Does computerized cognitive training work?

Blog on Brain Training

Does computerized cognitive training work?

2015-04-04 15:36:51

Brain Scale offers you professional computerized cognitive training. But how you know if such training really work and improve your performance? What science has to say on that matter?

In 2014 several dozens of neuroscientists and psychologists sign A Consensus on the Brain Training Industry from the Scientific Community, document which reflects recent state of science behind computerized cognitive training. As we can read:

Any mentally effortful new experience, such as learning a language, acquiring a motor skill, navigating in a new environment, and, yes, playing commercially available computer games, will produce changes in those neural systems that support acquisition of the new skill.

Scientists also agree, that evidence for efficiency of computerized cognitive training are inconsistent and the representatives of the brain training industry exaggerate them in the name of marketing success. For example there is no single study indicating, that computerized cognitive training prevent dementia and Alzheimer's disease, but few organisations claim so. We have some promising evidence that N-back training improve fluid intelligence but not much more.

As cited document summarize, you should not expect, that computerized cognitive training easily improve your mental performance. It is not working as a vaccine. You need to train for prolonged time if you want to see the effects and training always should be cognitively challenging, otherwise it will simply not work. Scientists also recommend physical activity, as a good brain fitness enhancer. So, last week I showed you, how to make n-back training hard and efficient. Next week I am going to show you, how to improve your computerized cognitive training more, by implementing some cardiovascular exercise to your daily routine.

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Further reading

Au, Jacky, et al. "Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory: a meta-analysis." Psychonomic bulletin & review (2014): 1-12.

Jak, Amy J., Adriana M. Seelye, and Sarah M. Jurick. "Crosswords to computers: a critical review of popular approaches to cognitive enhancement." Neuropsychology review 23.1 (2013): 13-26.

Kueider, Alexandra M., et al. "Computerized cognitive training with older adults: a systematic review." PloS one 7.7 (2012): e40588.

Lampit, Amit, Harry Hallock, and Michael Valenzuela. "Computerized Cognitive Training in Cognitively Healthy Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Effect Modifiers." PLoS medicine 11.11 (2014): e1001756.

Melby-Lervåg, Monica, and Charles Hulme. "Is working memory training effective? A meta-analytic review." Developmental Psychology 49.2 (2013): 270.

Nouchi, Rui, and Ryuta Kawashima. "Improving Cognitive Function from Children to Old Age: A Systematic Review of Recent Smart Ageing Intervention Studies." Advances in Neuroscience 2014 (2014).