Easy brain training tips for adults to do now
Our brains are incredible things. Your brain is nearly always ‘on,’ continually developing (enter the beauty of neuroplasticity – read about what neuroplasticity is in this blog) and you can actually give it a good old ‘workout’ by learning something new.
We aren’t going to write about the potential decline of your brain, nor the threat of Alzheimer’s disease, instead we’re going to focus on the top brain training tips and science-backed cognitive hacks you can do right now.
Ready to reap the cognitive rewards?
1. Play With Some Balls
Learn To Juggle. Juggle? It’s impossible. Well that’s where you’re wrong. Juggling, although (mega) challenging, is the perfect way to get your brain rewiring in new and beneficial ways. A scientific study investigated whether the adult brain changes if put under different environmental demands. They used, “whole-brain magnetic-resonance imaging to visualize learning-induced plasticity in the brains of volunteers who have learned to juggle.” Incredibly they found a short-term and “selective structural change in brain areas that are associated with the processing and storage of complex visual motion.” This neuroplasticity study shows that the brain’s macroscopic structure can be altered by environmental stimulus. Brain change is real people!
How do you juggle? Here’s a quick 3 minute video on how to juggle 3 balls, explained by the experts:
2. Get Jamming
Tune into a new genre of music. How does music affect the brain? Science proves music makes a big difference on the brain’s neuroplasticity. With SO many studies on musicians and their brains, it’s no wonder music is now seen as a beneficial stimulator. A study called, The musician’s brain as a model of neuroplasticity used modern neuroimaging methods and focused solely on the plasticity of a musician’s mind because, “There are two advantages to studying plasticity in musicians: the complexity of the eliciting stimulus — music — and the extent of their exposure to this stimulus.”
Similarly (although without musicians in sight or ear-shot) another study researched the effect of listening to music on the cognitive function of older adults who had just had an operation on their knee or hip. Such a niche study! By playing music 3 times a day post-op, they were able to conclude that the study “demonstrated that listening to music was important in preventing post-operative cognitive dysfunction in patients who underwent hip or knee arthroplasty.” In other words get down (and perhaps don’t boogie) to some great tunes after an injury, traumatic event or operation. Rock, heavy metal, classical or house techno – we’ll leave you to choose the genre. Or tune into this deep house track:
3. PLAY SOME MORE!
Play science-backed brain training games. We’re about to toot our own horn, and rightfully so. There are many “brain training apps” on the market all claiming to help train brains, however very few are actually scientifically proven to train certain areas of your brain and cognitive function. With our two in-house scientists who collaborate with scientists and researchers from highly acclaimed universities, such as Cambridge University and New York University, we can safely say our app is science-fuelled.
All of these scientific brain training collabs result in our brilliantly fun and beneficial app Peak – Brain Training. Whether you’re playing memory, focus or concentration games, it’s assuring to know you can have fun whilst gaining a little cognitive traction.
What’s one of our favourite brain training games in the app?
- Our #AppsforEarth Game called Turtle traffic
We spoke with Dave Barley, Peak’s lead game designer, on his thinking behind this brain training app:
“We really wanted to come up with a game concept that would highlight ‘green’ issues and raise awareness for important topics concerning the world’s health. I was keen to include an idea that highlighted the plight of an endangered species on the WWF’s ‘Critically Endangered’ list and the Hawksbill turtle was the perfect fit.”
What’s the science behind the brain game?
Games like Turtle Traffic focus on response control and task switching: how quickly you can change from one thing to another and whether you can respond correctly and in a given amount of time. Professor Daphne Bavelier’s work suggests that the multitasking requirements in action gaming benefit attention abilities and vision. Other studies on multitasking games suggest similar benefits for cognitive flexibility.
Moral of the story? Learn to juggle, listen to some new tunes and get gaming!
Download the Peak – Brain training app here and get flexing that plasticity.
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