By Trishanya Raju
Picture this: You’re tired after classes on Friday. You get home, toss your back pack to the side, plop yourself onto the couch with a bag of chips and turn on that T.V. A little while later, you turn to the clock, and see that it’s been 8 hours. You toss the remote and bag of chips to the side, disgusted with yourself. You want to make up for all the brain cells you probably just killed. But you don’t want to do homework. So what do you do instead? You play those brain-training games that you constantly see advertised.
Don’t kid yourself; we’ve all been there. We’ve all tried Lumosity (or Cogmed, or BrainHQ) right? Or have at least thought about trying it, enticed by their promise that brain training can make you smarter.
But is this too good to be true? Playing a couple of games, and becoming smarter just like that? Yes, according to the Stanford University Center on Longevity and the Berlin Max Planck Institute for Human Development. They say that there is no scientific evidence to back up this theory.
The consistent conclusions from this kind of research are that when people practice one task, they get better at that it. This improvement might stretch to include some other, similar, tasks. Play a videogame, and you’ll get better at that game, and maybe similar ones (I mean come on, aren’t most warfare games are the same except for the graphics?). But you won’t get better at real-life tasks like driving a car, or designing a building.
For a more detailed article about this, visit http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/brain-training-doesn-t-make-you-smarter/
The article mentions that one of the senior researchers in this study is the University of Michigan’s own John Jonides.
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