There’s certainly no shortage of apps that claim to boost your brainpower by having you pop numbered balloons or drop blocks. But does practicing such games translate into aptitude at real-world tasks or is this is the brain drain? The answer could be in the brain training apps you use.
The main brain-training apps stick to the same format: collections of mini-games that promise to test various mental skills; pretty graphs to show how you’re improving over time; and optional subscriptions for extra games and features. But how many of these are able to give us concrete results?
Take a look:
One of the oldest and top rated apps, it is split into sessions of three games tailored to your goals: memory, attention, problem solving, processing speed or flexibility of thinking. You play these games against the clock and the games change every time. Developers say just one session a day can improve mental skills and users can track progress and compare performance with others. The app also recently added a Mindfulness category comprising led meditation sessions for focusing breath and attention, ranging from one minute to several minutes long.
Elevate is a strong rival to another app on the list, Peak: it has similarly clear visuals and simple, accessible mini-games to test your wits against. This app trains more than 35 critical skills. They are designed to boost productivity, earning power, and self-confidence. These highly practical exercises include sum estimation (handy for those bill calculations), tests of common spelling and grammar errors, and, uniquely, audio passages whose details you’re quizzed on. Exercises become harder the more you play, with the option to unlock “Study Materials” for skills such as public speaking after finishing five daily training sessions.
One of the slickest and well-designed apps, Peak focuses on specific cognitive skills such as memory, mental agility, problem-solving, focus and language (that is, ability to communicate). Games tend to be more visual than Elevate, including a Sudoku-esque visual puzzle and number popping in numerical order. Some exercises also rather dubiously deal with “emotional training” – for example, spot the smiling faces and match them up, while ignoring the frowning faces, in order to challenge one’s ability to focus on the positive.
A science based apps; NeuroNation offers more than 60 brain training exercises to help you improve your cognition. It also has 9 personalized courses, which train various functions of your brain on a daily basis. This app stresses the importance of staying mentally active – because an active mind means a happier and healthier you. Developed by scientists at Free University in Berlin, NeuroNation continuously adapts to your performance, ensuring that you remain challenged.
- CogniFit Brain Fitness
The app aims to improve cognitive abilities, such as memory and concentration, with sleek, fun and addictive games designed by neuroscientists. After an initial quiz, the app adapts each game’s difficulty to your profile and gives you recommendations based on your results. Developers found that users saw improvement by spending at least 20 minutes, two to three times a week, playing the games.
The iOS only app, (the only one on the list) Cognito is the most game-like in this roundup, wrapping a story of sorts – secret agents and global spying missions – around its brain-training tests. It still has all the serious features of the genre though: memory, logic and word mini-games, and stats tracking how your skills improve over time. It also promises to pull in data like steps and sleep from Apple’s Health app, to show you how exercise and shut-eye affect your mental agility.
- Brain Dots
One of the most innovative apps, promoting lateral thinking, the sole purpose of this game is to bump the two balls of the screen in front of you. Sounds deceptively simple, doesn’t it? Not so fast, as the first levels on Brain Dots are pretty easy and right away you’ll think you’re the best player in the game’s history, but the difficulty is progressing and probably you’ll need several attempts to overcome the more advanced levels. If you fail a lot of times, the game might give you a hint.
Scores of researchers still have doubts about the efficiency of the apps; however, our dependence on our smart phones ensures that we spend our majority of the time with them. And like it or not, it’s not like playing Candy Crush for hours is doing any significant good. So, might as well try boosting our brains a bit.
We would love to hear about this post, kindly drop your review below. If you like our posts don't forget to share with your friends and you can get the instant updates by just click on like button on facebook page at sidebar.