Brain Training doesn't train your brain

It looks like all of you space-brain people able to do math quickly on your DS are going to have to stop bragging about your genius level IQs. Apparently, Brain Age isn’t doing squat for your think box. A research study recently published by scientific smarty-pants journal Nature has revealed that brain-training games cause next to no improvement in your cognitive abilities. Damn you, Science!

In the study, a UK television series called Bang Goes The Theory gathered over 11,000 volunteers to test the effectiveness of brain-training exercises. The volunteers were split into three different groups: the first group engaged in brain-training exercises; the second utilized much more standard cognitive exercises; and a third group browsed porn (or whatever other people do when trolling the web) on the internet while answering random questions every now and then. The tests lasted for six weeks. The entire process ended with a point of reference test to track improvement in standard cognitive functions.

The conclusion? All groups improved in the brain tests they were taking and each showed small, similar increases in the final test. Basically, playing Brain Age makes you better at Brain Age - not grad-school level calculus.

So, in the end, video game marketing consists of lying liars, science ruins everybody’s fun, and Brain Age is still great. If your own gray matter wants more info on this, check it out here.

Apr 20, 2010


  • revelmob - May 27, 2010 3:51 p.m.

    Since we are on the topic of Brain Testing, have you tried this recently released free BrainAgeTest: What's you actual age?
  • DVTC - April 21, 2010 5:21 p.m.

    bah, that's like saying playing brain age doesn't help your homework. I thought focus on that game is to have players keep their brains used instead of just having them as an accessory. Which is why the game tells player's age of the brain, not IQ or something like "you should study calculus before studying physics" or something. Just by going through and solving simple math and word problems, the brain gets its exercise. Similar to saying our body requires regulated time based exercise or stretch is needed before going into a pool, daily exercise is good for health, but doesn't help you with basketball skill, stretch before swimming makes body to be in active state, but doesn't really make you go faster in water. So,, um.. yeah.
  • nomnom52 - April 21, 2010 6:16 a.m.

    @Cwf2008: He means Weed day, Not Hitlers B-day.
  • Cwf2008 - April 21, 2010 3:24 a.m.

    @AnonymouZ: And we care about Hitler's birthday why?
  • AnonymouZ - April 21, 2010 2:38 a.m.

    double POST! i meant WASTED on that second paragraph, second hours word.... you know what i meant. it's not like i'm high or anything. btw guys, today is april the 20th. (420) if yous didn't know. xD
  • AnonymouZ - April 21, 2010 2:36 a.m.

    oh my. well there goes money wasted. wait... so... if repeating and doing math problems don't help shit... why do we take "courses" for tests. There goes a couple of more hours for SAT test taking HOURS. Hours that in high school coulda been spend HIGH.
  • Redeater - April 21, 2010 2:15 a.m.

    lol. Classic. Maybe we can go back to real games now?
  • FriendlyFire - April 21, 2010 2:02 a.m.

    Just like anything, this is no miracle panacea. You get better at what you practice and that's all there is to it. @airules: The point is that Brain Age does not have a global effect on the brain, it merely does what any other exercise would do: stimulate and thus strengthen the areas of the brain that you use. You could've filled a sheet of math questions or played Brain Age and it would've had the same result, and that's the point of this study. @WillisTron: Placebo effect is surely a part of that feeling.
  • WillisTron - April 21, 2010 1:24 a.m.

    @ airules I agree, just because one British study says something doesn't make it fact. I did brain training for a good while and I did feel quicker on my toes, not that THAT validates my point but still
  • airules - April 21, 2010 1:10 a.m.

    I completely disagree. Whilst perhaps it doesnt increase your mental ability on the whole it does increase it in the skills you use. For example by doing the quick maths questions everyday I noticed a significant increase in my ability for speedy mental arithmatic. However my quantum physics didnt improve.
  • Cyberninja - April 21, 2010 12:56 a.m.

    next time their is a survey like that i am going to join the thrid group so i can go on GR more.
  • ventanger - April 21, 2010 12:45 a.m.

    I knew this since the game came out.

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