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Computerized cognitive training as brain training

sFor many years, neuropsychologists have helped individuals suffering from traumatic brain injuries relearn how to talk, walk or make decisions, etc.  Among other tools, cognitive exercises (including computer-assisted strategies) have been used to retrain abilities. However these tools are not available to the public and not everybody can afford a neuropsychologist or needs to see one. Things are changing as a variety of commercial programs is now making brain training available to the public. The challenge is to make informed decisions on which tools may be appropriate for specific needs and goals.

Since the launch of the original brain exercise hand-held computer game Brain Age (2005 in Japan, 2006 in the USA and Europe), Nintendo has proven that there is a large demand for mentally stimulating video games. These games can be seen as the next step in the chain after the traditional paper-based games such as crosswords and sudoku puzzles.

As of the end of January 2008, Nintendo has sold 17 million copies of brain exercise games worldwide since the launch of Brain Age in June 2005, with sales in the US trailing those in Japan and Europe. This success has attracted many imitation products from other gaming companies such as Sega (which released their own brain game in Japan before Nintendo, without comparable success), Majesco and Ubisoft.

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