Are we re-inventing the wheel?
A recent reference to the "Brain Gym" sent me off on a new line of research, and there were some interesting tangent discoveries. These discoveries included:
- a range of exercises used in gymnastics to challenge the brain/body connection
- an alternate definition of brain gym that involves computer-based games purportedly influencing brain functionality, many with dubious claims
- an industry that was at one stage worth $1.5b
- some businesses that look very similar to our training concept
- a collection of publications that dismiss the evidence of "brain training" having any real effect
As a summary position, whilst some of the brain training "products" look very impressive and claim to have sound bases in neuroscience, it would appear that the biggest downfall or missing element is in the priming or education of the users. The nature of the drills selected appear to miss the mark, or utilise a different set of definitions to the ones we are using.
The programs use the concept of challenge quite extensively, but there is no overall mind-set establishment or discussion, no detailed instruction about how to approach the games systematically, and a relatively poor application of engagement principles/protocols. The attempts to personalise the training are underwhelming.
Never the less, it is important to explore these "competitor" models. Here are a number of references with relevant commentary.
Brain training critique – Wikipedia
Scientific American – does brain training work
Neurocare – website & program
Does Brain Training Work? – Medical News Today
Impressive development, games are a bit "off-topic" in relation to CF2
interesting includes a cognitive assessment battery
worth discussing with Andrew Heathcote
suspect attempt is too general to achieve our purposes