is blowing an imaginary whistle on Brain Age
and other similar products designed to sharpen minds. Consumer group Which
assembled a panel of three neuroscientists to test the ideas that brain training games improve memory and help prevent dementia. The panel found "weak" or no evidence to support the claims.
"There is no evidence that using this product will have any functional impact on your life whatsoever," Dr. Chris Bird, one of the scientists involved with the study, said. The panel concluded that "surfing the internet or chatting to friends" would have the same prefrontal cortex blood flow effect as doing DS-based math. Basically, it means that, in terms of brain activity, Brain Age
seems to work about as well as any other mentally-stimulating pastime.
"If people enjoy using these games, then they should continue to do so -- that's a no-brainer,
" said Which's Martyn Hocking (perhaps with pun intended -- emphasis ours). "But if people are under the illusion that these devices are scientifically proven to keep their minds in shape, they need to think again
" (Hocking is just full of puns, isn't he?).
Nintendo responded, saying that it has never claimed scientific proof of Brain Age'
s effectiveness: "What we claim is the Brain Training
series of games, like playing sudoku, are enjoyable and fun. These exercises can also help keep the brain sharp." It also helps your organization make the news!