Brain does not deliver what it promises

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Brain does not deliver what it promises

Promises commercial providers have no scientific basis

Brain Jogging to help against cognitive decline - at least advertise the providers of such games. But researchers now contradict explicitly in a statement. Neither a preventive effect against dementia still promoting general mental benefits are scientifically proven to date for such games.

Brain does not deliver what it promises


Let us increase the intellectual achievements by brain jogging?

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Playing mentally fit. Does not that sound promising? The advertising leads us to believe that we increase with certain "brain training" -Computerspielen our mental performance and may help prevent dementia even diseases like Alzheimer's - and all of this supposedly scientifically. Not infrequently is "developed by scientists" to read in the advertising. But how effective the computer-based brain training really?

No scientific evidence

70 internationally recognized cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists have studied this question and now published to a statement. Their conclusion: Previous research has not the claims of commercial providers. The assertions of the brain training providers were not scientifically proven. Because whether and how these games affect the brain, mental performance and the competent coping with everyday life, is not sufficiently explored.

"Often the allegations of game companies depend only apparent with the cited research together," says psychologist Laura Carstensen of Stanford University. The experts who signed the joint statement on the initiative of Stanford University and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, agree: "There is no convincing scientific evidence that commercial brain training games reduce or reverse the age-related loss of brain function . "

Improvements only in the game itself

Does this mean that training the brain through such games is not taken advantage? As the researchers explain, is also true for brain training games: Practice makes perfect. Who plays a lot, increasing its services. However, the advertising gives the impression that the performance gains are not limited to the games themselves. Instead, should one of the learning generally make smarter playing, protect against cognitive decline and increase the competence in dealing with everyday problems. But for this promise there is no convincing scientific evidence, according to the researchers.

However, scientists warn against pessimism. "Those who are physically active, participating in the social life and leads an intellectually stimulating life, has a better chance to grow old sane," says Ulman Lindenberger, Director of the Research Centre for Lifespan Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. Because the brain and behavior are quite trainable into old age. Studies show, for example, that dancing, sports and social contacts can keep the brain fit.

(Max Planck Institute for Human Development, 21/10/2014 - NPO)

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