Electronic Thesis/Dissertation


i FITNESS (a workout gym for the brain) Open Access

A brain fitness facility designed to develop brain's executive functions, enhancememory and advance personal performances. We exercise our body to stay strong, healthy and in shape, so why shouldn't we exercise our brain to stay mentally fit? It is now possible to locate and observe complex qualities of the brainthrough scientific research and it is now possible to perform exercises to stimulate the brain for a better and stronger operation of networking between it's tasks, memory, learning, aging and more. Recently, for the first time, scientists have provided convincing evidence thateach of the 100 billion cells in the human brain has the capacity to grow newcontact points (synapses) with its neighbors, creating a more complex and richer network of interconnections. The brain's capacity, referred to as brain plasticity, tends to change and improve with learning new things, and new adaptation throughout life. Also, studies have shown that the more learning and activities the brain obtains, the more synapses are born. The more synapses that are born, the more capable and stronger the network the brain will have. Accordingly it is possible to achieve a better brain function. Therefore the idea of "i Fitness" is born. The brain fitness center is designed to encourage people to improve theirmemory, stay sharp and focused, and to work and think in a more effectivemanner. The brain fitness center, named i Fitness, is a workout environment forpeople who like to achieve more productivity, strength and youth and to becomehealthier, better problem-solvers and likewise prevent mental diseases such asmemory loss and Alzheimer's, which is a concern of about seventy-six millionbaby boomers and others. In addition, the moral component of the brain fitnesscenter is that this type of exercise will encourage people to improve theirbehavior and enhance their vision of themselves, our society and our planet. The brain is much like an intertwined network of connections as Dr. MajidFotuhi states in my interview with him at Michel Mirowski Neurology Institute. According to Dr. Fotuhi the brain is not exactly discrete, in other words it is nota case where part A does function A, or part B does function B. However, inorder to make this gym a more user-friendly fitness facility, the brain functionswill be categorized into segments and stations, to allow individuals to encounterand challenge specific areas of their brain as they desire to achieve moredevelopment and strength for that part of the brain. Each of these stations fulfill specific functions of the brain; frontal lobe,temporal lobe, cerebellum, overall brain health, and peace of mind. In addition,some basic but critical information about the brain will be displayed. A moredetailed description of these stations follows:* "About the brain station", is an informational station that is located at theentrance. A large scale transparent brain anatomy is structured in this stationthat provides information and is a directory for other stations. The outer layerof it (brain cortex) contains sensors that light up as it is touched to givedirections and provide basic information about that part of the brain. Thisstation guides the visitors in deciding what part of their brain they choose toexercise.* The Frontal lobe, which is the largest and most anterior part of the brain, isassociated with the executive functions, problem solving and ability to think.In order to exercise this part of the brain, there are a series of mazes andconfigured brain teasers.* The Temporal lobe, at the lower side of the brain, near the ears is involvedin speech, language and responsible for short-term memory function. Theexercises provided for this station are puzzles and word-finding exercisesdisplayed on wall screens that randomly varies from basic to advance levels.* The Cerebellum is associated with balance and coordination. Multi balancetraining tools and equipment are supplied for this area. This station couplesphysical activity while exercising this brain function.* The brain health station is one of the core elements of the concept, as thissection recognizes the importance of the blood pressure, necessity of physicalexercise, diet and stress reduction by exercising the mind and the bodytogether. This section also engages people to practice Yoga and Tai Chi.* The hydration station is a water and fresh squeezed juice bar.The mission is to encourage people to take charge of their brain health andwellness, improve personal development and performance, and increase an interest in exercising the brain casually in everyday life. The brain is like a muscle; it needs exercise too!

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