Brain Training Doesn't Make You Smarter

Posted on December 9, 2014

If you've spent more than about 5 minutes surfing the web, listening to the radio, or watching TV in the past few years, you will know that cognitive training - better known as "brain training" - is one of the hottest new trends in self improvement.

Yet, according to a statement released by the Stanford University Center on Longevity and the Berlin Max Planck Institute for Human Development, there is no solid scientific evidence to back up this promise. Signed by 70 of the world’s leading cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists, the statement minces no words:

"The strong consensus of this group is that the scientific literature does not support claims that the use of software-based "brain games" alters neural functioning in ways that improve general cognitive performance in everyday life, or prevent cognitive slowing and brain disease."

The statement also cautions that although some brain training companies "present lists of credentialed scientific consultants and keep registries of scientific studies pertinent to cognitive training…the cited research is [often] only tangentially related to the scientific claims of the company, and to the games they sell."

This is bad news for the brain training industry, but it isn't surprising. Little more than a decade ago, the consensus in psychology was that a person's intelligence, though not fixed like height, isn't easily increased. This consensus reflected a long history of failure. Psychologists had been trying to come up with ways to increase intelligence for more than a century, with little success.

Click on the link below to read the full article


Source material from Scientific American


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