Magazine article Work & Family Life

Scientific Jury Is Still out on the New Brain-Game Apps and Devices

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Scientific Jury Is Still out on the New Brain-Game Apps and Devices

Article excerpt

We know now that the brain continues to form new neural connections throughout one's life. But can those brain games we're playing on our computers and smart phones really improve one's memory and stave off mental decline?

"Almost all the marketing claims by all of the companies go beyond the research data," says Dr. Murali Doraiswamy, director of the neurocognitive disorders program at Duke University's Institute for Brain Sciences.

Several studies have shown that playing matching games makes you better at the game, but it doesn't improve your math or help you remember where you left your car keys, says brain researcher Monica Melby-Lervay of the University of Oslo.

Other studies have been somewhat more encouraging. For example, University of California, San Francisco researchers found that older adults who played a driving game showed gains both in their short-term memory and in their longer-term ability to focus. …

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