Does Computerized Cognitive Brain Training Really Work?
Will brain training work to improve cognitive function and prevent cognitive diseases?
Many of us know of Sudoku and use it as a way to sharpen our cognitive functions. This combined with exercise and plenty of rest is seen as an appropriate way to improve cognitive function and to ward off signs of decline.
That’s what we think anyway, but is there any science behind the theory?
A study from Toronto, Canada, discovered that a particular computerized brain training game can actually reduce dementia. This is done by the improvement and strengthening almost of the neural connections which in turn increases the speed of which mental processing works. It is just like doing sprint training on the field to improve your game.
Further research stemming from below the border in Wisconsin took it the study to new levels by comparing 3 types of brain training using a group of nearly 3000 subjects which a mean age of 74, the study spanned 10 years.
The subjects were organized in to groups and were given differing training courses to focus on certain types of skills over 2 hours per week for 5 weeks. Training was resumed again for some of the groups 11 months and 35 months later.
The results were significant, and the most impressive was the group who went through more than 10 brain training sessions over a 35 month period were 48% less likely to experience dementia or cognitive decline over a 10 year period.
In fact, the results showed that of all the groups, regardless of the training subject, the outcome was that they were less likely to suffer cognitive decline than the controlled group who did nothing. Especially if the training was based over 10 periods.
The training comprises of exercising the participants ability to detect, remember and respond to cues that appear and then disappear quickly in varying locations on a computer screen. As the participant improves, the degree of difficulty increases.
The results illustrate that brain training stimulates and improves mental processing. Scientists think that continually using our brain in a certain way can actually enhance the communication between brain cells. The outcome is like continually performing the bench press which will improve your strength and stamina in that movement.
The outcome of this study is the first to suggest that brain training performed on a computer could potentially fight against dementia. It has been a long time coming to convince most scientists that these computerized brain training programs offer scientifically grounded evidence that they are beneficial.
Check out more on cognitive function.