Optimizing Brain Fitness

Watch Optimizing Brain Fitness

  • 2011
  • 1 Season

Optimizing Brain Fitness is an engaging and informative series from The Great Courses Signature Collection that explores the latest scientific research on how to improve your brain's health, vitality, and performance. Hosted by Richard Restak, a renowned neurologist and expert in brain plasticity, this series offers a wealth of practical tips and strategies for anyone who wants to enhance their cognitive abilities and maintain their mental acuity as they age.

The series is divided into 12 half-hour episodes, each focusing on a specific aspect of brain fitness. The episodes cover a wide range of topics, from how the brain works and how it changes over time to the best ways to improve your memory, attention, focus, and creativity. The series also touches on the impact of technology on our brains and how to manage stress and anxiety for better brain health.

One of the things that makes Optimizing Brain Fitness so valuable is its focus on evidence-based strategies. Restak draws on the latest research from neuroscience, psychology, and related fields to provide practical, actionable advice for viewers. The series is also highly accessible, with Restak using clear, jargon-free language to explain complex concepts and ideas.

Throughout the series, Restak emphasizes the importance of challenging your brain in new and interesting ways. He explores a variety of techniques for doing so, from cognitive exercises and brain games to mindfulness meditation and physical exercise. He also emphasizes the importance of setting goals and tracking progress in order to stay motivated and engaged.

Another important theme of the series is the idea that brain fitness is a lifelong pursuit. Restak stresses that it's never too late to start taking steps to improve your brain health, and that even small changes can have a big impact over time. He also encourages viewers to experiment and find what works best for them, rather than relying on one-size-fits-all solutions.

Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of Optimizing Brain Fitness is its exploration of the intersection between technology and brain health. Restak examines both the potential benefits and drawbacks of our increasingly digital lives, and provides practical tips for managing screen time and avoiding the negative effects of technology on our brains. He also explores the many ways in which technology can be used to enhance brain health, from brain-training apps to virtual reality simulations.

Overall, Optimizing Brain Fitness is an engaging and informative series that offers valuable insights and practical advice for anyone who wants to improve their brain health and cognitive abilities. Whether you're a student looking to boost your study skills, an older adult looking to stay sharp, or anyone in between, this series has something to offer. With its clear, engaging presentation and evidence-based strategies, Optimizing Brain Fitness is a great resource for anyone interested in the science of the brain.

Optimizing Brain Fitness is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (12 episodes). The series first aired on April 18, 2011.

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Building Your Cognitive Reserve
12. Building Your Cognitive Reserve
April 18, 2011
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.
Taking Advantage of Technology
11. Taking Advantage of Technology
April 18, 2011
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.
Practicing for Peak Performance
10. Practicing for Peak Performance
April 18, 2011
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.
Enlisting Your Emotional Memory
9. Enlisting Your Emotional Memory
April 18, 2011
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?
Putting Your Senses to Work
8. Putting Your Senses to Work
April 18, 2011
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.
Exercising Your Working Memory
7. Exercising Your Working Memory
April 18, 2011
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.
Enhancing Your Memory
6. Enhancing Your Memory
April 18, 2011
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.
Focusing Your Attention
5. Focusing Your Attention
April 18, 2011
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.
Creativity and the Playful Brain
4. Creativity and the Playful Brain
April 18, 2011
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.
Care and Feeding of the Brain
3. Care and Feeding of the Brain
April 18, 2011
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.
How Your Brain Changes
2. How Your Brain Changes
April 18, 2011
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.
How Your Brain Works
1. How Your Brain Works
April 18, 2011
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.
Where to Watch Optimizing Brain Fitness
Optimizing Brain Fitness is available for streaming on the The Great Courses Signature Collection website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Optimizing Brain Fitness on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon, Kanopy and Hoopla.
  • Premiere Date
    April 18, 2011