Fit Brains we very much believe that the value of fun as a motivator applies to adults as well.  If we can make important aspects of our daily routine more accessible and engaging, we are more likely to do things we might not be as motivated to do – especially items like long-term health goals that are often difficult to maintain.

For instance, do you have greater interest in enjoyable physical activities like golf or rollerblading, or a prescribed fitness regimen?  Are you more likely to stick to a diet with food that’s healthy but bland, or food that’s healthy and tastes good?  For most, the answers to these questions are self-evident; any task that can be made more enjoyable will also be easier to integrate more consistently into our daily lives.  In the coming weeks and months, I will be exploring a variety of ways that Serious Games are gaining mainstream acceptance, and also take a look at the growing body of research that demonstrates their value in our everyday lives.

We believe that entertainment is a great motivational tool for healthy living.  Our goal is to provide you with a wide variety of entertaining games & activities that have a solid foundation in cognitive science.  At Fit Brains, we harness the power of FUN to help you keep your mind stimulated!

 

Dr. Paul Nussbaum, Fit Brains and Brain Health

Hello, I am Dr. Paul Nussbaum, co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Fit Brains, and I am happy to introduce myself to the Ft Brains’ community.  My background is in clinical neuropsychology, and I specialize in brain health and aging across the lifespan.  Currently, I maintain an Adjunct Associate Professorship in Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

This is my first posting, and I will be bogging weekly. In the days to come, I plan on covering many subjects in the area of brain health and fitness. This will include insight into our new Fit Brains brain games, tools and features.  Today’s blog will be the first part in this series.

Your Brain Health

The single greatest system ever designed in the history of the universe is your brain. Your brain is responsible for your every thought, emotion, and behavior. Unfortunately we humans do not know much about our brains and it is time to change that.

Brain Basics:

1. Your brain weighs 2 to 4 pounds.

2. Your brain is comprised of 60% fat and is the fattiest system in your body.

3. Your brain consumes 25% of the blood from every heartbeat.

4. Your brain has two sides or hemispheres (left hemisphere and right hemisphere).

  • Left hemisphere helps you with language, detail, and analysis

  • Right hemisphere helps you with faces, spatial orientation, sounds.

5. Your brain has a Cortex and Subcortex.

  • Your Cortex is conscious and helps you learn, remember, communicate, Read, write, orient to space, process sensory information, and personality.

  • Your Subcortex processes subconscious motor or procedural behaviors such as dressing, driving, and typing on your computer.

  • Your Cortex and Subcortex interact as a beautiful symphony.

6. Your hippocampus is the structure in your brain (sits in the middle of each temporal lobe just under each temple on your skull) that enables you to learn.

New Ideas about Your Brain:

  • The human brain (like the animal brain) can generate new brain cells. This new brain cell development (neurogenesis) occurs in the hippocampus.

  • The human brain is now thought to have “neural plasticity” or be a system that is highly dynamic, constantly reorganizing, and malleable. It is shaped by environmental input.

  • Our brains need exposure to environments that are enriched, complex and novel. Environments that are passive and rote do not help the health of your brain.

  • Exposure to enriched environments across your lifespan will lead to new brain cell development and increased cellular connections (“Synaptic Density”). Synaptic Density or Brain Reserve may help to delay the onset of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and related dementias.


  • Glossary of Brain Terms

Fit Brains-bringing brain fitness to the mainstream

Hello and welcome to the first official Fit Brains’ blog! Let me introduce myself.  I am Michael Cole, the founder and CEO of Vivity Labs, creator of Fit Brains.

Fit Brains is developing a web experience that will be the first of its kind, appealing to adults of all ages and will elevate the concept and acceptance of brain fitness to the mainstream.  We will do this through a unique combination of interactive brain games, personalization tools and community features.  Our team understands that the key ingredient for mass adoption of brain fitness will be the “fun factor”, and is developing scientifically based workouts that are engaging and fun.

Among other topics, the Fit Brains blog will discuss recent brain health news, allowing our readers to stay up-to-date on the latest developments.  In addition, guest bloggers who are experts in their respective fields, will contribute to the discussions.

Stay tuned – Fit Brains will be adding a lot of exiciting brain games and features in the weeks ahead.  I invite you to become an active member and help grow the Fit Brains community.  Technorati Profile , Follow us on Twitter