Jan 28

Is Brain Age a Waste of Effort?


My kids were given a Brain Age game for their Nintendo DS a few years ago and I was thrilled. Finally, a game that can make them smarter. However, researchers at the University of Rennes, Brittany claim that the game not only failed to improve the abilities of 10 year olds, but even worsened their memory. Really?

According to Alain Lieury, research lead and professor of cognitive psychology, the Nintendo DS is a technological jewel but it is charlatanism to claim that it is a scientific test. Their tests and studies proved that those who were placed under the Brain Age group performed 17% worse in memorization while those in the pencil and paper group had a 33% improvement. He claims that Dr. Ryuta Kawashima, the game’s developer, is one of a long list of dream merchants.

Of course, some researchers disagree with the professor’s opinion. A Scottish study, made last September, consisting of 600 students found that playing Brain Age games significantly improved math scores and concentration.

Personally, I think the exercises do improve math skills as it pushes the player to solve equations faster and prompts their memory to retain data to be able to answer the questions. And it is a known fact that the brain improves in any specific exercise that it does repeatedly. I believe I have more doubts about Mr. Lieury’s motive than Nintendo. At least, Nintendo does not deny the fact that the company’s goal is to increase sales. And considering the success that Nintendo has had over their products, it appears that Mr. Lieury is aiming for a share in the spotlight.

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