Study reveals: Brain training improves cognitive functions
So far, the COGITO study is the largest and probably most convincing study in the field of brain training. 101 young adults aged 20-31 years and 103 persons aged 65-80 years trained for 1 hour every 2-3 days, for a total of 100 sessions. A single training session was comprised of 12 exercises: 6 for comprehension and speed; 3 for working memory; and 3 for information recall. The brain training exercises were adjusted at the beginning of the study to suit the participant's performance, as indicated by the pre-tests.
The study was designed to test whether the observed improvements in the trained cognitive areas also had an effect on other cognitive abilities - and to see if age influences these improvements. In addition, the researchers wanted to evaluate if progress in brain training is transferrable to everyday life.
Significant improvements in cognitive abilities were observed - especially for working memory. We need working memory in order to understand complex topics, solve problems, and store new information. All participants - regardless of their age or sex - showed improvements in their working memory following the training. The researchers believe that the training strengthened the neuronal connections between the two frontal lobes of the brain, which subsequently led to an improvement in working memory - for both young and older participants.
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