Optimizing Brain Fitness

Rated 4 out of 5 by from optimizing brain fittness I am enjoying this course and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning "brain basics". The materials are well organized and supported by numerous photos and helpful examples taken from brain research. Professor Restak provides clear, interesting instruction that is well suited to an academic subject. Other reviews suggest he is boring but I did not find this to be true. I find the course interesting, educational, and well presented. And if you do the exercises, fun!
Date published: 2020-11-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Uninspiring. The chapter titles are intriguing but I had trouble relating the contents to the titles. I found exercises as noted rather inconsequential to daily living exercises; perhaps they were meant to be used in therapeutic situations. (I still find spelling out Richard’s name by clapping vowels and consonants differently pointless - did it mean that a person would be more easily learning that person’s name?). I just encountered an AARP article listing five pillars of brain health: exercise, relax, nourish, discover, connect. More helpful than Dr. Restak’s presentation. (By the way, what was he always holding in his right hand.).
Date published: 2020-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Titles describes the content very well I have been immersed in these lectures and find the facts absorbing and revealing, The supporting visuals, exercises, puzzles and practical ways to build memory are very good and add to the otherwise rather static lectures The background is a little depressing though and doesn't do anything for the actual lectures. A more neutral backdrop would be less distracting and would add a bit of pizzazz to the lectures. There is a wealth of information to be learned and I probably will watch them a few more times to absorb it all.. At times Prof. Restaks habit with his fingers is distracting. Otherwise this is a very worthwhile course.
Date published: 2020-08-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great, knowledgeable professor I purchased several courses last month and have limited time due to working, maintaining my home and helping others. These courses are great as you can listen to lessons at your convenience. I find this professor of Optimizing Brain Fitness to be knowledgeable and easy to to listen to; he is calm throughout his lessons and makes the lessons interesting. I am able to retain the content of his lessons.
Date published: 2020-08-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Presentation I bought this a few years ago & just now was able to sit & watch the lectures 1-12. Richard is a good presenter & I enjoyed watching the lectures. I learned a lot from him. Good information.
Date published: 2020-06-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Useful ideas what's good for the brain Useful ideas what's good for the brain and what's bad. Course length was appropriate (12 lectures). I enjoyed this course on The Great Courses - PLUS (where they no longer support reviews - Boo Hoo.)
Date published: 2020-04-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Optimizing Brain Fitness I haven’t watched the whole series yet, but I love it so far!
Date published: 2020-02-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Optimizing Brain Fitness The course, as delivered, is not persuasive. It was more of a classroom lecture than a speech to inspire.
Date published: 2020-02-10
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Optimizing Brain Fitness
Course Trailer
How Your Brain Works
1: How Your Brain Works

In order to best optimize your brain fitness, it's important to understand how the brain's circuitry works. After a brief introduction to the course, Professor Restak guides you through a range of intriguing topics, including the principles of brain operation, the organization of the brain, patterns of brain growth, and more.

33 min
How Your Brain Changes
2: How Your Brain Changes

Your brain and your intelligence can change throughout your life span. Here, look closer at the way changes in your brain can improve the way you function in your day-to-day life. Also, explore how a series of visual, sensory, and spatial exercises demonstrate the powerful effects of brain plasticity.

30 min
Care and Feeding of the Brain
3: Care and Feeding of the Brain

You can optimize your brain function by paying attention to three key habits: what you eat, how well you sleep, and how much you exercise. Ponder the science behind this three-pronged approach to caring for your brain, and come away with helpful tips you can apply to your own lifestyle.

28 min
Creativity and the Playful Brain
4: Creativity and the Playful Brain

What's the connection between daydreaming and creativity? What are four steps for increasing your creativity? Which puzzles are the best for optimizing your brain function-and how can you more efficiently solve them? Learn the answers to these and other questions in this fascinating lecture on creativity and the brain.

31 min
Focusing Your Attention
5: Focusing Your Attention

The basis of improving your memory: focusing your attention. Here, explore a range of topics, including the physiological effects of attention on your brain; the dangers of inattention; the benefits of enhanced attention; multitasking; exercises to improve your sustained attention, divided attention, and processing speed; and much more.

32 min
Enhancing Your Memory
6: Enhancing Your Memory

In the first of three lectures devoted to memory, Dr. Restak proves just how essential memory is to your brain's optimal functioning. After surveying the details of memory and its roots in the hippocampus, learn ways to sharpen your sense memory and augment both your short-term and long-term general memory.

29 min
Exercising Your Working Memory
7: Exercising Your Working Memory

Focus now on working memory-the most important memory process of all and one that involves manipulating stored information. After an overview of the topic, dive into a series of engaging exercises that use your creativity, your powers of observation, and your heightened awareness to enhance and improve your working memory.

25 min
Putting Your Senses to Work
8: Putting Your Senses to Work

Imaginative memory techniques-such as mnemonic devices and personal associations-have been used to improve memory for over 1,000 years. Try your hand at some of them right here, including "chunking" numbers to aid in number recall, creating a vivid story to memorize words, drawing free-form designs, and playing mental chess.

31 min
Enlisting Your Emotional Memory
9: Enlisting Your Emotional Memory

Turn now to an aspect of memory we don't usually consider when thinking about the subject: emotional memory. How did scientists uncover this specific aspect of memory? How does it actually work? And what kinds of playful exercises can you perform to help you relive the emotional experience of your past?

32 min
Practicing for Peak Performance
10: Practicing for Peak Performance

Exceptional performers aren't born with "superior brains." Rather, anyone-thanks to brain plasticity-can achieve high performance levels in an area of interest through deliberate practice. Focus here on two aspects of deliberate practice: remaining fully aware of what you're doing, and concentrating on the most difficult aspects of your performance.

28 min
Taking Advantage of Technology
11: Taking Advantage of Technology

Take a closer look at the impact of modern technology on how our brains function. You'll explore the positive and negative effects of electronic journals, personal computers, and more-with a lengthy discussion on the impact of one of today's most powerful and controversial influences on brain function: video games.

30 min
Building Your Cognitive Reserve
12: Building Your Cognitive Reserve

Professor Restak concludes his course with ways to immediately start optimizing your brain fitness. These include trying new and unexpected things, learning in an informal and self-directed manner, keeping things in perspective, opting to prioritize instead of multitask, developing an appreciation for art and music, and-surprisingly-preparing home-cooked meals....

32 min
Richard Restak

We create new patterns of brain organization based on what we see, what we do, what we imagine, and what we learn. Learning something new establishes pathways consisting of millions of brain cells.

ALMA MATER

Georgetown University School of Medicine

INSTITUTION

The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

About Richard Restak

Dr. Richard Restak is Clinical Professor of Neurology at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He earned his M.D. from Georgetown University School of Medicine and completed his postgraduate training and residency at St. Vincent's Hospital, Georgetown University Hospital, and The George Washington University Hospital. Professor Restak also maintains an active private practice in neurology and neuropsychiatry in Washington, DC. Professor Restak's awards include the Chicago Neurosurgical Center's Decade of the Brain Award and Georgetown University Medical School's Linacre Medal for Humanity and Medicine. A former president of the American Neuropsychiatric Association, Professor Restak is the prolific author of 20 books on the human brain-4 of which were chosen as Main Selections of the Book of the Month Club-as well as numerous articles in national newspapers, including The New York Times and USA Today. Professor Restak has delivered lectures on neurology to prestigious institutions and associations around the world, including NASA, the National Security Agency, the CIA, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Brookings Institute.

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