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The Long-Lasting Benefits of Brain Training Games

May 5, 2013, 11:15 AM

What's the Latest Development?

Researchers have found that just ten hours spent with brain training games, which typically test your brain's processing speed, can give you a mental edge over untrained peers even a year later. "Participants played the training game for 10 hours on site, some with an extra 4-hour ‘booster’ session later, or for 10 hours at home. A control group worked on computerized crossword puzzles for 10 hours on site. Researchers measured the mental agility of all 621 subjects before the brain training began, and again one year later, using eight well-established tests of cognitive performance."

What's the Big Idea?

There remains a substantial debate in the scientific community over whether brain training games really work to build the brain or just make you better at the isolated tasks which the games assign. "Peter Snyder, a neuropsychologist at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, points out that players’ performance could have improved simply because they were familiar with the game—not because their cognitive skills improved." Defenders of brain training games liken them to playing the piano: Once you learn, you carry the new experience with you forever. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at Nature



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