Feeds

Brain training games don't work, stupid

BBC kills another market

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

A BBC TV pop science programme has debunked the notion that brain training games make you smarter - with the help of thousands of viewers.

Brain Test Britain was launched by Bang goes the Theory on BBC Lab UK last September, to find out if brain training has knock-on benefits for memory, planning and problem-solving.

Some 67,000 signed up for the clinical trial and 13,000 people completed the six-week training period. The boffins who designed the clinical trial Dr Adrian Owen and Prof Clive Ballard, have crunched the numbers - and the numbers make disturbing reading for brain training software vendors.

Their study found no evidence that the benefits of playing brain training games transfer to other brain skills - although more research into brain trainers aged 60 and over is required. Of course this might tell the researchers more about the onset of degenerative brain disorders, such as Alzheimer's, than about brain training software.

Dr Adrian Owen said: "The result is crystal clear. Brain training is only as good as spending six weeks using the internet. There is no meaningful difference."

Dallas Campbell, Bang Goes The Theory presenter, said: "In true Bang Goes The Theory experimental fashion, we set out to gather real, scientific evidence that would answer the question of whether these games are worth our money. And now we have our answer."

The results for the mass experiment are cast-iron enough for the esteemed science journal Nature to publish (PDF) the findings.

The BBC has published the results in a more accessible form here. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.