Do Brain-Training Games Really Improve Cognitive Functions?

Brain training has become a fashionable pastime in recent years, with claims that the activity can improve a person’s memory, attention, focus, and multitasking skills. Brain training is based on the premise that the brain changes in response to learning challenges. However, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania tested the popular Lumosity brain-training exercises on a group of healthy adults aged 18 to 35. They found no evidence that brain-training games are more effective than computer video games at improving cognitive functions. The results were published in the 10 July 2017 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

Questions about brain training still remain:

  • The researchers acknowledged that cognitive training might have a more measurable impact on children and older adults.
  • “It would be hard on the basis of this study to make grand claims about how Lumosity doesn’t work under any conditions, for anyone, ever,” says researcher Joseph Kable.
  • In 2016, the company behind Lumosity paid $2 million USD to answer false advertising claims leveled by the Federal Trade Commission. The company had previously claimed that the games could reduce the effects of age-related dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
More Info: New Scientist

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