Brain training games are everywhere on the Internet. Their main claim is that they improve our mental capacities and decrease possible mental declines. However, a new study posted in The Journal of Neuroscience adds to the debate that these claims are not in fact based on any clinically-proven research. The study focused especially on the Lumosity brain training games. This company has had collisions with the FTC in the past.
Online Brain Training Games Have No Cognitive Benefits
The researchers looked at data from a control group of 128 young adults. They all played the Lumosity brain training games for 30 minutes, five days a week for a period of ten weeks. Data shows that not one of the participants presented any improved neural activity in their subsequent cognitive performance.
This result correlates with the conclusion of other studies regarding regular video games. Brain training games and video games made for entertainment purposes only do not improve cognitive functions in our decision-making process.
The Lumosity company, in particular, had to pay the Federal Trade Commission $2 million dollars as settlement against making false allegations regarding their product. The company’s brain training games supposedly worked as a prevention method for serious mental issues, such as Alzheimer’s. However, the FTC argued that there was no scientific data to back up these claims.
What the newest research shows is that the users simply improved at playing the games. Moreover, additional studies published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America concluded that some users might experience changes but that they do not extend beyond the placebo effect.
Researchers did make a note that the study only looked at young adults with no signs of mental issues. This limitation might not exclude the usefulness of online brain training games for another demographic. For now, however, the results do not look good for the industry.
Image source: DepositPhotos
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