Happy Holidays

I hope you all had a Merry Xmas, and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year from cognitivelabs.com.

As many people felt, December 26th was a very important day to take a test....probably the result of having some free time after the holiday. You can probably pick up some brainspeed before the New Year which I encourage. There was a surpising number of technorati mentions for http://brainspeed.blogspot.com....the blog where we first introduced the brainspeed memory puzzle, and of course, , which is still one of our most popular games. Cheers....MA


Sight Exercises do Work...

New research goes to show that exercises can have marked improvement on the body's performance. If you want to find out how fast you can see, try this test.

LOS ANGELES (source:MyDNA News)

Young adults with amblyopia, or lazy eye, can improve substantially and retain their gains under a new treatment developed by researchers at University of Southern California (USC) and three Chinese universities.

A lazy eye in children appears normal but does not see properly, even with corrective lenses. If untreated, the eye will not develop fully, resulting in permanent vision loss.

Amblyopia has been considered incurable in children older than 8. The new study, published online by Vision Research, documented a 70-percent improvement in eye-chart performance in 19-year-old subjects. The average one-year retention rate was 90 percent.

The researchers trained the subjects in detection of a small "gabor" (pronounced ga-BOR), a set of three contrasting dark and light ovals that neurophysiologists have identified as a basic unit of visual perception.

Surprisingly, improvement in this abstract exercise generalized to a marked improvement in standard vision tests. The seven subjects improved their overall visual acuity 25 percent to 216 percent, with an average of 70 percent.

Another 10 subjects in a slightly different training program showed an average improvement of 46 percent. Eight subjects in a control group showed no improvement.

"Detecting simple visual patterns turned out to be quite useful for improving visual acuity for amblyopia patients, typically measured by eye-chart reading," said co-author Zhong-Lin Lu, a professor of psychology in the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, and co-director of the Dornsife Neuroscience Imaging Center.

"You train on one of these gabors, you can generalize this to a whole bunch of different gabors, and also generalize this to an eye chart. That makes [the training] useful," Lu said.

Normal subjects who received the same training did not show a general improvement in vision. A possible reason may be that a little stimulus goes a long way toward awakening the amblyopic eye, Lu said.

Amblyopia is sometimes due to a misaligned eye that can be reoriented surgically. But in many cases the eye is perfectly healthy, Lu said. "The problem is actually in the brain. This is a neural deficit," he added

Next, the researchers plan to test their method on patients at a clinic in China. Other plans include developing a home training program.

"It could become a clinical procedure," Lu said.


Too much brain activity?

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have just released a very interesting study. Too much brain activity can lead to amyloid plaque formation. The 'activity' in question, however does not appear to be the "healthful" actions such as games, puzzles, exercise, and cognitive exercise that are now suggested; rather the activity appears to be stress-related and involve different substructures of the brain...more to come, stay tuned...


High homocysteine tied to memory loss

The mobile amino acid homocysteine circulates around the body and when it increases in concentration is related to coronary disease, strokes, and other maladies, including - British researchers now report, cognitive impairment.

It seems to be more important than ever to gain control of the diet, particularly as age increases.

Excerpt from the study: A population based prospective study of elderly British individuals shows that risk of memory loss increases over time with increasing levels of total blood homocysteine and decreasing folate levels.Homocysteine is an amino acid in the blood. Too much of it ups the risk for coronary heart disease, stroke and fatty deposits in peripheral arteries. High circulating levels of homocysteine, especially with advancing age, have also been associated with cognitive impairment. Homocysteine levels in the blood are strongly influenced by diet and genetics. read more>>

Nicotine a Potential Treatment for Memory Loss

University of Vermont researchers are trying out a nicotine patch to help relieve the early symptoms of memory loss. Study organizers believe that nicotine therapy will not be addicitive. (They state that these effects are due to tobacco rather than nicotine)


Beavis to Map San Andreas Fault

The 90's cartoon celebrity Beavis (of Beavis and Butthead fame) was tapped by the National Science Foundation to make a map of the San Andreas Fault. In an interview, Beavis, tracked down at Jamba Juice in Beverly Hills in the midst of a career resurrection and the forthcoming comedic roadshow for the duo, refused to confirm or deny the breaking story, and replied with only with neurotic laughter...

Oh, just in from the newsroom....it wasn't Beavis it was Mike Bevis of Ohio State...wait there's more...Ohio State University researchers using a new laser-imaging technique hope to draw new maps of the San Andreas fault that could help scientists better predict earthquakes in California. The Ohio State team directed by geophysicist Mike Bevis is working with data from a light plane equipped with a new type of laser-mapping system that can show detail down to a couple of inches. The twin-engine Cessna makes low, slow passes over the fault with equipment that shoots 70,000 laser pulses per second at the ground, then registers the light beams when they bounce back, like radar.

Fascinating....Still, it seems like a role made for Beavis

Digital Arts in SF

I read in today's SF Examiner - now a free daily - about George Lucas's new Letterman Digital arts center in the City. It holds Lucas Arts as well as Lucasfilm headquarters. ILM and Skywalker Sound (where incidentally my son's Peninsula choral group Ragazzi recently cut a new CD, their last released offering was a Grammy-winner), are still based in Marin County.

One of the main projects, apparently, is Indiana Jones IV. Can't wait to see how this turns out. Dell Computer is now advertising on Gamer-IQ...with what looks like a pretty intense model for gamers...


Senator Proxmire - Alzheimer's

William Proxmire, former Senator, and longtime fitness advocate, passed away this week at the age of 90 - a victim of Alzheimer's Disease. Mr. Proxmire was often heard advocating a healthy lifestyle and a strict exercise regimen. He credited his discpline, in fact, with contibuting to his longevity. Now that many ailments of the body may be combated with regimens such as the senator pursued -- Alzheimer's and other forms of cognitive impairment loom larger and larger as health spectres and a threat to our erstwhile longevity.

That's why early detection is so important. One suspects that with early intervention that the lifespan of 90 would be increased several years.


Berkeley Snags Research Dough from the Dynamic Duo of the Web

Google and Yahoo both have chipped in to fund contemplative CS research at UC-Berkeley. Oh joy!. Also, the IRB at Stanford has greenlighted our database recruiting of study participants; so that we now hope to adopt this model to other areas of the US of A. So now we can add more fuel to the research fire.

By the way, just about every management or science figure in our company also has a Berkeley background. Let's see Arthur Jensen, a foremost expert on intelligence: Elan Amir, who sold his company to Inktomi. In a former company we had Hal Varian. We've got Wes Ashford, who graduated from Berkeley in the turbulent year of 1968, before this writer, and Mario Rosati, a big wheel at Berkeley. Then there are a bunch of people involved in Inktomi or various other successes right around these parts.

So now, they are spreading out with R&D centers back East:
Yahoo formally announced its two-month old research center in New York City, welcoming Ron Brachman as vice president of worldwide research operations and head of the facility.

Meanwhile, Google, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems kicked in to fund a new U.C. Berkeley research facility.

The latest of Yahoo's think tanks will focus on social media.

Brachman is an artificial intelligence guru, and a former president of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence. He comes to Yahoo from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), where he directed its Information Processing Technology Office. While there he developed IPTO's cognitive systems initiative. Before that, he was a research vice president at AT&T Labs, where he developed its AI group.

Brachman said he was looking forward to the cultural shift.

"I've had lot of experience with bigger, serious, more elaborate organizations," he said. "One of the really fun things [about this new position] is the challenge of bringing responsible, deep, serious scientific research to a company and group where things move very fast. The style of interaction is different, the whole industry is exciting and fun, and the pace is tremendous."

Zvi Galil, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University, said he looked forward to the potential for Columbia students to work with the Yahoo researchers. Although no formal partnership was announced, Brachman told internetnews.com, "Now is the time to open those discussions."

Brachman will report directly to Prabhakar Raghavan, head of Yahoo Research. The company also has facilities in Sunnyvale, Burbank and Berkeley, California.

He said one of his goals is to raise the profile of Yahoo Research while supporting actual research.

"Yahoo, like many young companies, has many very strong technical people, but it didn't have a separate culture of longer-term scientific research that includes prominent leadership positions at important conferences publishing important papers and books and the wherewithal to sit back and think a bit longer-term than the next product release," he said.

"One of the fun and challenging things will be to balance the need to think deeply and to work on very hard problems, while responding to the company when it needs help and working with the company at the pace it needs to go."

Computer science research seems to have been on everyone's mind this week. In an unrelated announcement, the somewhat unlikely combo of Microsoft (Quote, Chart), Google (Quote, Chart) and Sun Microsystems (Quote, Chart) announced they had funded a new Internet research laboratory on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley. (Yahoo announced a partnership with U.C. Berkeley in July.

The three companies will provide $7.5 million over five years to fund research at the Reliable, Adaptive and Distributed systems laboratory, or RAD Lab.

RAD Lab researchers will focus on developing alternatives to traditional software engineering, which follows a "waterfall" model of development. In such a traditional system, work is completed in orderly stages starting from system concept to development, assessment or testing, deployment and operation.

Critics say the traditional waterfall model is often too slow and therefore obsolete for the high-paced Internet era. Instead of infrequent, well-tested upgrades, code for Internet services is continually being modified on the fly as the product is scaled up to accommodate millions of users.

In fact, this is the model that Microsoft has switched to, one that Greg Sullivan, a lead Windows product manager credited with keeping Windows Vista on schedule.

Along with additional smaller contributions from other affiliated companies, the research laboratory is expected to receive as much as 80 percent of its support from industry. Grants from the National Science Foundation and the UC Discovery and the Microelectronics Innovation and Computer Research Opportunities programs will make up the remaining proportion of the funding for the center.

Also on Thursday, Google announced it would open a research lab in Pittsburgh sometime in 2006.


Stream of Consciousness

When you read this blog and if you have pop-ups enabled, you get a little promo for some of the events of a certain year, which was...1981 so long ago. It was the year of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the highbrow film "Chariots of Fire" which brought skinny, preppy Englishmen back into style; the denouement of the hostage crisis...and, the year of STS 1, which reminds me of a little song:


Lit up with anticipation
We arrive at the launching site
The sky is still dark, nearing dawn
On the Florida coastline

Circling choppers slash the night
With roving searchlight beams
This magic day when super-science
Mingles with the bright stuff of dreams

Floodlit in the hazy distance
The star of this unearthly show
Venting vapours, like the breath
Of a sleeping white dragon

Crackling speakers, voices tense
Resume the final count
All systems check, T minus nine
As the sun and the drama start to mount

The air is charged
A humid, motionless mass
The crowds and the cameras
The cars full of spectators pass
Excitement so thick you could cut it with a knife
Technology...high, on the leading edge of life

The earth beneath us starts to tremble
With the spreading of a low black cloud
A thunderous roar shakes the air
Like the whole world exploding

Scorching blast of golden fire
As it slowly leaves the ground
Tears away with a mighty force
The air is shattered by the awesome sound

Like a pillar of cloud
The smoke lingers high in the air
In fascination
With the eyes of the world
We stare...

Speaking of the band Rush, we just introduced our new billing system. It is in beta today. Quite a bit of work to get it switched over. Can you believe it, our old provider had a big problem with International Orders - even Canada! When I grilled them on the phone about it, they said: "Canada, that's up in the Great White North, who cares, we haven't had any service there...since 1969 er, we won't until 2112!

So now, with all the opening night sangfroid of the Singing Frog, we have this new commerce system, taking funds in Kroner, Kroon (Estonia) and Krone, plus Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Lira, Euros, whatever, by credit card, wire transfer/draft, check, or wampum!

Memory For Life...order Now


Simon Says Play Me

Here's a new version of the memory game Simon. We posted it on a black background and made it LARGE so it is easy to follow. It is almost as large as the original!

This game is very good at exercising your memory because you need to remember patterns of lights that you just saw. Compared to a shooter, which exercises the frontal lobe of the brain and may place the brain into a 'fight or flight'mode depending on intensity, though nevertheless increasing synaptic speed; this game involves the mechanisms of memory directly and the short-term memories that are the latest to be accumulated, which research shows, are those at greatest risk to impairment.

And, it speeds up the more successful you are, getting increasingly difficult.

It's great fun and certainly good for the brain.


Testosterone improves Quality of Life, What about Cognitive Skills

TUESDAY, Dec. 13 (CogLabs Newswire) -- While giving the male hormone testosterone to men with mild Alzheimer's disease doesn't sharpen their cognitive skills, it does appear to improve their quality of life, researchers report.

Hormone therapies to slow the effects of Alzheimer's have been the focus of research attention in recent years, since male aging is associated with a gradual progressive decline in testosterone levels. Decline in testosterone levels is linked to decreased muscle mass and strength, osteoporosis, decreased libido, mood alterations and changes in cognition, the researchers note.

This age-related decline in testosterone may be relevant to Alzheimer's, since earlier studies have found significantly lower concentrations of testosterone in men who developed Alzheimer's, the authors point out.
>>read more>>

Learning from Gamers: NY Times

Who is the Champion of Video Games? And what can we learn from them in terms of cognitive ability? From the NY Times

Virtual Stars Compete for Real Money


Published: December 6, 2005

Fatal1ty and Vo0 stood on opposite sides of a darkened theater while an announcer boomed their introductions to an appreciative crowd. Their faces magnified on giant overhead monitors, the two stared straight ahead while artificial smoke swirled around them. They met at center stage and shook hands before starting what the announcer called their "grudge match."

Forum: Gaming
The victor of the match, which took place in mid-November at the Nokia Theater in Times Square, left with $150,000, while the loser earned $100,000.

Despite the size of the purse, the two rivals weren’t athletes, at least not in the traditional sense. They were cyber-contestants, and their match, which was broadcast on MTV and followed online by thousands of fans, took place in a violent videogame called "Painkiller."

The event, dubbed the World Tour Grand Finals, was one of 10 contests in nine countries organized by the Cyberathlete Professional League, or C.P.L. In the last year, the tour has given away $1 million in prize money. The C.P.L. is one of several leagues worldwide attempting to turn a popular pastime into a spectator sport.

At the showdown between Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel, 24, and Sander "fnatic.Vo0" Kaasjager, 20, about 200 young men — and women — in their early-20’s and late-teens, some wearing Fatal1ty T-shirts, gathered around the stage.

After a brief countdown, their match began. Sitting across from one another, separated by their computer monitors and wearing headphones, the two were motionless except for their left hands, which lightly tapped their keyboards, while their right hands executed a series of precise jerks on their mice as they guided their red and green characters through a virtual world.

The monitors above them showed the action on their screens: a race through a world of rocket launchers, machine guns and grenades as their characters made perfect 180 degree flips and hit targets with precision aim. The action was so fast it was hard to follow. Two play-by-play announcers, known as "shoutcasters" in the gaming world, tried to add tension and plot to the dizzying blur of explosions, blood and of course, explosions of blood.

The contests, each lasting 15 minutes, were scored with a tally of each player’s kills, or "frags," against each other.

Mr. Wendel, the best known of the gamers, did what his fans have come to expect and dominated Vo0 in four straight matches.

"There’s a reason why they call him Fatal1ty," one spectator explained as Mr. Wendel dispatched Mr. Kaasjager in a hail of rockets.

Mr. Wendel, like the 31 other competitors who qualified for the finals, lives the adolescent dream of making money by playing video games. But unlike the other competitors, many of whom still attend college or high school, Mr. Wendel plays full time and has acquired a superstar status in the computer gaming community that he has turned into a business.

His five championships in different video games recently prompted Fox Sports to label name him the second most-feared athlete behind boxer Mike Tyson. (Others on the list include the competitive eating champion Takeru Kobayashi and Ed Hochuli, an N.F.L. referee.)

This year Mr. Wendel has earned about $600,000 in licensing fees and another $231,000 in tournament winnings. In trying to turn video gaming into a sustainable, professional venture, he and his licensor, Auravision, Inc. of Woodland Hills, Calif., have also spent $50,000 helping other gamers attend gaming events around the globe.

"Johnathan is the cyber-statesmen and ambassador of gaming," said Mark Walden, marketing and licensing director for Auravision. "He represents the name and face of the emerging digital lifestyle."

Mr. Wendel, who will be featured on an episode of "60 Minutes" on Jan. 8, currently has endorsement deals for a motherboard and a soundcard, is selling his own branded mouse pads, and is working on a book deal. Mr. Walden says that he hopes to have Mr. Wendel endorsing a complete line of computer parts in the future.


Stanford Clinical Research

Many of you have signed up for a Stanford antioxidant study...we will be contacting you shortly, or the study organizers will. If you are interested and live in the Bay Area, you can sign up here.

Intel and CAST showcase

This is pretty interesting, coiciding as it does with our portal product, which is going into some leading medical centers.


(AP) Margaret Morris, senior researcher for Intel, demonstrates a phone with a visual caller ID system,...

Google sponsored links
Alzheimer's Disease. - Treatment may help slow symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Learn more

Test for Memory Loss - World's most popular online Memory Test used at Stanford and U.C.

WASHINGTON (AP) - One day, people with Alzheimer's disease could have telephones that show them a picture of the caller and remind them who it is and when they last talked.

They might walk across a floor with sensors that check their gait and sound an alarm if they fall. Others might relax on a bed that monitors their pulse and breathing.

New technologies for seniors, supplementing conveniences like The Clapper and emergency warnings like Life Alert, are on display this week at the White House Conference on Aging.

The goal is to provide technologies that "help seniors and their families live happy and healthy in their own home," said Eric Dishman, chairman of the Center for Aging Services Technologies, or CAST, and general manager and global director of Intel Health Research and Innovation Group.

(AP) Stephen Agritelley, director of Intel's Health Systems Research Lab, demonstrates a medication...
Full Image

"Technology already has transformed our lives from e-mail to MP3s and from online shopping to cell phones. Now, it's time for technology to transform the experience of aging," said Russell Bodoff, executive director of CAST.

His organization, which put together the technology exhibition, brings together 400 businesses, groups, universities and others working to find new ways to improve life for older people.

There are four main focus areas for the new innovations, Dishman said: disease prevention, early detection, caregiver support and maintaining independence.

Take Intel's phone for those with early and developing cases of memory-wasting Alzheimer's.

A screen like that of a computer monitor sits next to the phone. No more embarrassing pauses while the person getting the call tries to remember who Christine is. Using caller ID technology, the screen can provide a photo of the caller, tell who they are and when they last talked.

Accenture has a medicine cabinet that can be programmed to keep track of what medicine it holds and when it should be taken.

A built-on camera scans the face of the person at the cabinet and a voice can remind that it's time to take a pill. If the wrong bottle is chosen, the voice warns of the error.

Congress is very concerned about medical errors in hospitals, Dishman said, but most occur at home.

The medicine cabinet even has a blood pressure cuff and is connected to a scale, so it can collect weight and pressure data and e-mail the information to a physician or caregiver.

Floor sensors developed by the Medical Automation Research Center at the University of Virginia track the movement of a senior. They can recognize changes in gait and detect a fall and call a caregiver for help. Virginia's team also developed the bed that senses breathing rate and pulse and, again, can call a caregiver for help if there is a sudden change.

Recognizing that people of all ages like to play games, the Oregon Health Sciences University has developed video games that track the dexterity and speed of the person playing them over time. Changes that can indicate neurological diseases are recorded and can help doctors recognize patterns they wouldn't be able to notice in an occasional office visit.

A watch and computer system developed by Intel tracks the movement of people in their homes. If they fail to go to their pills it can broadcast to a computer to provide reminders.

The owner can choose how to be reminded. A notice, "Agnes, it's time for your pill," can appear on the television screen, for example, or the phone can ring and send a reminder either with a voice or text message.

Philips Medical has developed the Motiva Channel, a service for broadband computers that can be displayed on a screen as a personal assistant and motivator for the individual. Motiva can provide personal reminders and messages, suggest healthy activities and foods and allow the user to consult with a nurse regularly from home.

There's even a robot developed by Intouch Health for use in hospitals and assisted-care centers. If a patient falls in the middle of the night, for example, the robot can go to the scene with caregivers and broadcast back to a doctor located elsewhere, who can advise how to assist the person.

And Medic Alert, best known for bracelets that warn of allergies or medical problems, now has a computerized flash card that can attach to a key ring and provide access to a person's medical history. A doctor or emergency room can simply plug it into any computer to check the person's health record.


Terrorism or Accident - That is the Question

Terrorism or Accident?


HEMEL HEMPSTEAD, England - Firefighters used chemical foam to extinguish part of the inferno raging Monday after explosions at a fuel depot north of London, while a huge oily smoke cloud from the blaze drifted over northern France and headed toward Spain.
The blasts Sunday, which injured 43 people, sent balls of fire into the sky and blew the doors off nearby houses, also contributed to a surge in oil prices to above $60 Monday.

The explosions came just four days after an al-Qaida videotape appeared on the Internet calling for attacks on facilities carrying oil that it claims has been stolen from Muslims in the Middle East, but police said they believed the blasts were accidental.


Test others in your office or research setting

Get your own test portal (beta) now you can. Test your own clients and patients on site using a 100% extensible web-based architecture built on the latest, most flexible technology-keep track of everything in one place with patient-centric variables, get it completed quickly and easily, and save on training time. The advantage, also is that you can generate more awareness for your practice...find out more...see here


Prevention Easier than a Cure...

"Prevent Cognitive Decline through a healthy lifestyle" could be the heading for this piece. The research evidence is starting to show that prevention is the major factor in averting the disease...

...Mayo Clinic Jacksonville researchers report evidence to suggest that prevention of amyloid beta (Abeta) deposition in the brain prior to Alzheimer's disease (AD) onset may be easier than curing established disease. An immunization strategy targeting Abeta42, or a second form of Abeta known as Abeta40, prevented onset of amyloid deposition in young, AD-prone mice. However, this strategy was not effective in altering Abeta deposition or clearance in mice with modest levels of preexisting Abeta deposits.

Current hypotheses suggest that it is the accumulation over time of amyloid beta peptide 1–42 (Abeta42) that triggers changes in the brain that lead to cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease. The reduction of amyloid levels is therefore a major therapeutic objective....read the whole piece.

Alzheimer's and the Holidays

Alzheimer's: Planning for the holidays - suggestions from MayoClinic.com

Holidays can be bittersweet for families affected by Alzheimer's. The last thing you need is extra stress. Here's how to keep your celebration manageable and create new memories to cherish.

Alzheimer's disease affects every aspect of your family and community life. Your holiday observances are no exception. Holiday memories from before your loved one developed Alzheimer's may darken what usually is a joyful season. And worries about how your loved one's condition may disrupt your family's plans can overshadow the simple pleasure of being together.

Rather than dwell on how much things have changed or worry about what might go wrong, focus on making the holidays as enjoyable as possible. Consider your loved one's needs, but don't forget about yourself.

If your spouse, parent or other close companion is in an assisted-living facility or a nursing home, consider these tips:

Celebrate in the most familiar setting. For many people with Alzheimer's, a change of environment — even a visit home — causes anxiety. Instead of creating that disruption, consider holding a small family celebration at the facility. Find out what holiday activities are planned for the residents, and consider participating with your loved one there.

Keep the visitor traffic to a minimum. Arrange for a few family members to drop in on different days. Even if your loved one isn't sure who's who, two or three familiar faces are likely to be welcome, while nine or 10 may be confusing.
Schedule visits at your loved one's best time of day. People with Alzheimer's tire easily, particularly as they approach the late stage of the disease. Your loved one may appreciate morning and lunchtime visitors more than those in the afternoon or evening.

If you're caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's at home:

Make preparations together. When you bake, your loved one can measure flour, stir batter, roll dough into balls or simply watch as you work. Use favorite recipes and ask for advice. Open holiday cards and wrap gifts together.

Tone down your decorations. Blinking lights and large decorative displays can cause disorientation. Avoid candles and decorations such as artificial fruits that could be mistaken for edible treats.

Host quiet, slow-paced gatherings. Television, conversation and meal preparation all add to the noise and stimulation of an event. Keep things as quiet as possible and encourage your loved one to rest during family get-togethers.

Care for yourself

Consider your needs, as well as those of your loved one. Here are some tips to help you manage your expectations of yourself:

Pick and choose. Decide which holiday activities and traditions are most important. Remember that you can't do it all. Focus on what you enjoy.

Simplify. Bake fewer cookies. Ask others to provide portions of holiday meals, and use disposable plates and utensils. Write a holiday letter and send a copy to family and friends instead of sending handwritten cards.

Delegate. Remember family members and friends who have offered their assistance. Let them help with cleaning, writing cards and shopping for gifts. Ask if one of your children or a close friend could stay with your loved one while you go to a holiday party.

Trust your instincts

Caregivers know best what their loved ones with Alzheimer's disease are capable of doing — and what agitates and upsets them. Resist pressure to celebrate the way others may expect you to. You can't control the progress of Alzheimer's or protect your loved one from all distress. But by planning and setting firm boundaries, you can avoid needless holiday stress and enjoy the warmth of the season.


Yin and Yang Protein in Alzheimer's

Cognitive Labs newswire....

Researchers have found evidence that may partially exonerate a protein known to be a culprit in the progression of Alzheimer's disease. Their new studies show that the protein p25, which wreaks havoc in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease, also has a good side in promoting the plasticity of the brain.

In studies in mice, the scientists have shown that the enzyme promotes structural changes in the brain associated with learning and memory. The studies indicate that when the concentration of the protein reaches excessive levels, it contributes to the brain cell death associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Their discovery of the dual nature of p25 suggests that drugs that partially inhibit p25's target enzyme could protect the neurons of patients with AD.

"We think there is a very intriguing possibility that p25 is normally produced at a low level in the brain, perhaps to maintain synaptic plasticity." Li-HueiTsai

Read the whole article

Coke Blak and Smoking Speed up the Brain

Speed up your brain with Coke Blak and Smoking

We can see that coming down the pike. The reason is, caffeine does accelerate your brain function and ability to focus, similar to nicotine. I had a professor of Egyptian who smoked incessantly, with the explanation that this effect enabled the finely honed concentration skills necessary to render an imperceptible, even alien, scrawl into transliteration. A lot of times this depended on the skills of the scribe...a scribe with bad penmanship (excuse me, technically reedmanship) is almost impossible to decipher, particularly in the case of hieratic writing. So, if you are translating this script, first you render it in heiroglyphic (Ahh, that's better, now I can read it)then vocalized transliteration, which like Hebrew, has no written vowels. For example, nobody can really say completely definitively how the ancients pronounce moses. All you really have is m-s-s which could be Ahmosis, emesis, moses, mosese, etc.

But I digress...

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE:KO - news), the world's No. 1 soft drink company, on Wednesday said it will launch a coffee-infused soft drink called Coca-Cola Blak in various markets around the world in 2006.

The news of the launch came hours before Coke Chief Executive Neville Isdell was scheduled to address financial analysts and investors in New York.

The new drink, a combination of Coca-Cola Classic and coffee extracts, will be first launched in France in January before being rolled out in the United States and other markets during 2006.

A Coke spokesperson said Coca-Cola Blak will be a mid-calorie drink, similar to Coca-Cola C2, which was launched in April 2004 and contains half the sugar, calories and carbohydrates of regular colas. The formula for the new beverage is expected to vary based on local tastes.

Analysts have said one of the keys to the company's future is capturing more consumers who have moved away from sugary soft drinks to diet versions, or to healthier low- or no-calorie beverages.

The bottom line is that Coke Blak will speed up your brain? How much, need a meter to find out that's where we come into play. We're meeting with a former Coke marketing honcho, e.g., brandmaster, chief marketing officer on Friday so we'll see what he says.


Don Ho gets stem cell treatment

Don Ho, famous for the song "Tiny Bubbles," recently completed an experimental procedure involving stem cells to treat his heart ailment. read more>

Global Cognitive Map

As you may know, we are developing an atlas or map of global cognition for people around the world, whomever wants to sign up. Now, finally, we have launched a new dashboard where you can access most of the critical tests that you'll want to take on a regular basis. It's (hopefully) convenient and easy. Just push a button and there you go. Also, it is just about centered on the home page - right in the middle...


Indiana Jones and the....? A new game is here

We are publishing a new game at Game Central....Indiana Jones and The Lost Treasure of Pharaoh. Our job here is to find or develop the most interesting games and bring them to you in one place.

Video Game Ads have more impact

Here's an idea for Governor Schwarnenegger in his re-election bid: it turns out that ads in video games have more impact than regular ads . You can see the governor coming back strong in video games with a voter message. Who knows? It could happen. Cognitive Labs is well placed to make this happen, as are some of our content partners using Flash. Got an idea for a product? Let's do it. cognitivelabs.com. We already developed a 'game' for brainspeed that tabulates your score and accuracy. Maybe we can do the same for you.

LOS ANGELES - Ads in video games can have a major influence on whether people buy products and recommend them to friends, a new study by Nielsen Entertainment concludes.

Nielsen has been studying advertising in games for more than a year in a joint project with game publisher Activision Inc.

Previous studies have shown that static ads in games, such as a billboard or blimp, or integrated advertising, such as a car a player must drive, can improve awareness of a brand in the same way as a 30-second TV spot.

But a new study released Monday shows that when ads are on screen long enough and are highly integrated in the game, they can make players feel more positive about a product.

"There's a whole new variable here," Nielsen Senior Vice President Michael Dowling said about the persuasive aspect of in-game advertising.

Game publishers have been trying to find a standard measurement of awareness so they can charge in the same way that television and other advertising is sold.

"Here is this medium that has more consumption by males 18-34 than television today," said Robert A. Kotick, chairman and chief executive of Activision, based in Santa Monica. "So if you just measure awareness, we can do better."

Nielsen's study included 1,350 male gamers between the ages of 13 and 44. The participants were split into four groups that played games with ads and two groups that played the same games without ads.

Three other groups watched TV shows, some with traditional ads, some with product placements and some with no advertising.

The study found that when ads were relevant to the game, the ads could remain on screen longer and resulted in a high percentage of brand awareness. Players surveyed after 20 minutes of game playing also said they would be highly likely to recommend an advertised product to a friend.

The study showed that products can make games more realistic. But ads done in a way the player interprets as inappropriate can also annoy.

Google Talk

Talk to Cognitive Labs on Google Talk.

This is a new service that lets you talk to and IM any of your contacts that already use gmail, for free.

As you may know, we have been letting people skype us. If you're a gmail user, look us up. Skype now has announced free video calls, if you can believe it, in collaboration with Logitech. We'll be adding another way to contact us...

How to Get Ahead in Advertising

you can get ahead by advertising on Cognitive Labs. Because, as Ries and Trout declare, it is all about positioning, or the battle for the mind.

There is no more suitable mental battleground than the pages of cognitivelabs.com, concerned as it is greatly, with the affairs and condition of the mind. Already, a number of global brands concur, and to them we extend our thanks.

You can either contact us or just sign up on Google from our home page.



Wookie or WIKI?

Wookie or Wiki?

We ask this in the WIKI QUIZ.

Try it now, closing soon.

Is a Wiki a small species of Wookie?

New Test Preview

There is a new test that will HELP YOUR PERCEPTION at the edge of a field of view. Something that is important.

You can get there on the cognitivelabs.com home page, too.


Tang, here on MemCheck

I found some Tang on the site LooneyStuff.com.

Their ad started running here. I didn't know it was still 'made'

I guess we'll have to try it in lieu of RedBull/Sobe/Throttle/Starbucks DoubleShot.

Cognitive Impairment improves investment performance?

Ellen Simon of the Associated Press is reporting that cognitive impairment is improving investment performance.

Really? The study quotes Tilson Capital Partners belief that rational investors who follow the herd get trampled. They pile on at the end of trends, after the ref's whistle.

Then, when they have an open receiver, they get happy feet and throw the ball away instead of staying in the pocket, even when they are driving down the field.

...Medical study confirms brain impairment HELPS improve investment returns," Ajay Singh Kapur, chief global equity strategist at Citigroup, wrote in a summary of the study.

He uses the study as an argument for fighting instinct and getting into the market when investment sentiment is most negative and exiting when investor sentiment is high.

It's a rational argument. But think back to the last bubble: Big time money-managers took just as many lumps as day traders in boxer shorts. Most pros didn't stay ahead of sentiment. Most pros didn't bail out when it became clear valuations were irrational.

Following the crowd or running from the crowd isn't as solid a strategy as buying good stocks at cheap prices and waiting for them to rise, Tilson said.

"Contrarians, value-oriented investors, they look at intrinsic value," he said. "They don't play games with sentiment, because that's inherently a short-term game."

He is currently investing in McDonald's Corp., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp. and Microsoft Corp., stocks that have been overlooked in recent months because most investors have been hunting for bigger gains from riskier stocks.

Yes, he and his firm are making a bet against the general consensus, he said. "That being said, we're just doing stock picking."

His paper wraps up with a series of quotes. One of them is, "The human mind craves clairvoyance, but anyone's ability to see the future is extremely limited."

Dr Strangelove, or, Your Inner Rocket Scientist

Remember the Cold War? Once we thought it would be the end of us all.

Probably no more iconic movie exists of the period than Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

It combines Gen. Buck Turgidson's bravado with Flight Commander Mandrake's obsequious protocol-at-all-costs, the accoutrements of appeasement and messianic insanity, in the imperative to preserve the precious bodily fluids.

All prostrate before the fundamentals of atomic science.

Have fun trying it


Brainspeed - Buy at Drugstore.com or get a coupon for Walgreen's

You can buy brainspeed right now at Drugstore.com OR you can print out a coupon and take it to Walgreen's - it will save you $5 off every bottle.

BrainSpeed is still in Walgreen's across America - coast to coast. Actually, it is everywhere, in health food stores all over. Stanford Shopping Center, Hillsdale Mall, University Avenue in Palo Alto, El Camino Real - up and down, north and south, Pasadena, Westwood, Santa Monica, Santa Barbara, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Phoenix, Seattle, Sacramento, Portland, Denver, Washington, New York, etc. Now is the time to give it a try, if you haven't yet. Each bottle has a cool piece of software that will take you to brainspeed.com, as well!

The Sun Dagger

The mystery
of the Sun Dagger strikes through the heart of the ancient canyonlands of the Southwestern United States. Now you can try to unscramble the puzzle...

Subscription to Memory for Life and MemCheck!

For a short period, you will not be able to order MemCheck or Memory For Life. The reason is we are overhauling our commerce and billing system.

It was too complex and hard to manage and couldn't handle our growth. Another major reason is the issues with international orders. These issues are being rememedied by the implementation of a new service which will be completely seamless and global, handling over 100 countries, with specific focus on software and web services. You can order via PayPal if you like for now, as some of you are doing, but we plan to concentrate efforts on the very sleek functioning of this new service provider.

We are working round the clock to get this implemented. You will also see a new mix of services in the offering and a new pricing structure which we think you'll like.

We'll notify everybody by email on the conversion as it progresses.

Michael Addicott

Google Moon memory Exercise

Try a Google moon puzzle - we couldn't resist turning the 'soar over Tranquility Bay' effect into a memory building puzzle.

You can exercise spatially, in a flat plane, which requires concentration and FOCUS (as you will see) or you can exercise sequentially, which involves memory storage mechanisms of the brain. Mental Pilates.

"Zero G and I feel fine."


Tang please

Oh, I forgot. When you go over to Google moon, don't forget the Tang instant breakfast drink or your small lunar rover that came along with it in the packging...I think this was for Apollo XVI or XVII mission.

Google moon

A friend just turned me on to Google moon. Pretty interesting. You can soar above the moon and see where the "Eagle landed" along with all of the other missions....now we just need to add in a picture/memory component.

So Google will replace the old New General Catalogue of extraplanetary objects (star clusters, nebulae, galaxies)and the old Messier catalog - speaking of that - The Crab Nebula (M-1) is in the news today. The Crab Nebula is the remnant of a supernova reported by Chinese astronomers in the constellation Taurus in the 1000's.

(stay tuned)

Alzheimer's - a form of Diabetes?

A provocative theory on the incidece of Alzheimer's - that it is either a form of diabetes of closely related has just been released...more in just a little bit

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