Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Train your brain with targeted videogames, not with crossword puzzles

cognition-road-tour-combinedStudy shows men­tal agili­ty game slows cog­ni­tive decline in old­er peo­ple (Iowa Now): “Wolin­sky and col­leagues sep­a­rat­ed 681 gen­er­al­ly healthy med­ical patients in Iowa into four groups—each fur­ther sep­a­rat­ed into those 50 to 64 years of age and those over age 65. One group was giv­en com­put­er­ized cross­word puz­zles, while three oth­er groups were exposed to a video game called “Road Tour,” (since renamed “Dou­ble Deci­sion”), mar­ket­ed by Posit Sci­ence Corp…The groups that played the game at least 10 hours, either at home or in a lab at the uni­ver­si­ty, gained, and retained, at least three years of cog­ni­tive improve­ment when test­ed after one year, accord­ing to a for­mu­la devel­oped by the researchers. A group that got four addi­tion­al hours of train­ing with the game did even bet­ter, improv­ing their cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties by four years, accord­ing to the study.”

Study: A Ran­dom­ized Con­trolled Tri­al of Cog­ni­tive Train­ing Using a Visu­al Speed of Pro­cess­ing Inter­ven­tion in Mid­dle Aged and Old­er Adults (PLOS ONE)

  • Back­ground: Age-relat­ed cog­ni­tive decline is com­mon and may lead to sub­stan­tial dif­fi­cul­ties and dis­abil­i­ties in every­day life. We hypoth­e­sized that 10 hours of visu­al speed of pro­cess­ing train­ing would pre­vent age-relat­ed declines and poten­tial­ly improve cog­ni­tive pro­cess­ing speed.
  • Meth­ods: With­in two age bands (50–64 and?65) 681 patients were ran­dom­ized to (a) three com­put­er­ized visu­al speed of pro­cess­ing train­ing arms (10 hours on-site, 14 hours on-site, or 10 hours at-home) or (b) an on-site atten­tion con­trol group using com­put­er­ized cross­word puz­zles for 10 hours. The pri­ma­ry out­come was the Use­ful Field of View (UFOV) test, and the sec­ondary out­comes were the Trail Mak­ing (Trails) A and B Tests, Sym­bol Dig­it Modal­i­ties Test (SDMT), Stroop Col­or and Word Tests, Con­trolled Oral Word Asso­ci­a­tion Test (COWAT), and the Dig­it Vig­i­lance Test (DVT), which were assessed at base­line and at one year. 620 par­tic­i­pants (91%) com­plet­ed the study and were includ­ed in the analy­ses. Lin­ear mixed mod­els were used with Blom rank trans­for­ma­tions with­in age bands.
  • Con­clu­sion: Visu­al speed of pro­cess­ing train­ing deliv­ered on-site or at-home to mid­dle-aged or old­er adults using stan­dard home com­put­ers result­ed in SharpBrainsGuide_3D_compressedsta­bi­liza­tion or improve­ment in sev­er­al cog­ni­tive func­tion tests. Wide­spread imple­men­ta­tion of this inter­ven­tion is fea­si­ble.

–> To learn more about cog­ni­tive train­ing and per­son­al­ized brain train­ing, check out our new book The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness: How to Opti­mize Brain Health and Per­for­mance at Any Age

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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