As Todd Essig reports at Forbes, despite $1.3 billion that Americans spend on brain training games, a group of almost 100 leading brain scientists recently published a document that they’ve called “A Consensus on the Brain Training Industry from the Scientific Community.”
Their main finding is that brain training games may improve your gaming skills, but not your IQ. In other words, the skills that these games improve do not transfer broadly to other skills. And to the extent that they do transfer at all, they certainly do not transfer to boosting general intelligence.
As the signatories write: “The strong consensus of this group is that the scientific literature does not support claims that the use of software-based ‘brain games’ alters neural functioning in ways that improve general cognitive performance in everyday life, or prevent cognitive slowing and brain disease.”
That may mean more bad news for the brain training business, but evidence for the benefits of brain zapping (e.g. tDCS) continues to accumulate, with now even CNN doing an obligatory article about it.