Brain training software: A negative finding

11 Aug

A new randomized placebo controlled study  of brain training software raises questions about the effectiveness of this approach.

Many popular software products claim to to improve your general cognitive functioning by intensive practice on specific cognitive tasks such as the n-back task. Redick and his colleagues found that practice will improve your performance on that narrow task but the improvements did not transfer to other cognitive tasks.

According to the authors:

“Despite improvements on both the dual n-back and visual search tasks with practice, and despite a high level of statistical power, there was no positive transfer to any of the cognitive ability tests.”

Where does this leave us? This is only one study, but it was rigorously conducted, and it makes me less confident in usefulness of brain training software.

My advice is to avoid spending money on brain training software and instead adopt challenging learning projects and use scientifically verified spaced repetition software to improve your memory.


One Response to “Brain training software: A negative finding”


  1. Explaining Chautauqua | peakmemory - January 11, 2014

    […] waste your money on expensive, possibly ineffective, brain training software, visit Chautauqua […]

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