Have you read the cover story of the New Scientist this week: Mental muscle: six ways to boost your brain?
The article, which includes good information on brain food, the value of meditation, etc., starts by saying that: “Brain training doesn’t work, but there are lots of other ways to give your grey matter a quick boost.” Further in the article you can read “… brain training software has now been consigned to the shelf of technologies that failed to live up to expectations.”
Such claims are based on the one study widely publicized earlier this year: the BBC “brain training” experiment, published by Owen et al. (2010) in Nature.
What happened to the scientific rigor associated with the New Scientist?
As expressed in one of our previous posts: “Once more, claims seem to go beyond the science backing them up … except that in this case it is the researchers, not the developers, who are responsible.” (See BBC “Brain Training” Experiment: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly).
Read our two previous posts to get to the heart of the BBC study and what it really means. As Alvaro Fernandez and Dr. Zelinski explore the potential scientific flaws of the study, they both point out that there are very promising published examples of brain training methodologies that seem to work.
BBC “Brain Training” Experiment: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly
Scientific critique of BBC/ Nature Brain Training Experiment