The Washington Post:
Spend enough time playing “brain-training” games, and you’ll get pretty good at games. But you won’t necessarily get better at anything else.
That’s the conclusion of an extensive review published in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest this week. A team of psychologists scoured the scientific literature for studies held up by brain-training proponents as evidence that the technique works — and found the research wanting.
Training tools enhanced performance on the tasks that they tested, which makes sense: Spend enough time matching colored cards or memorizing strings of letters, and you’ll start to get really good at matching colors and memorizing letters. But there is “little evidence that training enhances performance on distantly related tasks or that training improves everyday cognitive performance,” the authors write. They also argue that the studies used to promote brain-training tools had major problems with their design or analysis that make it impossible to draw any general conclusions from them.
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