Real Life Benefits Of Brain Training
Brain training is an excellent way to push your brain further. Cambridge Dictionary defines brain training as:
“Learning ways to increase your intelligence, memory, ability to think.”
There are many ways to challenge your brain, whether it’s by playing Sudoku, learning a new language or taking a new route to work. The brain’s plasticity allows us to make new connections and according to some scientists, training one cognitive skill can have a positive impact on those yet untrained skills too.
One of the best ways to make your brain tick is via the gaming app Peak – Brain Training. If you don’t know already, Peak is a brain training app that tests and challenges your brain on the following:
Language is a form of communication we use each day. It includes reading, speaking, listening and writing. These tools allow us to communicate and also to absorb information.
Problem solving is a process used by the brain to easily identify issues and problems and come up with suitable solutions.
Memory allows us to recall and recognise objects, places and people, which in turn offers up the best way to respond and react to different situations. The memory is selective, having its own unique criteria and filtering system.
Focus refers to the brain’s ability to concentrate and give one task full attention, without disruption and/or mind wandering.
Mental agility refers to the brain’s ability to be quick, reactive and sharp.
Our games challenge your skills in all of the above mentioned areas, plus a few more areas too. Check out our neuroscience collaboration content here.
How Can These Brain Game Skills Translate To Real Life?
Let’s take a look at the benefits you could experience.
By training your language skills you could improve your:
- Communication skills.
- Reading efficiency.
- Listening awareness.
- Writing capabilities.
- Ability to comprehend different situations.
A number of studies such as The World of Competitive Scrabble: Novice and Expert Differences in Visuospatial and Verbal Abilities, by Halpern and Wai, plus the study How a Hobby Can Shape Cognition: Visual Word Recognition in Competitive Scrabble Players by Hargreaves et al., have shown that expertise with word games like Scrabble correlates with benefits in visuospatial and language-related cognitive abilities.
For example, Scrabble experts define more words correctly and are quicker to identify words in cognitive tests than non-experts. Many of our language games like Word Fresh, Word Path and Babble Bots challenge word detection and verbal fluency skills.
By training your problem solving skills you can improve your:
- Ability to tackle difficult issues.
- Efficiency at solving big and small problems.
A study by scientists Uchida and Kawashima in 2008 showed that reading and arithmetic training tasks in healthy older adults improve general cognitive abilities related to executive function and processing speed.
By training your memory skills you can improve your:
- Recall ability.
- Response and reaction rate.
- Ability to retain more memories.
Peak’s brain training game Street Nav is based on the study, Navigation-Related Structural Change in the Hippocampi of Taxi Drivers, by Maguire et al., and another study by Lovden et al., which suggest training in spatial navigation tasks improves the functioning of the hippocampus in the brain.
The studies showed that London taxi drivers have larger posterior hippocampi than non-taxi drivers, due to their regular spatial navigation exercises. The hippocampus plays an important role in memory and spatial navigation skills.
By training your focus skills you can improve your:
- Capability to hone in on one task.
- Response to unnecessary distractions.
- Time efficiency.
- Quality of work.
A large study by George Rebok et al., published in 2014 showed that cognitive training which shares some of the mechanisms used in our Focus games like Unique and Must Sort, promoted benefits in general speed-of-processing and attention abilities in elderly people. This also translated into fewer difficulties in daily functioning at a 10-year follow up.
Additionally the study, Computerized Cognitive Training in Young Adults with Depressive Symptoms: Effects on Mood, Cognition, and Everyday Functioning, by Motter from the City University of New York, showed that playing some of the games from this category reduced depressive symptoms and improved some measures of cognition in young adults with depression.
By training your mental agility skills you can improve your:
- Reaction times.
- Analysis of problems.
- Mental maths.
Scientist, Professor Daphne Bavelier’s study, Effect of Action Video Games on the Spatial Distribution of Visuospatial Attention, suggests that action gaming benefits attention abilities and vision. Peak’s game Speed Spotting is based on the mechanics behind first person shooter games, which are used in her training studies.
After that in-depth analysis, you probably need a hot drink and a lie down to digest it all. Then we’d recommend downloading the Peak app to challenge your brain and take advantage of the game-changing benefits that we’ve described, along the way.
Brought to you by Peak, makers of the Peak – Brain Training app. Start brain training today:
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Baddeley, A. D. (1986). Working memory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.