Tuesday, April 18, 2017

If You Think the Think Games Make You Think Better ... Think Again - Science

"Our findings and previous studies confirm there's very little evidence these types of games can improve your life in a meaningful way," said Boot, an expert on age-related cognitive decline.  (Science Daily: Think brain games make you smarter? Think again, researchers say)

You have probably seen the online versions of these types of games and they seem omnipresent in social networks where the users are apparently obsessed with their own intelligence.

"Brain challenges like crossword games are a popular approach, especially among baby boomers, as a way to try to protect cognition," Charness said.

That popularity has turned the brain-training industry into a billion-dollar business.  Brain games are available online and through mobile apps that typically sell for about $15 a month or $300 for lifetime memberships.  But advertising for this rapidly growing business sector has sometimes used inflated claims.  The Federal Trade Commission fined one brain-training company $50 million for false advertising, which was later lowered to $2 million.

"More companies are beginning to be fined for these types of inflated claims and that's a good thing," Boot said. "These exaggerated claims are not consistent with the conclusions of our latest study."

- SD

Yah, I know you don't screw with them since you judged them a waste of time and walked away but a billion dollars worth of buyers didn't.

The methodology of their research is in the source article for the interested student but we want to see their conclusions.

Charness noted that other research finds aerobic exercise, rather than mental exercise, is great for your brain.  Physical exercise can actually cause beneficial structural changes in the brain and boost its function.  He predicts "exer-gaming," which combines exercise with brain games, will increase in popularity in the 21st century.

"I wouldn't come away from our article totally discouraged," Charness said.  "It's another piece of the puzzle that we're all trying to assemble.  It's discouraging in the sense that we can't find far transfer and that seems to be a fairly consistent finding in research.  But if your real goal is to improve cognitive function and brain games are not helping, then maybe you are better off getting aerobic exercise rather than sitting in front of the computer playing these games."

- SD

You knew it was coming.  Quit drinking, quit smoking, quit the doping, quit the bitching.  The brain games don't do nothin'.

Ed:  will you quit the ganja?

Nope.  I'm relatively lucky since, at sixty-six, there are memory holes but not generally in things which matter so much.  My memory for the names of the cast in a movie was near perfect but it damn sure isn't anmore.  Things of that nature won't exactly make the Mississippi River run backwards.

Note:  the New Madrid Fault near Memphis has done that to the Mighty Mississipp multiple times and some in historic memory within the 19th Century.

So, continuing with the article and how rabbits learned to tap dance ...

Ed:  this article wasn't about rabbits learning to tap dance!

Oh, yes.  Well, as I was saying ...

writing blog articles does zero to improve mental fitness and vigor.

"Hygiene!" roared Doctor Krankeit.

Thanks, Doc.  I'll keep that in mind.

Ref:  "Candy" from the late 50s.

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