Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Nintendo BrainAge, Lumosity, Happy Neuron, MyBrainTrainer…

A collection of recent announcement in the “brain games” or “brain training games” space:

The Wii sets new generational standards for the videogame industry

  • “The ageing of the Japanese population compelled gamemaker Nintendo to widen its audience. Now, the Wii is leading the industry standards. But hardcore gamers are still too important to be neglected.”

Strain your brain the smart way

  • “George Harrison, Nintendo’s senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications, has said that more than half of the company’s marketing for Wii is aimed at adults. And the system has been presented at conventions for the aging “gray gamer” population.” and talks about sudoku, Brain Age, Big Brain Academy, and more.

SBT Announces the Acquisition of Quixit

  • “Scientific Brain Training (“SBT”), based in Lyon, France, today has announced that it has acquired all of the outstanding shares of privately held Quixit, Inc. SBT was previously a minority shareholder of Quixit. Effective today, Quixit will be renamed HAPPYneuron, Inc.”

Lumos Labs just announced the release of lumosity. MyBrainTrainer and BrainBuilder are still around.

Let me add our 2 cents to the conversation:

– Lifelong learning and brain exercise/ mental stimulation have been shown to reduce the probability of developing Alzheimer’s-related symptoms as we age. Now, no one specific program has shown so far that it is better than another one in this regard. Some programs have shown good results at training and improving specific cognitive skills, which is different. You can learn more at Alzheimer’s Disease: too serious to play with headlines.

– How can one distinguish what is entertainment (which is not bad at all, but has unproven cognitive enhancement benefits) vs. real brain fitness programs? We suggest that, before buying any program, you get clear answers to the questions in the Brain Fitness Checklist below. A very important question is number 2: if you want programs with solid science behind, look for the name of the scientist behind in the PubMed database, “a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine that includes over 17 million citations from MEDLINE and other life science journals for biomedical articles back to the 1950s.” Good quality peer-reviewed research will appear there.

10 Questions to Choose the Right Brain Fitness Program for You



1. Are there scientists (ideally neuropsychologists) and a scientific advisory board behind the program?
2. Are there published, peer-reviewed scientific papers written by those scientists? How many?


3. What are the specific benefits claimed for using this program?
4. Does the program tell me what part of my brain or which cognitive skill I am exercising, and is there an independent assessment to measure my progress?
5. Is it a structured program with guidance on how many hours per week and days per week to use it?


6. Do the exercises vary and teach me something new?


7. Does the program challenge and motivate me, or does it feel like it would become easy once I learned it?


8. Does the program fit my personal goals?
9. Does the program fit my lifestyle?
10. Am I ready and willing to do the program, or would it be too stressful?

For more information on each question, see:

SharpBrains Checklist 10 Questions to Choose the Right Brain Fitness Program for You
SharpBrains Checklist Bookmark 10 Questions to Choose the Right Brain Fitness Program for You (bookmark size)

You can find more information in our Brain Fitness Topics section. Please let us know if you have any suggestions-thanks!     

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12 Responses

  1. Pat Washburn says:

    Thanks for this post, Alvaro! I’ve included it in the Medicine 2.0 Blog Carnival at The Health Wisdom Blog.

  2. Hi, I am currently working on an vr education game focusing on ADHD. I am in search of paid game consultant that can guide me the right way.

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