Thursday, October 23, 2014

Brain-Training Companies Get Advice From Some Academics, Criticism From Others

The Chronicle of Higher Education
October 22nd, 2014

Your brain is a tree.
Or, perhaps more fittingly, a bank account.
With metaphors like those, brain-game companies entice people to buy subscriptions to their online training programs, many of which promise to increase customers’ "neuroplasticity," "fluid intelligence," and working memory capacity. They even claim to help stave off the effects of aging.
Leading scientists have criticized those promises, though. The loudest objection came on Monday, when the Stanford Center for Longevity and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, in Berlin, released "A Consensus on the Brain-Training Industry From the Scientific Community," a statement objecting "to the claim that brain games offer consumers a scientifically grounded avenue to reduce or reverse cognitive decline."

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