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

Jordan Baughman is a freelance journalist who has written for the likes of GamesRadar and Gamer magazine. With a passion for video games and esports, Baughman has been covering the industry for years now, and even hopped the fence to work as a public relations coordinator for clients that include EA, Capcom, Namco, and more.