Brain TrainingHow to Learn

Brain Training

Brain training games are meant to improve or maintain a person’s cognitive abilities. There has been an ever-growing concern, especially around baby boomers, regarding the potential loss of cognitive abilities, and the market and research regarding brain training has led to approaches regarding the subject. (2014)

Proponents of brain games, claim that regularly playing these would improve people’s cognitive response, make people smarter and more alert and improve memory as well. (2014) There is quite a bit of debate regarding how accurate these claims really are, and it is important to look at them when talking about brain training games. The benefits regarding brain training have been largely exaggerated but there is still a lot of truth behind them, so it is key to understand what are the limitation surrounding brain training.

According to a study held by Stanford Center for Longevity, a lot of the claims held by proponents of brain games are often exaggerated and misleading. So, while cognitive training statistics do show cognitive skills improvements in the lab, they are often marketed in such a way that they claim to have lasting improvements on the brain. The conclusions are that while the human brain is malleable, there are different levels of malleability that vary with things such as age and skills learned, and while some improvements will be permanent, some are very temporary. (2014)

In response to the Stanford Study, the Cognitive Training Data organization responded with the reasons why their experiments and evidence regarding brain training show that the brain is indeed malleable and can be improved upon through cognitive exercises. And their proof is that their evidence shows that this was possible through documenting the “improvement of sensory, cognitive, motor, and functional performance”.

Brain training research is still a relatively young field, hence the reason why there are such conflicting opinions around it. There is a plethora of conflicting scientific articles either for or against brain training games, so while a lot of questions remain, the fact is that the brain has the capacity to be malleable throughout its lifespan.

Hurley, Dan (2014) The science behind brain training.  https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/02/the-science-behind-brain-training/283634/

Cognitive Training Data Response Letter (2014) https://www.cognitivetrainingdata.org/the-controversy-does-brain-training-work/response-letter

A Consensus on the Brain Training Industry from the Scientific Community (2014)http://longevity3.stanford.edu/blog/2014/10/15/the-consensus-on-the-brain-training-industry-from-the-scientific-community-2/