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Lead Scientists Blow the Lid Off Of Brain-Training Games |

Adrian Own, assistant director and senior researcher at the Cognition and Brain Sciences unit at Britain’s Medical Research Council, published a new study. From his website:

“The results of our brain training study involving 11,000 people will be published in Nature today. The study, conducted in collaboration with the BBC, showed that practice on brain training games doesn’t transfer to other mental skills. In short, brain training does not make you smarter.”

Wow. I guess Sudoku wasn’t the culmination of intellectual achievement that everyone had presumed?

I’m not a leading neuroscience PhD researcher at a leading research institution like that guy, nor can I get my research published in Nature, but I’ve uncovered a few shockers myself:

You know those fancy bottled beverages at the gas station that claim to improve memory, intelligence, stamina, strength, zen, etc? Nope, it’s just colored sugar water.

How about those fitness video games such as Wii Fit that help you lose weight and get in shape? Guess what? Squats, deadlifts, pull ups, swimming laps, distance running, bicycling, or team sports actually work a heck of a lot better.

  • EdEN

    Well, the same can be said of any other activities based on repetition. I for one can say that Brain Age does make a difference in your eye-hand coordination and your reaction time which are great abilities to enhance.

    It’s like when they said that Wii Fit isn’t exercise to which my sweating and I beg to differ…

  • Well as a physiologist, neurologist, and nutritionist, I can educationally say that any activity in the brain that requires complex thought, ie. calculations, problem solving, etc., stimulates brain wave activity, thereby increasing blood flow, and the exchange of nutrients, incresing the nurishment of the brain tissue. I will have to look at this research, which I ignorantly dispute.
    Oh, and the wii fit.. HOLY CRAP!!.. lol it can be used/played at a easy level, or used to be a great exercise program.

  • EdEN

    I burn between 100-350 calories with Wii Fit along with drumming for 30 minutes at least 3 times a week which represents another 200 calories. Burning 300-550 calories is better than burning NOTHING and I also get a chart to register all my exercise regime and calorie burn.

    An Brain Age might not be the end all be all solution but it provides a good template for working out different parts of the brain. Are there better ways to do so? Sure, but they’re not as fun or convenient.

  • Darrin

    ok, you two win. Wii Fit counts as exercise. Just please don’t tell me that Guitar Hero is almost as good as learning to play a real guitar.

  • Jay

    lmao. Rock Band is definitely decent at teaching you how to keep a rhythm on the drums at least

  • EdEN

    Well, guitar in RB and GH isn’t enough to teach you to play guitar but drumming in GH IS very close to actual drumming since it has a Hi Hat/Crash Cymbal, Snare, Two toms and a Ride/Crash Cymbal. Drummin in RB is different since the circles magically change around to what it would relate to in an actual drumset.

    I used to own a Tama Set but endep up selling it last year after seeeveral years of playing due to space/budget reasons and ever since I drum on GH to keep in shape and practice. Not as loud as an actual kit and good enough as a substitute.

  • Darrin

    The drums are basically real drums, where the guitar controller just looks like a guitar. Now if only they could do help you learn other instruments in a similar manner.

  • And DJ Hero is nothing like owning a real set of 1’s and 2’s. 😛