Brain Fitness

Can Computer Games Improve Brain Fitness?

"There is no evidence that computer games can improve overall 'brain fitness', other than improving performance on a specific type of game", according to Ron Baecker,the founder of the University of Toronto's Technology for Aging Gracefully Lab (TAGLab).

Ron reviews computer games from the perspective of the older user. This segment of the population has time available to play games, but most computer games are based on the "play / score" model, whereas most seniors look for games that offer 'play and social interaction'.

He suggests that Wii is successful with older people because it combines physical activity with social interaction.

Although there is a lot of commercial promotion of computer games to stimulate the brain, Ron has reviewed the research, and found that that while people can get better at specific games through practice, this improvement does not transfer to improvement in other mental activities. People who did a lot of complex mental activity throughout their lives are more likely to delay the onset of dementia, but there is no magic bullet that we can use late in life to "lower our mental age".