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The Brain-Games Conun­drum: Does Cog­ni­tive Train­ing Real­ly Sharp­en the Mind? (Cere­brum):

…the issue of what does and doesn’t work is complex…The crit­i­cal ques­tion is whether trans­fer of train­ing occurs. Does extend­ed prac­tice of the trained games result in gen­er­al per­cep­tu­al and cog­ni­tive improve­ments that boost per­for­mance of mean­ing­ful, real-life tasks such as dri­ving, remem­ber­ing names and faces, and keep­ing track of finances?…

While many the­o­ret­i­cal accounts of learn­ing reflect skep­ti­cism regard­ing the abil­i­ty of cog­ni­tive train­ing to improve the per­for­mance of untrained tasks, under cer­tain con­di­tions and with cer­tain types of train­ing, these effects may be observ­able. These the­o­ret­i­cal accounts make it clear that it is not safe to assume that all types of cog­ni­tive train­ing will pro­duce mean­ing­ful ben­e­fits affect­ing impor­tant every­day tasks.

Empir­i­cal evi­dence that cer­tain soft­ware pack­ages and dig­i­tal games are capa­ble of improv­ing per­cep­tu­al and cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties that trans­fer to untrained tasks is mixed. Some stud­ies had pos­i­tive results, while oth­ers did not. And even in stud­ies with pos­i­tive results, inter­pre­ta­tions of trans­fer effects aren’t always straight­for­ward. This is still a very active area of research…

In the future, more pre­cise rec­om­men­da­tions will be pos­si­ble as more evi­dence accu­mu­lates and the method­olog­i­cal rig­or of inter­ven­tion stud­ies con­tin­ues to advance. Large-sam­ple stud­ies that include real or sim­u­lat­ed per­for­mance on impor­tant every­day tasks, extend­ed post-train­ing test­ing and obser­va­tion peri­ods (sim­i­lar to those used in the ACTIVE study), and large indi­vid­ual-dif­fer­ence bat­ter­ies (cog­ni­tive, genet­ic, neu­ro­phys­i­o­log­i­cal) that assess mod­er­a­tors of trans­fer effects will be espe­cial­ly valu­able in inform­ing these recommendations.”

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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.

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