Do Brain Training Games Work?

Do Brain Training Games Work?

An explosion of brain training games has people using apps and software programs to improve memory and reasoning. One study says the positive effects can last a decade. Skeptics disagree.

An explosion of brain training games and apps has people spotting patterns, adding numbers and remembering sequences in hopes of boosting their mental fitness. A new study finds that a modest amount of brain training can improve cognitive speed, reasoning and memory, with effects lasting as long as a decade. But skeptics say many of the claims we hear are largely hype, and that even if you grow more proficient at a specific game or task, there's no larger benefit. We explore the popularity of brain games and the questions about their effectiveness.

Guests

George Rebok

Professor, Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University; co-investigator on the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly study on brain training

Henry Mahncke

CEO, Posit Science

Sandra Bond Chapman

Founder and Chief Director of the Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas at Dallas; Distinguished University Professor; author of “Make Your Brain Smarter: Increase Your Brain's Creativity, Energy, and Focus”

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The Kojo Nnamdi Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.