However what these commercial offerings do provide is a structured training program, consisting of a wide variety of different games and puzzles, the opportunity to measure and keep track of your progress and the convenience that might encourage you to train for long enough and regularly enough to notice some benefits. However, lack of proof of a brain training effect is not the same as proving beyond all reasonable doubt that brain training doesn’t work. The compromises that they had to make in order to pull off such a large clinical trial are inevitable, but may have hampered their ability to capture any discernible effect. REASONING: the selected tests may not have been sensitive enough to detect subtle improvements that occur with such a sparse training regime. SOLUTION: compare brain training games on Nintendo DS to normal games on Nintendo DS in order to take these important issues into account. A study conducted in collaboration with the BBC and recently published in top science journal "Nature" suggests that "brain training doesn't make us smarter".
MEMNEON is a fun, challenging and highly-addictive smartphone game that will increase working memory and thus (according to research by Torkel Klingberg) improve your IQ! AboutThis website contains everything you need to know about Dr Jack Lewis – brain scientist, television presenter, motivational speaker, writer and neuroscience consultant. You will find showreels, reviews of books and brain training products, tips on getting the most out of your brain, updates on television projects and a repository of brainposts describing groundbreaking developments in brain science made relevant, compelling and accessible for one and all (see Categories).
If you require Dr Jack’s input as a presenter, consultant or speaker on a science-related topic, click here and get in touch! The Peak for Android is a whole suite of games and activities that will exercise your brain muscles. Peaklabs, the development team of Peak, teamed up with experts in education, cognitive science, and neuroscience from the likes of Yale and Princeton to design the games.
Many "brain-training" games may be marketed as a way to boost people's alertness and intelligence, but scientists are now warning that such claims are not based on actual science. Sixty-nine scientists from around the world issued a statement this week, saying that there's no compelling scientific evidence supporting the claims that playing brain games may actually help people enhance their mental powers or overcome the effects of aging on the brain. The scientists didn't indicate which brain-training products are making misleading claims and which aren't.
The most well-known is the website Lumosity, which has more than 60 million subscribers in 180 countries, according to the company. Some companies take their focus a step further from working on basic mental functions — The British Cogmed says that it develops brain-training programs to help children with attention and learning problems, and the Israeli Neuronix says it aims to improve mental function in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.
The scientists involved in issuing the new statement said they take issue with companies that "assure consumers that claims and promises are based on solid scientific evidence," because the scientific literature does not support these claims. Some "brain-training" products with misleading claims may especially exploit the anxieties some older people regarding age-related cognitive decline, the scientists said.
However, "no studies have demonstrated that playing brain games cures or prevents Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia," the scientists wrote. Although some studies have found that playing brainy games seems to improve people's thinking skills, the studies have generally looked at people's scores on tests given in a lab setting. Still, it is true that the human brain can change and improve, even in old age, the scientists said. The jury is still out on the best way to sharpen mental abilities, but playing brain games is likely not as effective as learning a new language or a new instrument, or exercising, the researchers said. Mind Over Matter: My Quest to Establish a Brain Fitness Regimen4 CommentsAn interesting question was recently posed by a member of a Facebook group I’m a part of: what are the topics you CANNOT stop talking about?
I’m not sure how this current obsession got started, but I think I can trace it back to my reading of a James Altucher article on becoming an idea machine. If you are like I was a few months ago, you may be fuzzy on the exact definition of brain fitness. Though my daily brain training practices might not hold any long-term benefits for my brain fitness, I can say that I’m certainly enjoying the games; if nothing else, they provide a great diversion during late-night nursing sessions! Indeed, claims that it can improve memory, make us smarter, sharpen reaction times and improve general brain power have convinced over 3 million of us in the UK alone to buy this game (including me!
The only problem is that in the 5 years since these games were launched there has not been a single shred of independent evidence (to my knowledge) that these games actually benefit brain functions useful in everyday life, rather than just the inevitable performance improvements in the games themselves.


At the bottom of this piece is a list of 5 reasons why the results of Bang Goes the Theory’s Lab UK study does not necessarily mean that brain training on consoles like the Nintendo DS is ineffective. In order to get such large numbers of people to participate they clearly needed to avoid requiring people to give up their time too often and for an unnecessarily protracted period of time; otherwise people would have dropped out of the trial like flies. I would ask an independent scientific body to find a suitable group of research scientists who could conduct a fully independent study totally uncorrupted by any conflicts of interest.
In other words not surprising that there was no significant improvement because it didn’t tax the participants brains hard enough to benefit memory, planning, problem solving etc. Here they seem to want the negative findings and hence the improvements in the elderly are downplayed until further investigation. In this article I argue that lack of proof is not the same as proving that something doesn't work and outline several reasons why I believe it would be premature to write off the potential benefits of brain training on the basis of the first proper clinical trial ever to investigate this potentially exciting phenomenon. Even Stephen Fry - the God-of-Twitter himself - tweeted that MEMNEON was driving him “delightfully dotty.” High praise indeed! I want to thank you for sharing your ideas and putting the time into the stuff you publish! Don't mistake this for the Peak wearable because it's really just a collection of educational games available on Google Play Store.
It even shows you statistics, analytics, and in-depth performance reviews of a particular game you just finished.
Brain training is more fun and rewarding with the Peak so don't be afraid to umm, use your brain. But the brain fitness business has been booming in recent years, forecasted to reach $6 billion in 2020, according to a market research group Sharp Brains.
California-based Happy Neuron has nearly 11 million users and offers brain training programs to stimulate the main five cognitive functions, including memory, attention, language, and logical thinking. The problem with that is that findings in the lab do not necessarily translate to complex, real-life mental skills, the scientists said. In all likelihood, gains won't last long after you stop the challenge," the researchers said. Any new experience that requires mental effort can produce changes in the brain; however, not every change is significant enough to help with the brain's general health, they said. The post got me thinking about how my mind is my most valuable asset and how I need to begin treating it with the care and respect it deserves. One popular new method of cognitive training is engaging in a daily regimen of computerized brain training exercises that work your memory, stimulate your brain, and challenge your mental muscles.
By the autumn of 2009 the BBC had clocked that is was high time that the concept of Brain Training was put to the test and set the “biggest brain training experiment ever” in motion – an independent clinical trial the results of which would be published in a suitable peer-reviewed journal. What led them to create their own games, rather than testing existing ones, may have involved the desire to avoid the potential wrath of powerful multinational companies. This group should together combine a thorough understanding of the human brain with specific experience in measuring the cognitive abilities of healthy individuals – perhaps an education specialist, an occupational psychologist and a neuroscientist. I also describe a possible approach to a future clinical trial that might give brain training the best possible chance of proving itself worthy of the billions of dollars people are spending on such programs worldwide" tooltip="delicious">A study conducted in collaboration with the BBC and recently published in top science journal "Nature" suggests that "brain training doesn't make us smarter". The creative director behind Memneon was Steve Turnbull, who would probably feel that for me to suggest that it is "Simon" for the 21st century, would be selling it short. It's actually a self-improvement app that helps millions of people to improve memory, focus, language, mental agility, and problem solving skills with fun and challenging games. These games are backed by educational and scientific research so that means if you finish them all with good scores, then you can be considered really smart.
Rosetta Stone's Fit Brains offers games, designed by neuroscientists to help train crucial brain skills, the company says. Altucher reminded me of something I knew but had forgotten: that my brain, like any muscle, needs regular exercise in order to preserve its capacity for creativity.
Through my personal research into this subject, I learned that the field of cognitive training is a relatively new one. The science behind these games is non-definitive, with studies having varying findings regarding their long-term effectiveness.


A recent study found that Tetris (which is similar to many brain training games) can weaken cravings for drugs, food and activities such as sex and sleeping when played just three minutes each day.
In the meantime, I’ll continue to include brain exercises as part of my personal project to protect this precious commodity that is my brain. Then, in 2007, Lumos Labs launched “Lumosity” – a web-based, subscriber-accessed, brain training program with an ever-expanding range of colourful and engaging brain training games. There have been reports that brain training works – but these studies were invariably linked to the very companies that had a vested interest in such findings.
Even if they had been brave enough to wish to test the actual games to which the claims were attached the BBC would never have got away with wasting license fee payers money by coughing up the cash to issue each of these volunteers with a Nintendo DS – even if it would mean benefiting from the advances of speed-enhancing touch screen and voice-recognition technologies. They would oversee a further large-scale, independent, clinical trial that implements a more intense training program based on the best brain training game in the Nintendo DS armoury. I took up Altucher’s recommended habit of coming up with 10 ideas each day (this week I passed the 100-day mark of being an Idea Machine) and I began exploring other ways of improving my mental fitness. But despite inconclusive evidence for their claims of brain enhancement, there is no shortage of apps that offer daily exercises designed as games. Games have also been found to reduce stress, improve motivation, and contribute to happiness. Born and raised in Southern California, I am now living life in the great state of Texas with my husband Luke and our 1-year-old son, Charlie.  Thanks for visiting my blog! Just one year later Lumos labs managed to attract $3,000,000 in private investment to further develop their cognitive training offerings. They have certainly demonstrated that the games they created, when played infrequently, across a relatively short period of time, using an outdated user control interface (that slows down the speed at which responses can be made in time-critical games), did not lead to improvements in a separate set of ‘benchmarking’ games that may or may not have been sensitive enough to detect improvements in attention, memory and problem solving skills. Yet until further clinical trials, including some that investigate the potential of brain training in a way that gives it the best possible chance to shine, have confirmed or contradicted the current findings – I myself will not be throwing my DS away just yet.
I would develop a battery of tests that are able to capture improvements in brain function that actually come in useful during everyday life, as opposed to performance improvements in a rather arbitrary batch of computer games.
I’ve personally been exploring three of these apps—Peak, Elevate, and Luminosity—and I plan to write a full review of all three once I’ve had more time with them.
Doctors have even begun prescribing games such as Candy Crush to traumatic-brain injury victims.
However, their failure to detect any improvements whatsoever (in the under 60’s at least) could boil down to any of these factors or more likely a combination of them.
With each of these programs, I’m seeing improvement in my training itself, but the verdict is still out on whether or not the skills addressed in my training will transfer to real life.
If they are better able to remember a route on a map after training, then they will be less likely to suffer the stress and inconvenience of getting lost.
All I’m saying is that the proverbial jury is out regarding the putative efficacy of brain training – we must wait until more evidence has been gathered before potentially throwing the brain-train-baby out with the bathwater. If they are better able to pay attention to and ultimately recall verbal instructions, in an environment containing a cacophony of visual and acoustic distractions, then the benefits from brain training may actually help them in real life. To ensure participants stay with the program to the very end I would incentivise the much more intense training regime with cash rewards e.g. I would dish out 10,000 Nintendo DS consoles to individuals who would benefit most from the alleged cognitive improvements that are expected to occur – the chronically unemployed perhaps. That way, whether or not any improvements in cognitive function was detected, any improvement in the employment status of these 10,000 compared to a control group of another randomly selected 10,000 (who have also been receiving job seekers allowance for a prolonged period), would give Nintendo a possible second bite of the cherry by demonstrating a generic improvement in motivation levels and the power to benefit society as a whole.
In addition to the milestone incentives, if they did look to keep unemployed hands and minds busy, it might also help to improve brain training dedication by dangling a carrot over the “high score leader board” – whereby those that achieve the best scores overall could be given paid work experience in a role that utilises the skills tapped by each specific game.



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