Researchers discovered that playing Lumosity brain-training games for 30 minutes five times a week for 10 weeks improved participants’ performance in fun, according to the new controlled, randomized experiment including 128 healthy young people. However, neither the subjects’ brain activity nor any enhancements in their cognitive function above that of controls were seen by the researchers. Participants that played video games that weren’t made with cognitive advantages in mind saw the same results.
The study, headed by psychologist Joseph Kable of the University of Pennsylvania, is the latest blow to the $1 billion gaming business, which claims that its products may, among other things, strengthen cognitive skills and prevent aging-related cognitive decline. To resolve charges that it lured clients with false promises that its games could treat and prevent mental deterioration and illnesses like Alzheimer’s, Lumosity agreed to pay the Federal Trade Commission $2 million last year. There is no evidence that the games can achieve that. Furthermore, studies and analyses into less dramatic claims of mental improvements have yielded conflicting results. Many have concluded that benefits may only be observed in a small percentage of users, that they may not go beyond placebo effects, and that they may not be translated into actual improvements in brain function.
The allegations seem to be untrue: Playing a game that requires you to do something as easy as feeding a school of fish or assisting ants to avoid collisions may help you sharpen your memory, processing speed, and mathematical thinking in only 15 minutes a day using a brain-training software like lumosity.
In truth, the CogniFit firm claims that outcomes are often just modest to moderate and that there is no concrete proof that they may stop cognitive deterioration, such as dementia. There is considerable disagreement about whether these applications enhance cognition or teach users how to use them more effectively. There needs to be more evidence that the applications improve performance in other everyday activities.
What precisely are apps for brain training?
Many applications that advertise helping you develop cognitive abilities may be found by searching for “brain training.” These apps promise to make you think more quickly, concentrate more clearly, and even combat disorders like dementia or ADHD as you play games on your phone. Computerized cognitive training programs like Peak, Elevate, and CogniFit use games to “exercise” your brain similarly to how a brisk walk or run would do the same for your body.
The distinction is that although a large body of data supports the advantages of working up a sweat, research on the effectiveness of brain-boosting apps is still underway.
Numerous brain training programs generally make the following broad claims about how they will work: Play their specially created games for a few minutes several times per week and experience amazing results, including improved school and sporting performance, better memory, and even accelerated recovery from conditions like stroke and traumatic brain injury.
Independent researchers failed to detect any benefit when they attempted to duplicate an early study that showed aarp lumosity games might truly improve memory and IQ. The disappointing findings are consistent with a 2013 comprehensive assessment of the literature, which concluded that memory training regimens had not significantly enhanced memory, intellect, or cognitive ability.
This is common knowledge among neuroscientists. In 2014, over seventy academics claimed, “Too far, there is no proof that playing brain games boosts essential broad cognitive skills or allows one to navigate a difficult arena of everyday life better.”
This season, think about taking a stroll rather than purchasing a brain game. In contrast to brain games, regular exercise has increased cognitive function. These increases are often slight, but they are still preferable to the non-boost you receive from a brain game.
The ability to perform brain training games was enhanced by playing them. The participants’ risk-taking and decision-making were unaffected by playing brain training games or simple video games. Participants’ neural activity was not affected by either type of game. The research supporting their effectiveness is still up for debate. Various academics believe that brain-training applications improve some cognitive processes. Other experts disagree and claim that the applications provide nothing but fun. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that deceptive promises that brain-training applications may treat diseases like ADHD and Alzheimer’s are prohibited.