Do ‘brain training’ games actually help kids’ cognitive skills?

Cogmed
Image credit: AIM Academy

In just 13 years, brain training has sprouted from a fledgling industry to a behemoth projected to be worth as much as $7.5 billion in 2020. Companies like Lumosity, LearningRx, and Cogmed lead the pack, with more than 100 million subscribers between them. Customers pay to play games and participate in programs designed to enhance their cognitive skills for the long term.

The notion that harmless and fun video games can boost kids’ memory, problem-solving skills, and focus is a powerful pitch to parents. Companies claim that these benefits are verified by “neuroscience” (ever a captivating buzzword), but how do they really stack up within the scientific literature? A trio of Spanish psychologists recently dove in to find out. Their findings are published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

Related article:  Controversial theory linking herpes to Alzheimer's bolstered by study

Reviewing all published studies with “empirical data on the use of brain training for children or adolescents” from “commercially available training applications,” the researchers found a general lack of scientific rigor. Of the reviewed work, “40 studies (68.2%) were not randomized and controlled.”

The majority of independent studies found only “near transfer” effects, meaning that training tended only to produce better performance at tasks similar to the games that subjects played. Just 15.7% of the published studies showed evidence for long-term “far transfer” effects.

“Based on our results, Brain Training Programs as commercially available products are not as effective as first expected or as they promise in their advertisements,” the reviewers summarized.

Read full, original post: Is Brain Training for Kids Scientifically Valid?

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Sometime in 2019, probably in China, SARS CoV-2 figured out a way to interact with a specific "spike" on the ...
Untitled

Philip Njemanze: Leading African anti-GMO activist claims Gates Foundation destroying Nigeria

Nigerian anti-GMO activist, physician, and inventor pushes anti-gay and anti-GMO ...

Most Popular

News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend