Do Brain Games Really Boost Mind Power?

Do Brain Games Really Boost Mind Power?

A recent column by New York Times blogger Nick Bilton discusses the addictive quality of video games and how we might use them to make our thoughts more powerful, quicker and healthier.

The aim is to develop games that rewire our brains to boost cognitive function and memory.

But with all of the buzz about brain games -- such as Sudoku crossword puzzles, and brain training my subconscious mind sites -- it begs the question: Can brain games be advantageous to brain health?

As a cognitive neuroscientist, this is really a question. As well as the answer is no and yes.

While the games are interesting and engaging, there's insufficient scientific evidence to suggest brain training as it exists now can significantly improve a person 's higher-order cognitive ability.

What we do understand is the fact that the particular function which is being trained is improved by brain games. So, for instance , if you do plenty of crossword puzzles, you might get great at crossword puzzles. The same goes for Sudoku, and any other similar games. But the affects usually do not spill over to other untrained areas and do not elevate vital frontal lobe brain functions such as decision making, preparation and judgment -- functions that enable us to carry out our daily lives. And just like physical workouts, when you stop doing the exercises, the instant increases are lost by your brain.

If you like brain games there is no harm in doing them, but chances are you're better off giving your brain some downtime and gearing up for deeper degree thinking. I recommend taking steps that are pra