Brain training games do not make you smarter – FACT

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Nicole Kidman may have been fooled by its cute brain teasing charms, but Tech Digest were never truly convinced. Now there’s proof: new research shows that brain training games do not improve your IQ.

A scientific study of 11,430 volunteers conducted by the BBC proved that while using the brain trainers made the gamers better at the games themselves, the skills gathered were not transferable to the world at large.

One third of the volunteers were tasked with training their reasoning powers, planning and problem-solving skills, another third played games designed to train short-term memory, attention, mathematical abilities and visuospatial skills, while the final group were given web-browsing tasks that didn’t target any specific cognitive skills.

Across all the tests, none of the brain game participants gained a boost in everyday thinking tasks any more than those using the web-browser.

Dr Adrian Owen, a neuroscientist at the Medical Research Council, said: “The results are clear. 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.”

Via: BBC

Gerald Lynch

3 comments

  • It is good idea to play such games to gain the short term memory. I have great admiration for your post. Thanks for sharing the video link.

  • I just saw the program and I noticed a few odd things in it:

    – They said it was a clinical trial as they had a control group who didn’t play brain training games. It was on the internet, so how do they know this? Many of the control group ‘may’ have actually gone off and played other training games on the web.

    – The failed to mention how they tested for an improved brain. I checked out the website and it lists all the games and tests. There were 4 tests and 12 games, however only only 3 of these games actually use ideas of areas of the brain that are tested.

    Because of these 2 things I feel this study was in fact flawed itself.

    They stated that playing the games makes you better at the games, but does not improve your brain. Surely this is a contradiction as some training games get you to do math, so by doing these games you will be getting better at them and so also getting better at the math. Surely if you are improving your math then you will be improving your brain?

  • Uh, who said Brain Training makes you smarter? Certainly not Nintendo. Brain Training is exactly that, it exercises your brain; it’s not a source of information to make you more intelligent. It’s designed to stimulate parts of the brain (through improved blood flow) with its specially-designed exercises – exercises created by a neuroscientist no less. What a joke of a study.

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