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Brain Training: It Works, and It Doesn’t Work

Posted Feb 13 2009 12:00am

The IMPACT study which we reported on in December 2007, funded by Posit Science, conducted  by the Mayo Clinic and USC Davis, has just announced publication at the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Reference:

- Smith et al. A Cognitive Training Program Designed Based on Principles of Brain Plasticity: Results from the Improvement in Memory with Plasticity-based Adaptive Cognitive Training Study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, April 2009.

Computer Exercises Improve Memory And Attention, Study Suggests (Science Daily)

- “The Improvement in Memory with Plasticity-based Adaptive Cognitive Training (IMPACT) study was funded by the Posit Science Corporation, which owns the rights to the Brain Fitness Program, tested in the study.”

- “Of the 487 healthy adults over the age of 65 who participated in a randomized controlled trial, half used the Brain Fitness Program for 40 hours over the course of eight weeks. The Brain Fitness Program consists of six audio exercises done on a computer, and is intended to “retrain the brain to discriminate fine distinctions in sound, and do it in a way that keeps the user engaged,” Zelinski explained.” The other half of participants spent an equal amount of time learning from educational DVDs followed by quizzes.

Comment: this is a very interesting study, in that it shows both that cognitive training works, and that it doesn’t work.

What do I mean?

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