Five Brain Functions

1. Memory

Memory is probably the easiest of the five cognitive domains to understand. Memory is the process through which new information about our world is encoded, stored and later retrieved by our brain cells. Our ability to remember new facts and new ways of doing things is not only key to our ability to maintain independent lives, our memories are what individualizes each and everyone of us. Our personal memories of past experiences and of family and friends are valuable treasures. Sadly, these treasures are often lost or become tarnished as we age and in tragic cases, with the onset of dementia. For this reason alone, it is necessary that we continue to exercise and activate the neural networks that form our memories. It is also important that we continue to find new strategies and tools to help us form new memories.

At nognz brain fitness, we are dedicated to providing our guests with the latest tools and exercises that are available to help improve memory. It is also our goal to be a source of factual information and research that you, our guest, can use to stay informed about lifestyle decisions you can make to reduce your risk for dementia.

“No matter what your brain status or age, there is much we can do to significantly improve brain functions and slow brain aging.”

Dr. Larry McCleary

Former Acting Chief, Pediatric Neurosurgery, Denver Children’s Hospital
Author of The Brain Trust Program

2. Focus

Life in 2011 demands a lot of our attention. We live in a world of instant communication and sometimes the demands of work and family can become unbearable and seemingly never-ending. When we become mentally fatigued or over burdened we can lose our ability to prioritize, our ability to identify important information and our ability to stay on task. At home, at the office and at school, we are constantly pulled in multiple directions at the same time and losing focus and concentration can result in us failing to meet our obligations. In addition to providing our brains with the rest and relaxation it needs to operate at its best, it is also important that we engage in brain exercises that can improve our ‘mental endurance’, focus and concentration.

It is also important that we exercise this cognitive domain to find new strategies to overcome specific challenges such as ADD/ADHD. At nognz brain fitness, it is our promise to provide our guests with best and newest brain fitness tools that will improve your concentration and strengthen your mental endurance. Our games and exercise will engage your brain and sharpen your focus and teach you new ways to stop wasting time. With stronger concentration skills, improved attention to detail, and sharper focus you can expect to live life with less confusion, less stress and a greater feeling of mental clarity. Strengthening your focus is a surefire way to improve your performance at work or at school.

“Curiousity is the lust of the mind.”

Thomas Hobbes

Political Philosopher

3. Word Skills

Language is the highly evolved human skill that enables us to effectively communicate our thoughts and emotions with the rest of the world. Language is what allows us to grow as people, to share ideas with others and to form the social bonds that bring true value and meaning to our lives. And the fabulous fact about our word skills and capacity for language is that we can continue to improve these skills over the course of our lives.

Unfortunately, on the other side of the coin is fact that our spoken and written word skills can degrade over time with out practice. I’m sure we can all remember a time during conversation when we found ourselves dumbfounded and embarrassed as we struggled to find a word stuck on the tip of our tongue. Or maybe we can remember a time when we mis-used or mis-spelled a fancy word in an important email. As we grow, it is important that we continue to expand our vocabulary, improve our language comprehension skills and find new ways to make our words mean more to the people in our lives.

At nognz brain fitness, it is our promise to provide our guests with fun and effective brain fitness games and tools to help them continue to grow their capacity for language. Improving word-skills with nognz brain fitness games and exercises is a sure fire way to increase your verbal communication confidence and reduce social anxiety.

“Exercising our brains systematically is as important as exercising our bodies.”

Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg

Neuropsychologist, Clinical Professor of Neurology
New York University School of Medicine

4. Coordination

From the moment we wake up in the morning until we fall asleep at night, we humans are constantly on the move!  And for most of us, our ability to make purposeful, timely and accurate movements is often taken for granted as we go about our day. But the truth is that our ability to perform the seemingly infinite number of goal directed movements we make is the result of our brain precisely detecting sensory information from the world around us and integrating it with our internal motivations to accurately execute the appropriate motor commands that tell our muscles how to move… Maybe it’s not so simple after all?

Unfortunately, as we age, this process becomes more difficult and moving about the world can become more challenging than it once was. For most of us, our senses tend to dull, our reaction times become a bit slower and seemingly simple motor tasks such as writing, driving our car and moving about to enjoy the things we love to do can become more difficult. For this reason, it is important that we not only exercise our muscles to maintain strength and flexibility to stay mobile, but that we also exercise the areas of our brain that are involved in coordinating our movements.

At nognz brain fitness it is our promise to provide our members/customers with fun and challenging brain fitness tools that will help to improve your sensory perception, manual dexterity, spatial awareness and precision of movement. It is our goal to provide you with brain fitness tools that will compliment your already healthy lifestyle so that you can continue to make the most of your independent lifestyle.

“Growth only comes at the point of resistance, but that is the moment we tend to stop. Because it hurts…”

Joshua Waitskin

Chess Champion
Author of The Art of Learning.

5. Critical Thinking

Critical thought can also be referred to as our brain’s ‘executive function’. And as such, we can think of our critical thinking skills, as the analysis tools used by the CEO of our brain.

Critical thinking skills are the tools we use to objectively analyze information, recognize patterns, follow logical rules, strategize, and solve problems. It is also the brain function that provides us with the ability to form the complex chronological and spatial plans we use to navigate our lives. Everyday we use our critical thinking skills to objectively analyze the world we live and thrive as individuals.

Along with Language, higher order critical thinking skills are what separate us humans from the rest of the Animal Kingdom. And anatomically speaking, the parts of our brain that allows us to think critically reside in the most highly evolved parts of our brain, the frontal and temporal lobes of the cortex. Sadly, it is most often our critical thinking skills that decline with age-related dementia. Our critical thinking skills also need to be fostered at an early age and throughout our lives in order for our brains to operate at their best.

Fortunately, research investigating the phenomenon of neuroplasticity has taught us that we can actually change the way our brains are wired. By engaging in intellectually stimulating activities and by taking on cognitive challenges we actually have the ability to strengthen our critical thinking skills and improve our executive function. But if we want to enhance our critical thinking skills globally, it is important that we exercise our executive functions individually and as a whole. For example, it is important to engage in a variety of different brain exercise designed to improve deductive reasoning, logical reasoning, pattern recognition skill, strategic decision-making skill and the efficiency of our brain’s ability to process information.

At nongz brain fitness, it is our promise to provide our guests with a diversity of evidence based brain fitness games and tools designed to improve specific critical thinking skills. By taking a ‘whole- body approach’ and incorporating brain fitness into your daily routines you will be making the lifestyle changes needed to sharpen your minds and reduce your risk of dementia.

“Every man can, if he so desires, become the sculptor of his own brain.”

Santiago Ramon y Cajal

Neuroscientist and Nobel Laureate
Considered to be the Father of Neuroscience