Can we park our brains on the web for a tune-up? From Luminosity to Nintendo, we’re hearing a hearty yes with a long list of benefits attached. But a recent article from The Guardian looked at the research around training the brain with online games, and found that the claims these companies make have little scientific backing.
Dr. Adam Hampshire, who helped develop a variety of brain-training tests by the Medical Research Council at Cambridge University, argues that demonstrating improvement on tasks performed through these brain-training games does not provide a sufficient claim of a brain-training or brain-altering affect. The article continues:
Most research that suggests brain-training works is fraught with difficulties: little has been peer-reviewed or conducted alongside control groups. Several companies use scans of brains “lighting up” to support claims that their programmes are effective, but these simply show a measure of the energy that the brain is using rather than providing any evidence that the brain is being altered in any long-term way. Moreover, it is unclear whether training benefits are only evident for certain sectors of the population – for example children, patients or older people.
Read The Guardian article, “Online brain training: does it really work?”