Why is it difficult for researchers to recognize the effects of brain training?

'Brain training,' which trains the prefrontal cortex of the brain by repeating simple problems, has become widespread in the world through video games and smartphone apps. While some researchers claim that brain training has 'beneficial effects' such as improving IQ, many researchers deny that it is 'meaningless.' Susanne M. Jagi, a professor of education and cognitive science at the University of California, explains why these conflicts are occurring.

Does'Brain Training' Actually Work? --Scientific American


In the past, Mr. Jagi announced research results that training the brain can achieve good results in the IQ test, but many researchers questioned the results. Some researchers are skeptical about brain training, and many have actually shown research results that 'brain training has no effect.' In 2016, the research result that 'the effect of brain training is due to placebo' was also shown.

It is proved that the ability improvement by brain training was produced by the 'placebo effect' --GIGAZINE

By Neil Conway

According to Jagi, the reason for the disagreement about the effects of brain training is that there is no effective common method to measure 'how much the brain training has improved' and that the brain process is truly improved. It is because it is difficult to show. Jagi points out that it may not be possible to accurately measure 'Is brain training effective?' Due to lack of legitimate means of evaluation.

'If training really improves brain function, it may help people with cognitive impairment, etc. Brain training has great potential,' said Jagi. Jagi himself is conducting research to affirm the effectiveness of brain training. Jagi argued that 'who should be the subject' should also be considered in order to prove that 'brain training is effective'.

For example, studies have shown that brain training for athletes has had a beneficial effect on visual function. Also, according to Jagi, there is a study that brain training of short-term memory is effective for the younger generation, although it is unassessed, 'Brain training does not have the same effect for everyone.' Mr. Jagi insists.

Jagi says that experiments with tens of thousands of people are needed to clearly demonstrate the benefits of brain training. In fact, Jagi's team, funded by the National Institutes of Health, is planning a study comparing multiple approaches to training brain working memory in approximately 30,000 subjects. The study uses common criteria to evaluate training outcomes and compares results with a focus on individual differences.

'Only by gathering a large number of participants and assessing what training is related to the individual and how can we clearly address the controversy over brain training. If this study succeeds,'Individuals. 'The best way to train your brain,' 'characteristics of individuals who are more likely to benefit from each brain training,' etc., 'says Jagi.

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