Feeds

Brain training games don't work, stupid

BBC kills another market

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft WINDOWS 10: Seven ATE Nine. Or Eight did really
Windows NEIN skipped, tech preview due out on Wednesday
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.