Brain training is the name given to exercises or mental games, generally computer based, which aim to stimulate and enhance cognitive performance in areas such as memory, concentration, processing speed, mathematical skills and more. Many such programmes have been developed and brain training has become a big industry.
The question is whether there is scientific proof that these games are beneficial, in other words, whether gaining proficiency in the narrow tasks being trained for in the games generalizes to improvements in broader cognitive function. This is a controversial area – some remain skeptical but others are cautiously optimistic that there may be long lasting benefits. Research into this question is ongoing. Whatever the case may be, there is no serious harm to computerized brain training, and some will welcome at least the possibility of making a difference to the long term outcome.
What we do know is that exposing your brain to new mental challenges on a regular basis, such as learning another language or a new musical instrument, can result in changes in the brain which are positive and lead to improved brain function overall. Similarly, by building up your ‘cognitive reserve’ earlier in life, you may be protecting yourself as you get older. We can assist with tailored strategies to help you with these aspects of ‘brain training.’