The best games to train your brain – and their benefits
There’s certainly no shortage of apps that claim to boost your brainpower by having you pop numbered balloons in ascending order or drop blocks into obligingly shaped gaps. But does practicing such games translate into aptitude at real-world tasks?
Studies have found improved reasoning and problem-solving skills in over-50 adults who played brain-training games.
Elevate incorporates a huge range of games underpinned by real-world applications, in five streams of learning: Listening, Writing, Reading, Speaking, and Math. Each of these spans intriguingly named skills such as Brevity or Eloquence. In one exercise, you’re asked to type in the best synonyms, rather than choosing from a list, which can be helpful for those struggling with that word on the tip of the tongue.
Highly practical exercises include sum estimation (handy for those bill calculations), tests of common spelling and grammar errors, and, uniquely, audio passages whose details you’re quizzed on. Exercises become harder the more you play, with the option to unlock “Study Materials” for skills such as public speaking after finishing five daily training sessions. Pro users get unlimited access to games, unlimited plays and more analysis on their performance.
Elevate users tested about 70% better than nonusers on questions in grammar, writing, listening, and math, the key practical skills designed to be trained by the app. But remember: Performing well in a test doesn’t necessarily translate to performing well at work or in social situations.
The price for full access for a month is about €10, 1 year for €40, and a lifetime membership is available for €140.
Lumosity’s team of neuroscientists, psychologists and game developers are turning out quick, beautifully designed exercises. These are intended to improve cognitive skills such as information processing, spatial orientation and working memory, in surprisingly fun mini-games such as reorganizing a train track on the fly to get carriages home to the right station. The app also recently added a Mindfulness category comprising led meditation sessions for focusing breath and attention, ranging from one minute to several minutes long.
As with its fellow brain-training apps, the paid-for version unlocks the vast majority of games as well as access to analysis on your cognitive skills. A study of 4,700 participants found that the half who played Lumosity performed better at a general cognition test than the half who did crossword puzzles.
The price for full access for a month is about €10, a one year membership will cost you €55.
Designed by game experts with inputs from neuroscientists, Fit Brains is a fun and challenging brain training program. Your personal bests, progress and training streaks are all tracked to make you aware of your strengths and weaknesses.
Not only Fit Brains provides the maximum variety of any brain trainer but also delivers half the workouts for free. However, the premium subscription price is quite expensive for this kind of program.
The program has around 60+ fun games and 500+ personalized training activities. In addition to training Cognitive Skills, it also trains your Emotional Intelligence Skills. These skills include social skills, self-awareness, social awareness, and self-control.
The program automatically customizes training based on your progress, to give you the appropriate level of challenges along the way.
Games included in the app challenge areas like memory, focus, the speed of thinking, logic, problem-solving, and language and visual-spatial recognition.
Some of the games are included in the free trial. But to get the full experience consider buying the premium monthly subscription for about €8, or the premium yearly subscription for about €40.
CogniFit Brain Fitness
Developed with the help of neuroscientists, this fun app improves a person’s cognitive abilities, which includes memory and concentration.
The progress made by the user over a period of time can be tracked and reviewed to see which areas need more work. Users can also play challenge rounds with their friends.
The app also modifies the difficulty level to suit the profile of the user and provide recommendations based on the results. Spending 20–30 minutes a few times every week can give measurable improvement in the performance of a user. First four games free, then CogniFit costs about €10 a month.
Developed by cognitive neuroscientists, HighIQPro is based on well-established, evidence-based prototypes from laboratory studies. It is gamified for an effective delivery system to improve your IQ and memory.
HighIQPro is based on training, expanding, and improving the performance of working memory. The better your working memory, the better your problem-solving, reasoning, comprehending, and decision making. Thus intellectual gains based on standardized tests are guaranteed. HighIQPro might be the best brain training app available in the market today.
However, this app is quite expensive. Therefore you should be really willing to train your brain for a gainful deal. But HighIQPro is the only company that guarantees a 10-20 point IQ increase and a 50% working memory increase. Your individual results are based on the pre and post-training unvarying IQ and memory tests. If you don’t see any results on these gains, they will pay you back immediately.
Desktop Single License – €40, Mobile Single License – €20.
By Catherina Arndt.