Does Playing Brain Training Games Frequently Make You Smarter?

By Anthony K

It has always been a popular idea that through playing games involving the mind, including matching and problem-solving games, for some minutes daily, one improves their mental capabilities including, verbal skills, memory, and reasoning. However, it is debatable whether the games offer these benefits.

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Researchers have tried some studies to prove the point, but for each study where they get evidence supporting the assumption, there’s also a broad body of evidence to the contrary. Scholars, Stojanoski, and others conducted one of the greatest real-world studies on the topic. The study involved 8,563 participants.  About 1,000 of these participants used brain trainer games, and another 7,500 didn’t. The participants filled questionnaires regarding their training habits, their opinions on the benefits of training, and the program each used. 1,009 participants reported using brain training programs for an average period of eight months. The participants then completed cognitive tests that mainly assessed the memory, verbal and reasoning skills.

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From the results, the researchers established that, on average, the participants that used brain trainers didn’t have any better mental capability in reasoning, verbal skills, and memory as compared to the other group which hadn’t use brain trainers. Even among the volunteers that were most dedicated and had used the training programs for over 18 months, brain training didn’t have any effect on boosting their abilities to think is concerned over the level of persons that hadn’t used the programs.

Stojanoski asserts that though they didn’t find any evidence suggesting that brain training was linked with better cognitive abilities, “maybe brain training can be beneficial in particular instances.”