Thursday, 11 February 2016

Ditch the Brain Games

You may have read recently that the Brain Training company Lumosity was fined $2M for deceptive advertising, claiming amongst other things that their brain exercises could help stave off memory loss, dementia and even Alzheimer’s. But it turns out they have no science to back it up.
The ads claimed that spending 10-15 minutes a day 3 times a week would ‘unlock your full potential in every aspect of life.’ Quite a tall order wouldn’t you say?
To be honest, I was happy. I have been saying for some time now that these ‘brain games’ do no such thing, they just enable you to play the exercises quicker, fooling many people into believing they are actually getting smarter.
If you constantly play a video game, through familiarity, you will get better at that video game, but it won’t make you better at things that matter, like better job performance or actually increasing your ability to remember better.
If you truly want to exercise your brain, the activity needs to be something new; it doesn’t matter how intellectually demanding it is, if you’re already good at it, then it’s not a good brain exercise. It needs to take you out of your comfort zone.
It needs to be challenging, like learning a new language, learning to play an instrument or taking up a new sport.
And it needs to be fun, emotional and physical enjoyment is important to the brains learning process.
I can tell you categorically that if you spent that 10-15 minutes a day 3 times a week on learning, and using, proven memory systems...that certainly would have an impact on your life, both socially and professionally...they have had a profound affect on mine, that’s why I teach them.
So, if you happen to participate in brain games for any reason other than for fun, ditch them and learn to increase your ability to remember through tried and tested memory systems, some of which date back thousands of years.