Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


4. Making Informed Brain Training Decisions

Highlights from Section 4: Making Informed Brain Training Decisions

  • Different people face different cognitive demands, and have different starting points, so there is no general solution for everyone and everything.
  • As in physical fitness, informed consumers and professionals must ask themselves: What are the goals we want to accomplish? What specific cognitive functions are we trying to improve on? In what timeframe? What budget can we spend on this?

The state of the research does not allow for strong “prescriptions” or rankings of products: we want to offer you the best information available today so that you can make better informed decisions on what program, if any, may be worth trying for you, your client, patient or loved-one.


The first question: which brain function/s do I want to improve and why?

The first question anyone interested in evaluating products should ask is: Which brain functions do I (or my loved-one or my client) need to train? The answer to this question depends a lot on the situation and goals of the person who will use the training product.  Keep reading.


10-Question Checklist to evaluate products making brain fitness and cognitive health claims

Evaluating the usefulness of computer-based brain fitness programs depends on many factors such as the goals, priorities, starting point, budget, etc of the intended user. There is no general ranking of products that would satisfy everybody. This is why we have developed a Brain Fitness Software Evaluation Checklist. Keep reading.


Tips to navigate the brain training landscape

There is significant variation around what products are designed to do and around how much evidence there is to back them up. This wide variation is often confusing for customers and even professionals. Out of the hundreds of products out there making brain training claims we include in this guide the ones that have at the very least a well-articulated scientific rationale, a basic level of scientific testing and consumer-usability, and are developed by known organizations which offer professional customer care. Keep reading.


Description, highlights and validation of 21 brain training products

The first question to ask as a consumer or professional is, What are my goals or the goal of my client or loved-one? To help you choose products based on your answers to that question we have categorized brain training software based on their purpose: overall brain maintenance, targeted improvement in one specific cognitive domain, and stress management. Keep reading.

Keep learning by reading more articles in the Resources section, and also please consider joining our free monthly Brain Fitness eNewsletter

This new online resource is based on the content from the book The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness (May 2009, $19.95), by Alvaro Fernandez and Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg.

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About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters, and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm and think tank tracking health and performance applications of brain science.