Fun quick article, titled Review: Latest Brain-Teasing Video Games, on Brain Training, “Nintendo Brain Age”, “Big Brain Academy”, “Hot Brain”, “Brain Boost”, “Brain Genius”, “Brain Juice”, “Brain Challenge”, “Mind Quiz”…
The Wall Street Journal has a great article today, Putting Brain Exercises to the Test (requires subscription), that compares 6 different computer-based brain exercise programs along ease-of-use, fun, and science behind. We at SharpBrains conducted a very similar exercise last year, coming to basically the same conclusions.
The article compares Nintendo Brain Age, MyBrainBuilder, MyBrainTrainer, HappyNeuron, (CogniFit Science) MindFit and Posit Science brain fitness 2.0, and ends up recommending [Read more…] about MindFit and Posit Science in the Wall Street Journal’s “Putting Brain Exercises to the Test”
“…across the country, brain health programs are springing up, offering the possibility of a cognitive fountain of youth.”
“From Ã¢â‚¬Å“brain gymsÃ¢â‚¬Â on the Internet to Ã¢â‚¬Å“brain-healthyÃ¢â‚¬Â foods and activities at assisted living centers, the programs are aimed at baby boomers anxious about entering their golden years and at their parents trying to stave off memory loss or dementia.”
Keep reading today’s New York Times article As Minds Age, WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Next? Brain Calisthenics.
The article also refers to Posit Science, HappyNeuron, MyBrainTrainer, and other companies, insurers and residences offering brain fitness programs/brain exercise software.
And includes a note of caution: Ã¢â‚¬Å“This is going to be one of the hottest topics in the next five years Ã¢â‚¬â€ itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to be huge,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Nancy Ceridwyn, co-director of special projects for the American Society on Aging. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The challenge we have is itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to be a lot like the anti-aging industry: how much science is there behind this?Ã¢â‚¬Â
You can learn more by checking our longer post yesterday, New Research on How to Maintain a Sharp Brain, where we commented on yesterday’s NYT Editorial, the results from the JAMA study and an IHRSA newsletter to fitness and health clubs that we authored.
Today we are traveling to Japan. Go Hirano is a serial Japanese entrepreneur who has been exploring neuroscience-based opportunities in Japan, having recently created the company NeuWell (neuroscience for wellness).
- People in Japan devour any product with brain-related claims
- But there has been a recent backlash against children videogames, so game developers have started to focus on older audiences with (mostly unproven) brain-health-improving games
- The market is ripe for programs with proven research and tangible benefits
AF: Hirano-san, tell us a bit about yourself and how you became interested in applied neuroscience.
GH: after helping launch one of the first DSL providers in Japan, I started to wonder what the next bigger value for society would be. I have always been fascinated by brain research, so I started to explore opportunities to help bring to market neuroscience-based programs to help students do better in exams, and adults age in brain-friendly ways.
AF: what is the state of Brain Fitness and Brain Training in Japan? what are the most popular applications so far?
GH: I think people understand the concepts of Brain Fitness and Brain Training. If one method or product/service sounds a bit scientific there are people who would try it for fun and curiosity. However, [Read more…] about Brain Training and “Brain-ism” in Japan
Good WebMD 4‑page article on Brain Fitness programs for seniors. Check Keeping Your Brain Fit for Life:Software companies are offering new programs that promise to keep your brain sharp as you get older.
- “The notion of brain fitness has even invaded popular culture. In April, Nintendo released Brain Age, a Japanese-inspired, handheld video game to help users’ minds stay active. While the game is marketed for all ages, the buyers — now numbering more than 655,000 in the U.S. — have mainly been older people, Nintendo of America spokeswoman Amber McCollom writes in an email.”
- “Players take a nonscientific test that calculates a “brain age” for the purposes of the game. [Read more…] about Posit Science, Nintendo Brain Training, Dakim…WebMD on Brain Fitness.
Jonah Lehrer from the Frontal Cortex blog has written a good article on the Nintendo Wii, William James and Antonio Damasio over at seedmagazine.com, How the Nintendo Wii will get you emotionally invested in video games.
A couple of quotes
- While Sony and Microsoft exercise your thumbs, Nintendo gives you a full body workout.
- “This is the irony of the Wii: although it can’t compete with the visual realism of Sony and Microsoft, it ends up feeling much more realistic.”
In a different context, but it reminds me of our conversation with Prof. GopherÃ‚Â about the need for cognitive fidelity in Brain Fitness Programs.