Does Online Brain Training Games Work?

Brain Training Games
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

Opting out from the piles of books and several reading materials, one would consider a more relaxed method of sharpening the minds. Designed to enhance* intelligence, a variety of games played with mental skills are in abundance on the internet. Ranging from simple to complex brain training, such mind games are believed to even enhance* the memory. Questions also arise as to whether these brain workouts prove true to their purpose.

Brain games are developed with the ideas that engaging with series of interactive environment would stimulate brain changes and neuron remodeling. It is further expected that immersing oneself in such brain workouts could result in a greater cognitive reserve capacity and prevention if not minimization, of declining mental abilities. Online brain games are designed by neuroscientists and thus, create a stronger* attraction to the market.

Several studies have been conducted on the efficiency of brain games to increase* cognitive functions. One of these was performed by the American Journal of Geriatrics Society. It reported that participants of the study, which were older adults, were able to increase* their ability to process auditory functions by 58%. The idea of the research was cemented on the idea that as people get older, ability to process auditory information decline. Because of degenerative changes in the brain and not primarily due to hearing or visual loss. Participants of the said study also declared improved* self-esteem and better* recall.

However, questions on the longevity of brain game application are posted. It was addressed by the study conducted at Pennsylvania State University. The said study was able to determine an outcome declaring that short term exposures to brain training coupled with episodes of boosters could lead to a longer lasting effect on cognition. The subjects were exposed to brain training a period of nearly two years.

Brain Game Application

A big number of websites claim* to have brain games to meet warrants of a better* mental function. Listing on the top of the competition is a site called Lumosity. With over 50 million subscribers, the website promises* improved* attention and better* capacity for learning. It even hails itself for the development of a more recent program to address Alzheimer’s disease. With a two digit monthly fee, Lumosity is also in question to proving its worth beyond its claims*. A study in the University of Oslo, suggests that while a user gets better* in playing a certain brain game, it cannot be applied to other tasks. This study came from an analysis of the 23 best inquiries brain training.

Cognitive Neuroscience Society in Boston has presented a combined result from 13 previous studies of brain training conducted among young adults. It concluded that participating in such brain training has improved* fluid intelligence which is the ability to think abstractly and to reason out quickly.

A more assuring result was gathered by a study in the University of California where in a driving game was proven* to enhance* short and long term memory of older adults. It also signified that cognition was not only enhanced* in terms of the game but on overall.

Older adults were not the only one subjected to such tests on brain games. First graders from Buenos Aires came as subjects of a study to play computer games of both the ordinary genre and specially designed games for improving* attention and memory. It appeared that those who were with regular school attendance failed to notice any difference while those who came to attend school on an irregular basis showed improvements in math and language.

An added interest on the benefits of brain gaming is on its ability to ward signs of depression before it clinically appears. A study conducted in Stanford University of has suggested on the ability of brain training to rewire by unlearning negative bias and thoughts. Engaging in the activity has turned them neutral on instances where negative emotions were provoked. However, although subjects were not able to experience a depressive state just yet, their brains are found to overreact to negative emotional stimuli. It happens to be an inherent trait they shared with the maternal bond.

Brain Puzzle

A number of people pay a great amount to purchase such technology to enhance* their memories, increase* their mental capacities and to simply sharpen their minds. While several studies are available for the public to discern upon, cognition enhancing* activities at a cheaper cost are also in abundance. Such activities would include fumbling one’s hands on a Rubik’s cube or to simply past time figuring out several pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Consuming the right kind of diet and perhaps socializing can contribute as well to cognition development. Even drinking necessary amount of water can help boost* mental performance as it was found out that dehydration caused a decline in cognition. It has also been suggested that stimulating and challenging one’s mind at an early age is expected to benefit one in the long term while failure to constantly trigger it with challenges may result in its early deterioration. The main point of it is that brain deterioration is countered by the provision of appropriate stimulus. If one is already engaged in brain work out, it isn’t necessary to stop*.

Engaging in online brain games could probably entail little to no risk on the part of the user. However, careful considerations must be done before fully engaging in such activities to ensure every cent’s worth.

Reference:

  • Morrison, A.; Chein, J. M. Does working memory training work? The promise* and challenges of enhancing* cognition by training working memory. Psychon. Bull.
  • Bryck, R. L.; Fisher, P. A. Training the brain: Practical applications of neural plasticity from the intersection of cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology and prevention science. Am. Psychol.
  • Achtman,R.L.,Green,C.S.,and Bavelier,D.(2008).Video games as a tool to train visual skills. Restor. Neurol. Neurosci.

Take Action: Support Consumer Health Digest by linking to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (Click to copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite ConsumerHealthDigest.com with clickable link.


 
 
Author

Expert Author : Dr. Ahmed Zayed (Consumer Health Digest)

Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree in 2011 at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. Other than his passion for writing, currently he is working as a Plastic surgeon and is doing his masters at Ain shams University.