There are a raft of products and courses available to the general public who want to improve their cognitive performance. While there are simple methods, like stimulating your brain with cross-word puzzles and brain teasers, there are also more sophisticated techniques often developed by companies or individuals who have made their products available to the public. The links below are some of the products I have found in my online browsing, if you find any in your e-travels, you might like to suggest a few links too. I am not endorsing any of the products but am interested, not necessarily by the products, but by how the products fit into the market they cater for. Many scientists are sceptical, I am curious. Often what works for one person, may not necessarily work for another. This is true not only of placebos, but sometimes of proven therapies and medication.
One line of products I certainly would invest in myself (if I had the time and money) would be what could be called “Cognitive Gym” products. Just like any other organ, your brain needs to be exercised regularly to work efficiently. Therapists and clinicians are continually producing new tools to enhance cognitive performance. These tools can be simple memory games, or programs to retrain patterns of thinking. Often “Cognitive Gym” products can be fun and educational. For the moment, with little time to research the resources available (and little money to spend on them), I will stick to playing the piano and listening to my “Learn Portuguese” CDs.
Neurofeedback is another type of ‘brain enhancement tool’. It is a non-invasive technique that can be used to enhance normal cognitive performance or to accompany the treatment of neuropsychological and psychiatric disorders such as epilepsy and ADHD.
Brain Stimulation can often attract an audience because of the “crazy scientist” appeal (At least to my mind). Techniques, such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, are constantly being developed and have been used to enhance creativity, concentration and attention. Some scientists are iffy about these tools, other people swear by them.
I’m sure there’s more out there that I have yet to find!