Brain Training Games Don't Improve General Cognition

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A study, published online by the journal Nature, concludes that brain-training-style games failure to improve general cognition. While participants improved at the exercises being practiced, researchers found "no evidence to support the widely held belief that the regular use of computerized brain trainers improves general cognitive functioning in healthy participants beyond those tasks that are actually being trained."
In a study of 11,430 volunteers aged 18 to 60, participants were divided into three groups. Two groups were assigned different sorts of brain-training exercises and asked to do those exercises at least 10 minutes per day, three times a week for six weeks. The third group was simply asked to answer obscure questions using online resources.

Participants improved their performance on the specific tests that were being practiced, but did not improve on general cognitive tests. Any improvement on the test at the end of the study could be attributed to the effect of repeat testing.

Researchers noted that it was possible that the length of the study was insufficient, but noticed that the differences between people who trained only a few times and those who trained for many more than the minimum number of sessions were negligible.

In summary, playing brain-training games makes you better at the games themselves, but those skills aren't necessarily transferable to other tests or life in general.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on April 22, 2010 5:45 PM.

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