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Computer-based Brain Training Addresses Many Ills

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers from Posit Science Corporation will make five presentations at the Society for Neuroscience this week, demonstrating the broad impact that computer-based cognitive training will have on diverse cognitive issues. The researchers will show that brain training can address crash risk for older drivers, cognitive impairment caused by chemotherapy, processing deficiencies among schizophrenics, and processing deficiencies in fine motor control associated with hand dystonias and other repetitive strain injuries (such as carpal tunnel). In addition, the researchers will present on the key protocols that are required to make computerized cognitive training effective in such diverse areas. The presentations will take place at the Society for Neuroscience, an annual meeting of more than 30,000 brain scientists, which is being held this week in San Diego.

"We are demonstrating the effectiveness of computer-based cognitive training in an unprecedented number of areas," said Henry Mahncke, PhD, Vice President of Research at Posit Science. "We have now identified the protocols for the mechanisms that drive positive re-wiring of the brain and have applied that technology across a wide range of applications. The implications for improved brain health across a wide spectrum of health and social issues are enormous."

Dr. Mahncke noted that in addition to the five presentations from members of the in-house Posit Science research team, there would also be a large number of presentations from the more than 50 university-based scientists around the world who collaborate with Posit Science in developing, testing, refining and validating brain fitness and brain health programs.

The broad research program to be presented by Posit Science at the Society for Neuroscience includes:

-- A presentation by Peter Delahunt, PhD, on a computer-based cognitive

training programs that trains the visual processing system. Dr.

Delahunt demonstrated a substantial difference in the performance of

older (average age 76) and younger (average age 20) adults in visual

tasks. After training, the older adults were as good at the tasks as

the younger adults. This has implications for driving, sports,

finding things and navigating life.

-- A presentation by Sarah Kim, MS on the use of the Posit Science Brain

Fitness Program to address a condition known as "chemobrain." More

than 200,000 American women undergo chemotherapy each year to treat

breast cancer. For up to 80% of patients, the treatment leads to

cognitive dysfunction with some persistence well beyond the year of

treatment. After training, the subjects reported meaningful

alleviation of chemobrain symptoms and improvement in everyday


-- A presentation by Michael Trujillo on the use of specially designed

haptic joysticks to assess the differences in fine motor control

performance between musicians with hand dystonias and healthy adults.

The differences were substantial. After four days of intensive

training at computer-guided tasks, the impaired musicians showed

improved performance on the tasks. This suggests a brain-plasticity

based training regimen may be effective in treating hand dystonias.

-- A presentation by Samuel Chan, PhD on the use of a computerized

cognitive training program to enhance executive function in people

with schizophrenia. It is well documented that schizophrenics

generally have impaired executive function abilities that prevent them

from engaging fully with society. Schizophrenics trained for 20

one-hour sessions using continuous performance tasks that adapted to

place increasing demands on executive function. The trained subjects

showed substantial improvements in untrained standardized assessments

of executive function.

-- A presentation by Joseph Hardy, PhD, on the common protocols applied

across a broad range of training programs to drive positive

plasticity-based changes in the brain. These are referred to as the

"SAAGETM protocols," which is intended to denote that plasticity-based

programs need to increase processing Speed and Accuracy by being

continuously Adaptive and able to Generalize as individuals Engage

their neuromodulatory systems.

"We will continue to push the envelope of our knowledge through research in the field of plasticity-based cognitive training," Dr. Mahncke said. "We have many studies underway with outstanding collaborators that will be reported out over the next year and we are continuing to undertake many new studies."

Dr. Mahncke noted that collaborators of Posit Science at the USC Andrus Gerontology Center and the Mayo Clinic will report shortly on the IMPACT Study, the largest randomized, controlled trial ever done on aging and cognitive training with an available product. The IMPACT results will be released initially at the annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America on November 16-18.


Posit Science Corporation develops science-based brain health programs. The company works with more than 50 brain scientists from leading universities around the world to create training programs that enhance cognitive performance. Its assessments and exercises are based on neuroplasticity -- the brain's ability to "rewire" through intensive, repetitive and progressively challenging activity. The company's Brain Fitness Program is distributed without charge by Humana to its Medicare Advantage members, is licensed to more than 100 retirement communities nationwide and is sold online. Posit Science has received several grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Posit Science was named "Best Small Company" by the American Society on Aging, was named "Best Fitness Initiative" by the Consumer Health World Conference and was selected as one of the "medical breakthroughs of the year" by CNBC. For more information visit or call 1-800-514-3961.

SOURCE Posit Science Corporation
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