Does Brain Training Work?Dr. Adrian Owen, of the UK Medical Research Council’s Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, takes a critical look at the growing field of “brain training” programs and notes some of the same issues I’ve previously written about (more than once).

It appears the “news” article is in support of a BBC program airing tonight called, Bang Goes the Theory, which is running a brain training “experiment” on its website, the Brain Test Britain experiment. Ironically, the experiment designed for the web has four of the five problems listed below! I guess nobody who designed the experiment talked to Dr. Owen first. Oops.

The five reasons Dr. Owen gives for brain training not quite “being there” in terms of the research support are:

  1. Research often does not appear in peer-reviewed journals.
  2. Brain imaging is not “proof.”
  3. Concerns about control groups used in research.
  4. The benchmarking often used shows the effects of repetitive learning on the task (e.g., practice) rather than some new “brain training.”
  5. The results are not generalizable.

Just another article reminding you that engaging in regular exercise and engaging in simple pencil and paper tasks (like Sudoku or the crossword puzzle) — both of which have good research support — are likely cheaper and more effective than most brain training programs.

Read the full article: Does brain training really work?

 


Comments


View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 1 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.


    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Sep 2009
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2009). The BBC Asks, Does Brain Training Work?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/09/07/the-bbc-asks-does-brain-training-work/

 

Recent Comments
  • Timmy: Sometimes I hate the noise other people make so much I stay in the house with white noise going to block it...
  • carol: Hi Jessymum, can u tell me more about your dietary changes helping to reduce your pain and inflammation? I...
  • jassyly: If anything means, I congrats to you, for being brave. I was growing in severely disfunctuonal...
  • Pamela Jarrett: It took me 8 years to get my hypothyroidism diagnosed. It was ruining my life. I was referred to a...
  • jassyly: Decide to love yourself and honour your life and do please, leave him for good and save your soul. I myself...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter


Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 6812
Join Us Now!