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The World in Medicine
May 19, 2010

No Gain From Brain Games?

JAMA. 2010;303(19):1908. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.635

Playing computer “brain-training” games does not appear to foster general improvements in cognitive function, report British scientists (Owen AM et al. Nature. doi:10.1028/nature 0942 [published online April 20, 2010]).

In the 6-week online study, 11 430 healthy adults aged 18 to 60 years were randomly assigned to 3 groups. One group played games that emphasized reasoning, planning, and problem-solving skills. Another played games similar to those found in commercial brain-training games aimed at training short-term memory, attention, visuospatial processing, and mathematics. A control group performed online research to answer obscure questions. “Benchmarking” tests assessed participants' cognitive function before and after the 6-week training period.