• Research: Strategic Thinking Strengthens The Brain

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    Critical thinking is a broad term that covers many cognitive skills. Your frontal cortex is responsible for the brain’s executive control function, which is associated with the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is the Commander-in-Chief of your brain. It controls your ability to plan, take action, problem solve and (hopefully) learn from and correct your mistakes. It’s what enables you to evaluate situations, formulate strategy and achieve detailed objectives.Critical thinking consists of:

    • Analyzing information
    • Using logic
    • Synthesizing information
    • Solving problems
    • Planning for possible outcome
    • Developing strategy

    Strategy-based cognitive training has the potential to enhance cognitive performance and spill over to real-life benefit according to a data-driven perspective article by the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience. The research-based perspective highlights cognitive, neural and real-life changes measured in randomized clinical trials that compared a gist-reasoning strategy-training program to memory training in populations ranging from teenagers to healthy older adults, individuals with brain injury to those at-risk for Alzheimer's disease.

    “Our brains are wired to be inspired,” said Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman, founder and chief director of the Center for BrainHeath and Dee Wyly Distinguished University Chair at The University of Texas at Dallas. “One of the key differences in our studies from other interventional research aimed at improving cognitive abilities is that we did not focus on specific cognitive functions such as speed of processing, …

    Through the use of strategic games, players engage logic, planning and problem solving skills to create strategies for winning. Repetition of game components not only improves your playing skills, it also strengthens neural pathways that build better cognitive abilities. Studies over the past few decades have shown that the incorporation of strategy games in the classroom like chess improve student’s math and logic skills.

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