The latest research found that brain training games may no better than any sort of regular game, including even video games.
The research team claims that these seemingly failed to sharpen decision-making skills. Nor did they present an improved memory or cognitive skills, in general. While they did show some improvements, these were reportedly not statistically relevant.
Brain Training Games Debunked?
This new research involved 128 young adults, aged between 18 to 35 years old. These were split into two equal groups, one of them being asked to play video games over ten weeks, and five times each week. Remaining participants received an intensive Lumosity training, over the same period and conditions.
According to the study team, they focused on young people because the “brain is more susceptible to change at younger ages”. Participants had to pass through two batteries of tests. One of them was conducted before and the other after the training or playing sessions.
The tests assessed their reasoning abilities and decision-making skills. During these analyses, the participants’ brain activity was also monitored thanks to MRI scans.
Results showed that the brain training games represented by Lumosity had no significant effect on the brain activity. Namely, the research found no differences in the decision-making process between the members of the two groups.
Lumosity trainees also did not return higher results in general memory tests or in their reasoning skills. A third group of people that did not receive training, nor played video games, returned the same results as these other two.
“Like with physical activity, they do get better at the exact things they practice. But they don’t improve on other activities for which they don’t practice,” stated Joseph Kable.
He is the lead author and a University of Pennsylvania associate professor of psychology. Research findings are available in the Journal of Neuroscience.
According to the study team, older people or those with declining mental abilities might gain some benefits from brain training games. However, more research is needed in both areas.
Still, in the case of young people, such activities seemed to improve just a particular area, but have no general effect or lead to no significant improvement.
Image Source: Flickr
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