Between 2014 and 2016, scientists argued whether brain games actually improved (or help prevent the decline of) cognitive functioning.
Despite the growing popularity of apps designed to sharpen the mind, such as Lumosity, scientists conclude that these brain training puzzles fail to deliver claims of improved memory.
The Brooking Park team learned of this story from NPR’s Jon Hamilton, who often covers brain-related stories. You can find Hamilton’s article here or visit SAGE journals to read the full findings (abstract).
Brain training is appealing in part because it seems to provide a quick way to enhance cognition relative to the sustained investment required by education and skill acquisition. Practicing a cognitive task consistently improves performance on that task and closely related tasks, but the available evidence that such training generalizes to other tasks or to real-world performance is not compelling.
In conclusion, as much as we’re rooting for technology to drive medical advances, the answers are not always neatly wrapped up in a fun app. Make sure you’re staying intellectually, physically, and socially active!