We’ve all been there. You walk into a room, only to ask yourself, “What am I doing here?” Or maybe you are about to leave for a big meeting and those keys have run off again, leaving you scrambling throughout the house, knocking over piles of paper trying to find them. Some people who once had a sharp memory start to see it declining in their golden years. This is very common and a natural part of aging, but a lot of people look for ways to combat their deteriorating memory. Computerized brain-training games are becoming more popular these days. But, will these games really help you remember your wife’s sister’s name or your bank code? Some of these “memory improvement games” claim to reactivate dormant parts of your brain that will make you as sharp as you were in college. In this article, we’ll see if that is the case. I’ll discuss different kinds of memory enhancing games and answer the question, “Do Memory Improvement Games Work?”
What Are Memory Improvement Games?
Memory improvement games are designed to stimulate the brain in certain ways that enrich learning capabilities and memory recall. This is based on some studies that show that living in a positive stimulating environment promotes healthy brain changes. Of course, people have been doing similar things since, well, the beginning. When you get older and start to lose memory, your natural instinct is to protect yourself from forgetfulness. It’s a kind of defense mechanism. People do word and number puzzles, learn new languages, pick up musical instruments, or take classes. All these things stimulate the brain in positive way and keep cognitive decline at bay. But these new, computerized memory games are specifically designed to target particular shortcomings in the brain.
What Are Some Popular Memory Improvement Games?
Researchers have actually completed a good deal of research in this area. While some of these studies show that practitioners improved memory in the specific game, they don’t always prove that these cognitive skills carry over in to real life. One popular program is the Posit Science Brain Fitness Program. This program is the result of decades of research from neuroscientists all over the world, so it’s worth checking out.
Do Memory Improvement Games Work?
One study performed at the Posit Science Brain Fitness Program showed that older adults were able to improve their auditory information processing speed by 58 percent. This program’s design is based on the idea that as humans get older they lose some of their ability to process sensory information. That is, the problem doesn’t lie with your bad eyes and ears so much as the brain itself. By boosting these sensory perception areas, older adults found significant memory improvement.
Lumosity is another one of the popular games being advertised lately. It is also the culmination of decades of scientific research. Scientists and game designers work together to create games that specifically address certain issues with cognitive activity and memory. There is still a lot of work and research to be done regarding how it contributes to mental health in regular life. That is, just because your memory gets better with this particular game doesn’t mean you’ll be able to remember your great aunt’s birthday every year.
Should I Use Memory Improvement Games?
Other than the cost of signing up with some these games, you really have nothing to lose. They certainly won’t hurt your brain function or memory recall. That being said, it’s important to state that you won’t become a genius by playing these games. In fact, you may not become any smarter. Exercising the brain is vital to a happy and healthy life and will definitely improve your potential, but don’t sign up for Jeopardy just yet. Before subscribing to one of these services, you might first change certain lifestyle decisions and habits. Exercising and eating well can go a long way to improve mental health and brain activity. You need to exercise your mind as well as your body, of course, but there are millions of ways to do this without paying for memory improvement games. Reading, listening to music, talking to people, and learning new languages and skills are just a few of the ways you can exercise your brain and maintain mental health.
Interested in pursuing improvement through other means? Check out our article on whether or not brain supplements can make you smarter