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Joystiq presents

Doctor argues benefits of Brain Training, probably has a brain age of 63

Nicole Kidman's endorsement of Nintendo's software for the DS has one doctor in particular crying "humbug." Dr. Jason Braithwaite, a cognitive neuroscientist (maybe after playing enough Brain Age, we'll figure out what that is exactly), seems to be of the mind that using the non-game exhibits "no conclusive evidence showing that the continued use of these devices is linked to any measurable and general improvements in cognition." This all stems from him seeing one of Kidman's adverts, where she states "I have quickly found that training my brain [with Nintendo's Dr Kawashima's Brain Training computer game] is a great way to keep my mind feeling young"

"Practice at any task should lead to some form of improvement for that specific task," he adds. But, we wonder if that applies here. Sure, individual tasks in repetition will undoubtedly cause one to improve at completing them, but the exercises in Nintendo's title are varied and the whole goal of the game isn't to sit there for hours on end, practicing individual exercises. The daily training, along with the sudoku, and other items that make up the whole package come together to bring forth the improvement felt by the user. These are small sections of the user's day devoted to the working the brain, when the time could otherwise be used to waste brain power by watching TV or, if it were us and we were afforded spare time in our day, sleep.

Gallery: Brain Age 2

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Reader Comments (Page 1 of 1)

Demotruk1

1-03-2008 @ 11:13PM

Demotruk said...

http://www.gamespot.com/ds/puzzle/brainagetrainyourbraininminutesaday/news.html?sid=6181618&mode=all

I've seen other articles/studies about this, but can't seem to find them right now. Admittedly the test sample is small for this, but I've seen about three others that say the same thing.

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exolstice2

1-04-2008 @ 7:20AM

exolstice said...

If you really want to "train your brain" you could read books and actually learn stuff. I'm a big DS and Wii supporter, but I've always felt that their "brain" games are a waste of time. The inclusion of Sudoku should have been a dead giveaway, they require about as much brain power as a game of "Guess Who."

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Waffala3

1-04-2008 @ 8:44AM

Waffala said...

Guess Who!

'Do you have a floating disembodied head?'
'Yes'
'Are you Dr. Kawashima?'
'Dammit!'

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chispito4

1-04-2008 @ 5:31PM

chispito said...

By the bye, I think you mean the doctor "disputes" the benefits. If you argue something, it generally means you support it.

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That_One_Guy5

1-04-2008 @ 5:53PM

That_One_Guy said...

I'm with Exolstice on this one, I think these brain games are a waste of time. I'm learning Trig and Calculus on my spare time, I think doing something like that, or just reading a few good books makes these things look like toys.

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Brain Power6

1-06-2008 @ 10:25PM

Brain Power said...

Thanks for the great and motivating post! I fully agree with you especially on letting your subconscious mind help you achieve success. Do check out http://www.subconscious-mind.org, they have a whole host of interesting and helpful articles.

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