The Science Behind the Brain
The performance of your brain can be improved significantly through brain training. For that reason, brain training can assist in improving your productivity and life quality.
The basis for the effectiveness of brain training is that the brain is plastic. In this context, plastic doesn’t mean that the brain consists of countless chained polymers. Rather, the brain’s plasticity refers to the fact that the brain is reshapable. The brain forms new cells and connections when it is challenged and when we learn something new. In other words, the brain is similar to a muscle that grows stronger with exercise, but deteriorates when it isn’t stimulated or challenged.
However, the brain is also much more than that as it can change structure completely to function more effectively. As such, the brain can continuously adapt to quicker and more effective ways of solving the same task.
“We have found no ceiling for abilities such as attention, including among adults. The more training, even with normal people, the higher the results.”
Dr. Michael I. PosnerEmeritus Professor of Neuroscience, University of Michigan
A study of professional, amateur and non-musicians found that the grey matter (cortex) volume was highest in professional musicians, intermediate in amateurs and lowest in non-musicians in several brain areas involved in playing music, such as motor regions, visual input and object recognition.
It seems that brain plasticity is a factor in learning a second language. Bilingual brains have a larger left inferior parietal cortex than monolingual brains. This part of the brain is known to be concerned with language, mathematics and body image.
London taxi drivers have a larger hippocampus than London bus drivers. The hippocampus is used to gather and process complex spatial information. The taxi drivers’ complex and ever changing routes through the city results in a greater need for navigational abilities than bus drivers who drive fixed routes. Their brains have thus adjusted accordingly.
This study scanned the brains of a group of German medical students 3 months before and right after an important exam. It then compared the scans to scans of students who were not studying for an exam. The students who were studying for an exam showed learning-induced changes in the parietal cortex and posterior hippocampus, regions known to be involved in memory retrieval and learning.
Studies have shown that people in all age groups can improve the performance of their brain significantly by training cognitive abilities, such as attention, visual and auditive processing, short- and long-term memory, linguistics, decision making and problem solving.
”In short, participants (ACTIVE Study) improved their memory, reasoning and information processing speed across all three methods. (…) when tested five years later, the participants in the computer based program had less of a decline in the skill they were trained in than did a control group that received no cognitive training. (…) By doing some exercises, one can improve cognitive speed of processing by 146-250 percent, and a significant portion of that improvement stays even after five years.”
(Dr. Jerri Edwards, Associate Professor, University of South Florida’s School of Aging Studies, Co-Investigator of the influential ACTIVE Study)*
In particular, cognitive deterioration due to aging has shown to be combatable, meaning that it is possible to stay sharp mentally throughout the entirety of life. One study, which involved training of adults above the age of sixty, has shown an improvement in auditive processing and memory equal to ten years of rejuvenation of these abilities.
“We now know that no matter what your brain status or age, there is much you can do to significantly improve brain functions and slow brain aging.”
(Dr. Larry McCleary, former acting Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Denver Children’s Hospital, author of The Brain Trust Program (2007)*
In the future, scientists aim to uncover whether brain training could be an effective way of treating and preventing mental diseases such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Alzheimer’s Disease, autism, depression and stress.
A crucial factor for the effectiveness of the training is that the level of difficulty is tailored specifically to the optimal level for the individual trainee, and that the training is structured in the correct manner. It is furthermore very important that the exercises are designed specifically to train certain functionalities and abilities of the brain.
In short, Brain+ makes the newest knowledge your tool – so you can strengthen your brain and get more out of life.
Working memory improvement
Buschkuehl, M. & Jaeggi S.M (2008)
Episodic memory improvement
Buschkuehl, M. & Jaeggi S.M (2008)
Problem Solving Improvement
Ball, K. & Berch, D (2002)
Reduce risk of Alzheimer’s up to
Deborah E.B., Kristina Y. (2011)