How Brain Training Games Improve Brain Function
There are a lot of apps and gaming programs available nowadays that claim to make you smarter in just a few minutes per day.
While these are by no means new claims, as brain training games have been available for a long time, there does seem to be even more options available for those who want to stimulate their mind and improve cognitive functions.
Thanks to smartphones and other portable technology, we can have access to everything we could ever need within our pockets. But does this mean that the brain training games you can download or play even while on the go will work?
What Are Brain Training Games?
Brain training games are simple programs that are designed to challenge mental abilities.
They are typically some form of puzzle that requires consideration, timing, and coordination to complete. By including these three major aspects, brain training games claim to be able to improve brain function with repeated practice.
There are a lot of different kinds of brain training games, such as those that include word puzzles, animated programs that work on coordination and timing as well as standard quizzes that require mathematic knowledge to complete.
Brain training games have been linked to improved brain function, as they are considered to be a form of mental exercise that can strengthen cognitive abilities.
With repeated practice, some brain training games claim to be able to reduce the risk of issues such as Alzheimer's and dementia by keeping the brain active.
Do Brain Training Apps Work?
The brain training gaming industry is a two-billion-dollar business, with various brands and developers creating apps that claim to improve brain function.
Considering that physical exercise strengthens the body and can improve longevity, then surely the same can be said for mental stimulation.
However, most studies suggest that while this is a nice hypothesis, the brain is more complicated than that.
While some benefits come from brain training apps, games, and puzzles, more stimulation is likely to be required as well, if you want to see improvements outside of the app.
Brain training games claim that they can improve brain functions such as memory, focus, and even decision-making, These are all aspects of the brain that can be studied and quantified by neuroscience, so brain training games are being observed to show their progress.
Almost all of the brain training apps or games that you click on will claim to be backed by science, which is not actually a false claim. Brain functions and improvements are something that has been studied for a long time, so the research behind games such as Lumosity and BrainHQ is backed by science to an extent.
When considering a brain-training app, it is important to consider what scientific research is being used to support such claims.
For example, the popular brain training website Lumosity claims that in a scientific study performed on their games, those who used brain training games as opposed to other stimuli like crossword puzzle improved their cognitive function twice as much.
It is important to note that most improvements from brain training puzzles come with regular practice.
How Brain Training Games Improve Cognitive Functions
If you want to make changes to your body to become stronger and fitter, you would not go to the gym only once and expect to see results. This is also the case when it comes to strengthening your mind to improve cognitive functions.
To see improvements long-term and notice whether your gaming has paid off, you will need to spend time playing brain training games every single day. This is why a lot of these games are quick puzzles, as they are designed to be played for several minutes daily.
With regular practice, you may be able to notice improved brain functions, and this is something that has been recorded in several neuroscience studies.
Although it is unlikely that you will come away from playing brain training games with an unstoppable memory and incredibly enhanced focus, some smaller but still significant changes may be noticed.
This is especially the case when it comes to facing similar problems like those in brain training games, such as decision making or reaction times.
While clicking an animated screen of moving objects or choosing the right shape may not feel challenging at first, brain training is designed to be progressive. This means that the more often you play, the more challenges you will face, and the harder your mind will have to work.
Each brain training game requires its own level of focus and decision-making skills, both of which are essential tools in life.
While there is less evidence to prove that brain training games can improve your mind long-term, there is no denying that keeping mentally active is a great way to ward off issues like dementia.
Are Brain Training Games Worth It?
There are so many apps available that can be downloaded onto your smartphone or tablet for free, giving you instant access to hundreds of brain training exercises.
While the scientific research is not what you may expect when it comes to the effectiveness of these games, there is enough evidence to suggest that regular practice of brain training can improve cognitive functions to an extent.
Brain training games should be combined with other forms of mental stimulation to ensure that you are seeing results when it comes to brain functions. There is no use playing brain training games for hours on end if this is the only form of stimulation you are getting.
Think of these games as a combinative exercise, as they need to be used with other things to strengthen the mind.
That does not go to say that brain training games and apps are not worth your time. As many of them can be accessed for free, they are a great way to spend several minutes of your free time when compared to the other things you could be doing online.
Based on the kind of intensity you are looking for, it is possible to take your brain training to the next level and sign up for specialist programs instead of just playing on apps.
There is a range of brain training programs and games available to use online, each offering their own form of mental stimulation that can improve your mental ability in specific areas.
Brain training can be an effective tool to exercise your mental abilities in areas such as memory, decision making, and information retention. These are essential skills that can improve the way you work, socialise, and perform.