Team McCallum

R&D for Lifetime of Life

Bang goes the brain training theory?

Neuroscientist Dr Adrian Owen and others conclude in a letter to the journal Nature that brain training console games do not improve general thinking capability, irrespective of age or gender.

11,400 people were tested on general measures of thinking, then split into 3 groups, each focussing on one area of training for at least 10 minutes a day, 3 times a week, over 6 weeks.

Group 1 worked on reasoning, planning and problem-solving. Group 2 played games designed to be like commercial console brain-training games. Group 3 researched obscure trivia using a number of sources including the Internet.

The results showed that in the highly specific areas covered in training, large gains were made, but these did not translate into general thinking improvement, even in closely related areas of intelligence.

The research was designed by scientists from the Medical Research Council and the Alzheimer’s Society and was conducted via the BBC. A programme on this appears tomorrow (April 21st) on the BBC1.


April 20, 2010 - Posted by | Adrian Owen, Aging, Alzheimer's, Brain, Gender, Learning, Memory, Psychology, Science

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