Do you train your brain?

Originally published at YourHealthisLow

Do you train your brain?

Posted by Sharon on April 26, 2010 · 2 Comments


GameLoft and Ubisoft have been testing your mental acuity with Brain Challenge 1, 2, and 3 on the ipod, DS, Dsi, Xbox, Playstation and Wii since September 2007. Such puzzle games as Brain Challenge have been a key element in attracting a demographic of players that might not find much appeal to the bloodbath FPS or story heavy RPG titles offered on these standard platforms. But are these games truly training your brain and improving your mental abilities?

Earlier this week BBC news released the results of a massive study of over ten thousand people over a six week period. BBC says “The games tested were designed by scientists from the Medical Research Council and the Alzheimer’s Society.” Results of the study showed that “Players gained nothing in terms of general reasoning, memory, planning or visuospatial abilities, experts found.”

But is a six week study really a duration lengthy enough to determine the effects of such ‘training’?

Reported by BBC News, Rebecca Wood of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust claimed that the study ” suggests that ‘brain training’ does not improve people’s cognitive ability [but that] more research will tell us if these games have any effect on cognition as we age.”  However Dr Adrian Owen, a neuroscientist at the Medical Research Council, boldly stated that “statistically, there are no significant differences between the improvements seen in participants who played our brain training games, and those who just went on the internet for the same length of time.” He states that “the results are clear.”

Lab UK’s groundbreaking scientific study may have completed but their official website asks “all trainers aged 60 and over to continue training for the full 12 months of the study so that they can carry out further research into the group most at risk from degenerative brain disorders.”

So while the brain training games we have come to know so well may not be preparing us for the mental Olympics or helping us remember where our car keys are,  these games are fun and competitive and allow us to perfect our gaming reflexes; which is useful for gamers in all genres!

About Sharon

Sharon is an artist who freelances in illustration, graphics, and web content. Be sure to follow her on twitter @myasharona and catch her as co-host of podcast The DPOD From The D-Pad.

Posted on August 29, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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