By now you have surely heard of one of the new brain games such as Luminosity, which are being touted across TV, radio, online banners, magazines and newspaper ads. But do they really work in improving cognitive function or is it all just hype? There seems to be some debate about that across the scientific community but it is definitely a subject worth taking a better look at.
Did you know that Alzheimer’s is the second most feared disease among people in the US, coming in only behind cancer. And 22 percent of people rate it as the disease they are most afraid of getting, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. So is it any wonder that people would embrace a solution to improve memory and attention, while lessening the probability of losing cognitive function?
While there have long been exercises, puzzles, etc… said to improve brain function and stop “brain drain”, the new brain games being heavily touted today are typically video or online games that challenge the player with puzzles targeted at a large scope of subject matter including intelligence, logic, mathematics, : √ and even musical intelligence, but the key target is improving working memory.
And these brain games are big business. According to an article in Business Insider in 2011, brain games for children had sales of more than $300 million dollars. As researchers continue to study the effect of these games on players, there are skeptics and proponents, as would be expected. One study, which measured the mental agility of 621 participants both before and after training with the games, showed that just 10 hours spent with brain training games gives the participant a mental edge over non-participants up to one year later.
So, are brain games right for you or your child? It’s hard to say exactly but one thing is certain; any exercise that you do that has to do with problem solving will have an affect on the brain. As with exercise for any part of the body, performing the wrong exercise or at the wrong intensity level can be ineffective or worse. We’ve all heard that you should consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine so why would exercise for the brain be any different? The right doctor can assist with finding the best exercises for body and brain, leading to improved brain function and overall well-being, which is an invaluable resource for everyone.