Brain Training Games Don't Work

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Brain Training Games Don't Work

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Bad news for all you people counting on "brain training" videogames to make you smarter: They won't.

I'll be the first to admit it: I'm not a very smart guy. Fortunately, I realized that I could finally put my love of videogames to good use and rectify that situation by spending time playing one of the many "brain training" games currently on the market. Ah, but I'll be the first to admit something else: I'm also kind of a lazy bugger, so I never bothered. Turns out that was the right move all along.

A study in the U.K. had more than 11,000 people play brain training games over a six week period and then compared them to a control group that spent the same amount of time just screwing around on the internet. The shocking result? On a "range of tests," those with trained brains performed no better than the internet goof-offs.

"The results are clear," said Dr Adrian Owen, assistant director of Medical Research Council's Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge. "Statistically, there are no significant differences between the improvements seen in participants who played our brain training games, and those who just went on the internet for the same length of time."

Those who played the games did get better at them, but the improvement was strictly a matter of practice; spend six weeks playing Halo 3 and you'll get better at that, too, but it doesn't mean your IQ has suddenly jumped 20 points. "The holy grail of brain training is that it has some genuine effect on mental ability or intelligence and what we showed was that was categorically not the case," Owen added.

There is still some potential benefit, however: While the study concluded that these games don't enhance brain power, the question of whether or not they can help slow the decline of mental skills commonly associated with aging remains unanswered. So keep at it, dad!

Source: The Telegraph

Permalink

that's severly depressing. i was going to buy sevreral after i started my job...

Of course not, why would they? Dont people understand yet there isnt a quick fix to most things?

NPR did a great showcase on this story...where the real news comes from.

Hahah!! This is awesome.

Now I can rub this in the faces of those assholes who think they're so smart for playing Brain Age.

Take that grandma!

practising maths may not raise your IQ, but it will make you faster at doing maths, so not all is lost.

Heh, good to know I'm not becoming dumber in comparison to those people that play them then.
But it doesn't surprise me to be honest.

Also, loving the doctor's last name. As it is also my last name. :D

Well...thanks for the heads up? I suppose.

I was so happy when I saw this on the news the other night. The only time I've felt that way when there's been a 'games are bad for you' vibe on the TV.

That's what i was going to say that they probably help slow down alz heimer and other syntoms of mental skills decline related to aging

I see an opportunity for free money here. Who wants to join me in suing Nintendo for false advertisement?

If that picture is any indication of the challenge these games pose, I am not surprised.

Also, I'm not sure six weeks is enough time to draw conclusions. If you compare it to body building, there is not much that can be achieved in six weeks time. And I'm gessing that advancement in cognitive abilities are more difficuilt to measure than muscle mass.

Unfortunately the game wasn't designed to make anyone smarter. That may be what the Western advertising may have said but here in Japan, the main goal was to make poeple's minds more ACTIVE, which it doesn't take a genius to do.

The game was made in response to Japan's serious population ageing problem, and for all intents and purposes, it worked. I guess, though most developed nations have greying populations as well, they are nowhere near as obsessed or troubled about it as Japan, where the game sold like hotcakes but probably was as effective as doing crosswords and Sudoku everyday.

AND: Did any OFFICIAL source every directly say that Brainage would improve 'mental ability and intelligence' or is that just how the media interpreted the claim of increasing activity?

UberNoodle:
Unfortunately the game wasn't designed to make anyone smarter. That may be what the Western advertising may have said but here in Japan, the main goal was to make poeple's minds more ACTIVE, which it doesn't take a genius to do.

The game was made in response to Japan's serious population ageing problem, and for intents and purposes, it worked. I guess, though most developed nations have greying populations as well, they are nowhere near as obsessed or troubled about it as Japan, where the game sold like hotcakes but probably was as effective as doing crosswords and Sudoku everyday.

Aw, you said it way better than I did.

Julianking93:
Hahah!! This is awesome.

Now I can rub this in the faces of those assholes who think they're so smart for playing Brain Age.

Take that grandma!

That's so mean. D: But your avatar is SO CUTE!! X_X

Daww man and here i thought those brain vidjamagames were making me a whole losta smarts.

Back on topic: The should also have done a study on the effects of playing games like Modern Warfare and Battlefield Bad Company turn you into an asshole douche

Probation? Really? Whatever the hell I said isn't half as bad as ANYTHING out of Yahtzee's mouth.

I think the Beeb did a "Bang goes the theory" about this...
After looking through the source, it seems I was correct. I'm glad I read the source before I posted...

Anyway, I always had a sneaking suspicion that this was the case, or something similar.
I'll probably go and watch the show on iPlayer later if I can be bothered to press a few buttons and not do work for an hour.

Except the point of Brain age games really is the application of knowledge and that is where video games can excel when it comes to "education" games.

You can't expect a game for say Microsoft Excel certification to truly teach you how to use the software and how to create complex functions. However a game is perfect just like a test for those who want to apply their knowledge. Video games are great because of their low entry and low risk levels when it comes to trying new things. There just really isn't a market to try and make games that would actually apply to a person's career.

Gaming King:
Probation? Really? Whatever the hell I said isn't half as bad as ANYTHING out of Yahtzee's mouth.

*Facepalm*
Yahtzee is payed for his wit, brutal honesty and crudeness.
You are not being payed for your realtively un-witty, and crude post, that is insulting to the people who carried out the test and found these results, and also shows that you think of homosexuality as a bad thing, and while you're entitled to your own opinion, being offensive like that is looked down on by mods[1] and the fact that these researchers are from the UK should have no bearing on the validity of the results.

If you want to see exactly where you ran afoul of the mods, I would suggest reading the forum guidelines.

[1] Big understatement.

I'm doing a PhD in Psychology and my response to this story was "well duh".

You'd struggle to find any Psychologist (not being paid by the companies that make these games) who ever actually thought that it had any effect on intelligence. They just make you better at playing the game.

SeanTheSheep:

Gaming King:
Probation? Really? Whatever the hell I said isn't half as bad as ANYTHING out of Yahtzee's mouth.

*Facepalm*
Yahtzee is payed for his wit, brutal honesty and crudeness.
You are not being payed for your realtively un-witty, and crude post, that is insulting to the people who carried out the test and found these results, and also shows that you think of homosexuality as a bad thing, and while you're entitled to your own opinion, being offensive like that is looked down on by mods[1] and the fact that these researchers are from the UK should have no bearing on the validity of the results.

If you want to see exactly where you ran afoul of the mods, I would suggest reading the forum guidelines.

Nobody ever uses the word "fag" to refer to homosexuals anymore. And Yahtzee uses it all the time. It's on this damn website, and I think it's a pretty funny word. I'm not calling anyone on this board a fag, so who gives a shit?

[1] Big understatement.

gaming king.please go back to the game-faqs forums if you are just going to get into fights like these and wont get that saying these things gets you probated.

on topic:this is not a surprise.

Tenmar:
Except the point of Brain age games really is the application of knowledge and that is where video games can excel when it comes to "education" games.

You can't expect a game for say Microsoft Excel certification to truly teach you how to use the software and how to create complex functions. However a game is perfect just like a test for those who want to apply their knowledge. Video games are great because of their low entry and low risk levels when it comes to trying new things. There just really isn't a market to try and make games that would actually apply to a person's career.

Where did I left the link of the Japanese Macdonald employees being trained by the nintendo DS.

Gaming King:

SeanTheSheep:

Gaming King:
Probation? Really? Whatever the hell I said isn't half as bad as ANYTHING out of Yahtzee's mouth.

*Facepalm*
Yahtzee is payed for his wit, brutal honesty and crudeness.
You are not being payed for your realtively un-witty, and crude post, that is insulting to the people who carried out the test and found these results, and also shows that you think of homosexuality as a bad thing, and while you're entitled to your own opinion, being offensive like that is looked down on by mods[1] and the fact that these researchers are from the UK should have no bearing on the validity of the results.

If you want to see exactly where you ran afoul of the mods, I would suggest reading the forum guidelines.

Nobody ever uses the word "fag" to refer to homosexuals anymore. And Yahtzee uses it all the time. It's on this damn website, and I think it's a pretty funny word. I'm not calling anyone on this board a fag, so who gives a shit?

I may not be the best source, considering here in England, a "fag" is a cigarette, but from what I've heard from various tales of Xbox live, the term "fag" is alive and doing well to accuse people of being gay in a negative light.
And the fact you didn't insult ayone on this board is for one: untrue, and second, irrelevant anyway.
Why is it untrue? Because there is a rather large LGBT community on the escapist, from what I've seen in threads about sexuality. Just look at the Escapist Gay-mers group, totalling over 100 members, (Though I imagine that a fair amount of those are in support of the cause, rather than gay themselves) and by implying homosexuality as a negative trait, you insulted them.

Why is it irrelevant?
Because you shouldn't be offending people full stop.
If I were to make offensive comments about... Say sufferers of Asperger's Syndrome, I would get a probation at the very least, despite (To my knowledge) no sufferers of Asperger's on this forum. I still (Hypothetically) insulted them.

I'd rather leave this now, because I don't want to:
A) Feed the trolls, and
B) Derail the thread with a flame war.

[1] Big understatement.

AHA! I knew it! I am SO going to rub this in my mate's face! HA!
But really, I think the whole point of these 'games' is to keep your memory fresh or something like that.

Playing Need for speed does not make me a better driver.

Playing Fifa does not make me a better footballer.

This law pretty much holds up.

stuff like that wont raise your IQ, i dont think you can buy anything to do that, just hope it improves your dexterity or memory.

Look these games aren't meant to make you smarter, they're meant to make you think faster, there is a difference in raising IQ and improving your reaction time.

Buleet:
gaming king.please go back to the game-faqs forums if you are just going to get into fights like these and wont get that saying these things gets you probated.

on topic:this is not a surprise.

Uh, how do you know I use GameFAGs? Look, the thing I hate most about GameFAQs is that they don't let you say anything you want to say. You can't say ANYTHING politically incorrect, and I should hope that this forum, where I can go ahead and say this: "FUCK THE FUCKING FUCKERS," would be more mature than GameFAQs and realize, "Hey. Things are more fun when people don't worry about offending others." Hell, that's one of my favorite things about Yahtzee.

SeanTheSheep:
I may not be the best source, considering here in England, a "fag" is a cigarette, but from what I've heard from various tales of Xbox live, the term "fag" is alive and doing well to accuse people of being gay in a negative light.
And the fact you didn't insult ayone on this board is for one: untrue, and second, irrelevant anyway.
Why is it untrue? Because there is a rather large LGBT community on the escapist, from what I've seen in threads about sexuality. Just look at the Escapist Gay-mers group, totalling over 100 members, (Though I imagine that a fair amount of those are in support of the cause, rather than gay themselves) and by implying homosexuality as a negative trait, you insulted them.

Why is it irrelevant?
Because you shouldn't be offending people full stop.
If I were to make offensive comments about... Say sufferers of Asperger's Syndrome, I would get a probation at the very least, despite (To my knowledge) no sufferers of Asperger's on this forum. I still (Hypothetically) insulted them.

I'd rather leave this now, because I don't want to:
A) Feed the trolls, and
B) Derail the thread with a flame war.

First of all, at least here in America, if you call someone "gay," it's just another word for "stupid." If you're actually insulting someone for being homosexual, you make sexual references. Well, I guess if you called someone who was openly and obviously gay a fag, then that would count as insulting them for being gay, but someone who is straight or whose sexual orientation is ambiguous, when called "gay" or "fag" is being called "stupid." It depends on who's saying it and who it's being said to. And I wouldn't use Xbox LIVE as a benchmark for anything. Those people are sick.

Okay, so you say there's a large "LGBT" community on here? Okay, fine. I'm not insulting any of them for being what they are. However, I don't accept the notion of "transsexuality." Sorry, but in my opinion, people who identify that way should accept that they were born with what they were born with. Nothing wrong with living as a very effeminate man or a very masculine woman. Hell, I'm pretty effeminate. Anyway, if you are a transsexual, and I have met one, I don't automatically dislikie you. I just think your perception of yourself is incorrect. Doesn't mean we can't be pals. And as for your notion of me saying homosexuality is a negative trait, I'm not. BUT, let's say I was, for the sake of this excellent discussion. I still wouldn't be insulting any homosexuals. If they want to FEEL insulted, that's on them. But so what if I were to say homosexuality is a negative trait? Doesn't mean I HATE homosexuals. Just means I think heterosexuality is a better lifestyle. Understand what I mean? To give an example to support this hypothetical viewpoint, I can say that only a male and female can reproduce together. Besides, thinking homosexuality is a negative trait is an opinion that one is entitled to. However, I don't think people have the right to hate someone based upon being homosexual, bisexual, "transsexual," paedosexual, or what have you. For all you know, that gay guy you think you hate so much might be a really stand-up, moral dude who has never done it with a guy in his life. And paedosexuals for the most part NEVER do anything to children. That brings me to your next point.

How excellent for me that you mention Asperger's Syndrome. I DO have that. I all but denied the disorder's existence, actually, until it started getting in the way of my aspirations. Guess what? What my case boils down to is that I piss people off without realizing why. Like whoever the hell reported my post! Like the people I was volunteering with at a martial arts place! The latter has probably cost me a lot of gawddamn money by now. I haven't even been there in about a month and a half since a little girl started giving me problems, which lead to a sensei showing me some rather shocking disrespect, which led to it coming out that I apparently pissed off a lot of people, including the parents, who never said a GAWD DAMN WORD TO ME. So over at that place, I suffered some major sexism, and possibly autistic spectrum discrimination, which my mom taught me about sometime around the incident with the sensei that made me leave. Asperger's probably also wrecked what I was trying to do with my school before that. That same school has contacted my much more successful YOUNGER brother to mooch off his art. He doesn't go there anymore. So now I have to deal with this martial arts place AND this school run by a stinking jerk. If I can work something out and end up back at the martial arts place, I'll probably miss what was to be a very important belt test to me that would put me in the upper Kyu ranks. Thank GOD that the new martial arts place I've joined is run by such a nice guy who, completely opposite the other place, WANTED me to come in and help with kids' classes instead of doing what the other place did, which was start to discourage me from it. Ironically, I was the best teacher in the joint. But nobody knew that because they didn't bother to communicate with me. All they saw were my little social flaws brought on by a very mild autistic spectrum disorder and it apparently really annoyed them. Idiots.

Now, back to the paedosexuality point I touched on earlier, aside from real, tangible discrimination and/or misunderstanding based on my age, gender, and condition, I've been discriminated against for something that I don't even have. People on the Assholenet love to call me a "pedo." Guess what? I'm not. I guess this really goes back to sexism, though. Since I'm a guy and I like children, that's what people say. Hell, it's extended to my in-person life a little bit, too, even. At the school I mentioned, in my last year, people started making jokes like I was a paedophile or something. One time, in a discussion with some of the Middle School kids there, as they kept trying to figure me out (I'm asexual, and they just kinda refused to buy it), when the topic of adoption came up, I said it was harder for a single person to do that, and one of the boys said, "Oh, yeah, because they might think you're like a child molester or something," and a friggen 12-year-old girl goes under her breath, "He probably is." And I was like, "What did you just say?" "You probably are." And then I was just like, ugh, that's really mean. More recently, where I'm at now, last year, two dudes I talked to frequently insisted I was "a lolicon." (If you don't know, that's basically the Japanese slang for a paedosexual.) And I had to just keep on sayin', "I love little girls, but I don't want to [insert sexual reference here] them." And even more recently, one of my best friends has acted jokingly suspicious of me, but he believes me when I say I don't want to [insert sexual reference here] little girls. Oh, and the taunts issued me by the little girl at the martial arts place? Based on her being a little b--MUST... RESIST... URGE... TO... BE... MEAN--and suggesting, probably jokingly (BETTER have been), that I was trying to look at her flat-ass 10-year-old chest. I mean, REALLY? If I wanted to check some pancakes, I'd go to IHOP.

So bottom line is, I'm no stranger to people saying INCREDIBLY offensive things about me, to me, etc. But I'm a big boy and I can take it. So should the gays and whoever else has a problem with something I say. If you don't like something I say, just challenge me on it and we can even have a nice little debate if you like. Or you can just tell me, "You're a fag," and go do something else, and that would be fine by me.

Also: Sorry that's so long, but if it took me an hour to write (and it did, or at least 55 minutes), you can take 3-5 minutes to read it. ^_^

Great discussion, by the way, I like how you challenged me.

You can stop now. It's okay.

OT: I think they've got the wrong end of the stick. I think that goofing off on the internet makes you smarter too, and that's how they got the same results!

I am so clever. Mainly because I spend so much time on the internets.

I never though they would, but, I also dont think they were ever designed to make you smarter, just keep you active and thinking, and, I think it does that pretty well

LIES! :O
I played one of the brain training games on the DS,
and if I played it right before I went to school,
I was a lot more attentive in classes, and felt a lot more awake.

so they might not improve IQ, but they do have positive effects on my mental state.

Gaming King:

Buleet:
gaming king.please go back to the game-faqs forums if you are just going to get into fights like these and wont get that saying these things gets you probated.

on topic:this is not a surprise.

Uh, how do you know I use GameFAGs? Look, the thing I hate most about GameFAQs is that they don't let you say anything you want to say. You can't say ANYTHING politically incorrect, and I should hope that this forum, where I can go ahead and say this: "FUCK THE FUCKING FUCKERS," would be more mature than GameFAQs and realize, "Hey. Things are more fun when people don't worry about offending others." Hell, that's one of my favorite things about Yahtzee.

SeanTheSheep:
I may not be the best source, considering here in England, a "fag" is a cigarette, but from what I've heard from various tales of Xbox live, the term "fag" is alive and doing well to accuse people of being gay in a negative light.
And the fact you didn't insult ayone on this board is for one: untrue, and second, irrelevant anyway.
Why is it untrue? Because there is a rather large LGBT community on the escapist, from what I've seen in threads about sexuality. Just look at the Escapist Gay-mers group, totalling over 100 members, (Though I imagine that a fair amount of those are in support of the cause, rather than gay themselves) and by implying homosexuality as a negative trait, you insulted them.

Why is it irrelevant?
Because you shouldn't be offending people full stop.
If I were to make offensive comments about... Say sufferers of Asperger's Syndrome, I would get a probation at the very least, despite (To my knowledge) no sufferers of Asperger's on this forum. I still (Hypothetically) insulted them.

I'd rather leave this now, because I don't want to:
A) Feed the trolls, and
B) Derail the thread with a flame war.

First of all, at least here in America, if you call someone "gay," it's just another word for "stupid." If you're actually insulting someone for being homosexual, you make sexual references. Well, I guess if you called someone who was openly and obviously gay a fag, then that would count as insulting them for being gay, but someone who is straight or whose sexual orientation is ambiguous, when called "gay" or "fag" is being called "stupid." It depends on who's saying it and who it's being said to. And I wouldn't use Xbox LIVE as a benchmark for anything. Those people are sick.

Okay, so you say there's a large "LGBT" community on here? Okay, fine. I'm not insulting any of them for being what they are. However, I don't accept the notion of "transsexuality." Sorry, but in my opinion, people who identify that way should accept that they were born with what they were born with. Nothing wrong with living as a very effeminate man or a very masculine woman. Hell, I'm pretty effeminate. Anyway, if you are a transsexual, and I have met one, I don't automatically dislikie you. I just think your perception of yourself is incorrect. Doesn't mean we can't be pals. And as for your notion of me saying homosexuality is a negative trait, I'm not. BUT, let's say I was, for the sake of this excellent discussion. I still wouldn't be insulting any homosexuals. If they want to FEEL insulted, that's on them. But so what if I were to say homosexuality is a negative trait? Doesn't mean I HATE homosexuals. Just means I think heterosexuality is a better lifestyle. Understand what I mean? To give an example to support this hypothetical viewpoint, I can say that only a male and female can reproduce together. Besides, thinking homosexuality is a negative trait is an opinion that one is entitled to. However, I don't think people have the right to hate someone based upon being homosexual, bisexual, "transsexual," paedosexual, or what have you. For all you know, that gay guy you think you hate so much might be a really stand-up, moral dude who has never done it with a guy in his life. And paedosexuals for the most part NEVER do anything to children. That brings me to your next point.

How excellent for me that you mention Asperger's Syndrome. I DO have that. I all but denied the disorder's existence, actually, until it started getting in the way of my aspirations. Guess what? What my case boils down to is that I piss people off without realizing why. Like whoever the hell reported my post! Like the people I was volunteering with at a martial arts place! The latter has probably cost me a lot of gawddamn money by now. I haven't even been there in about a month and a half since a little girl started giving me problems, which lead to a sensei showing me some rather shocking disrespect, which led to it coming out that I apparently pissed off a lot of people, including the parents, who never said a GAWD DAMN WORD TO ME. So over at that place, I suffered some major sexism, and possibly autistic spectrum discrimination, which my mom taught me about sometime around the incident with the sensei that made me leave. Asperger's probably also wrecked what I was trying to do with my school before that. That same school has contacted my much more successful YOUNGER brother to mooch off his art. He doesn't go there anymore. So now I have to deal with this martial arts place AND this school run by a stinking jerk. If I can work something out and end up back at the martial arts place, I'll probably miss what was to be a very important belt test to me that would put me in the upper Kyu ranks. Thank GOD that the new martial arts place I've joined is run by such a nice guy who, completely opposite the other place, WANTED me to come in and help with kids' classes instead of doing what the other place did, which was start to discourage me from it. Ironically, I was the best teacher in the joint. But nobody knew that because they didn't bother to communicate with me. All they saw were my little social flaws brought on by a very mild autistic spectrum disorder and it apparently really annoyed them. Idiots.

Now, back to the paedosexuality point I touched on earlier, aside from real, tangible discrimination and/or misunderstanding based on my age, gender, and condition, I've been discriminated against for something that I don't even have. People on the Assholenet love to call me a "pedo." Guess what? I'm not. I guess this really goes back to sexism, though. Since I'm a guy and I like children, that's what people say. Hell, it's extended to my in-person life a little bit, too, even. At the school I mentioned, in my last year, people started making jokes like I was a paedophile or something. One time, in a discussion with some of the Middle School kids there, as they kept trying to figure me out (I'm asexual, and they just kinda refused to buy it), when the topic of adoption came up, I said it was harder for a single person to do that, and one of the boys said, "Oh, yeah, because they might think you're like a child molester or something," and a friggen 12-year-old girl goes under her breath, "He probably is." And I was like, "What did you just say?" "You probably are." And then I was just like, ugh, that's really mean. More recently, where I'm at now, last year, two dudes I talked to frequently insisted I was "a lolicon." (If you don't know, that's basically the Japanese slang for a paedosexual.) And I had to just keep on sayin', "I love little girls, but I don't want to [insert sexual reference here] them." And even more recently, one of my best friends has acted jokingly suspicious of me, but he believes me when I say I don't want to [insert sexual reference here] little girls. Oh, and the taunts issued me by the little girl at the martial arts place? Based on her being a little b--MUST... RESIST... URGE... TO... BE... MEAN--and suggesting, probably jokingly (BETTER have been), that I was trying to look at her flat-ass 10-year-old chest. I mean, REALLY? If I wanted to check some pancakes, I'd go to IHOP.

So bottom line is, I'm no stranger to people saying INCREDIBLY offensive things about me, to me, etc. But I'm a big boy and I can take it. So should the gays and whoever else has a problem with something I say. If you don't like something I say, just challenge me on it and we can even have a nice little debate if you like. Or you can just tell me, "You're a fag," and go do something else, and that would be fine by me.

dude... chill out, this post is about brain training, you could've easily said that to the person you were replying to in a private message =S

The study is flawed, I mean big time flawed. They eliminated information processing out of the equation and focused on applying knowledge, and changing preferences in Cognition. Brain games are all about improving information processing.

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