If you believe you can boost either your IQ or even your memory by buying one of those apps that promise to “train” your brain, you may want to hold on to your hard-earned dollars just a tad longer because you may not be getting your money’s worth when you purchase such a program.
At least not according to a recent study published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National (US) Academy of Sciences. Specifically what these researchers concluded by looking at a bunch of studies that measured brain performance after brain training is that although these apps and programs can improve memory or IQ a slight bit, that effect is mainly due to a placebo effect because simply knowing that you’re taking a brain training app is enough to have a small positive effect on your cognitive abilities, which fits what most “memory experts” have been saying for a long time, that is, that the science behind these memory training apps is very scant at best, and that you should be wary about their positive promises.
But if you want to maintain or even improve your brain function, don’t get too discouraged by this news because there is at least one well-established way to do that and that is to do some regular exercise, which has proven time and again to have a positive effect on brain function. Plus, it can be done for free.
Recent statistics indicate North Americans are living longer than ever. Canadian children born between 2007 and 2009 have a life expectancy of 79 years (boys) and 83 years (girls). In 2012, life expectancy the United States reached an all-time high of 81.2 years (girls) and 76.4 years (boys).
This exciting development is cause for celebration. Given the chance to live a long time, how can we age well? Many of us know a healthy diet and fitness will benefit our body- does that translate into our mental health too? Can we protect our brain from mild age-related decay or more serious diseases like Alzheimer’s?