Challenge: Helping consumers separate brain training wheat from brain games chaff


Brain-Train­ing Com­pa­nies Get Advice From Some Aca­d­e­mics, Crit­i­cism From Oth­ers (The Chron­i­cle of High­er Education):

…brain-game com­pa­nies entice peo­ple to buy sub­scrip­tions to their online train­ing pro­grams, many of which promise to increase cus­tomers’ “neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty,” “flu­id intel­li­gence,” and work­ing mem­o­ry capac­i­ty. They even claim to help stave off the effects of aging.

Lead­ing sci­en­tists have crit­i­cized those promis­es, though…(just released) a state­ment object­ing “to the claim that brain games offer con­sumers a sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly ground­ed avenue to reduce or reverse cog­ni­tive decline.”

Per­son­al­ly I think it falls in the same kind of cat­e­go­ry as med­ical researchers’ tak­ing mon­ey from drug com­pa­nies,” Mr. Rose said…“It’s hard to get around the fact that peo­ple don’t argue against their pock­et­book” when they stand to prof­it if the com­pa­ny does well.

Adam Gaz­za­ley, a pro­fes­sor of neu­rol­o­gy, phys­i­ol­o­gy, and psy­chi­a­try at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia at San Francisco…“In gen­er­al I think aca­d­e­mics and indus­try have to work togeth­er to have real inno­va­tions in people’s lives,” he said. “We have to learn how to work togeth­er in as trans­par­ent and effec­tive a way as possible.”

Jer­ri D. Edwards, an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of South Flori­da’s School of Aging Stud­ies, declined to sign the state­ment because she believes it con­flates sus­pect brain games with legit­i­mate cog­ni­tive-train­ing research …“I agree with the fact that there are many prod­ucts out there that may or may not be evi­dence-based,” she said. “I don’t think all the brain-train­ing com­pa­nies do that.”

Learn more:

English About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.

English About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

Top Articles on Brain Health and Neuroplasticity

Top 10 Brain Teasers and Illusions


Subscribe to our e-newsletter

* indicates required

Got the book?