A few years back, what we now call “brain games” started a new trend and became a national and international pastime, but are they a hoax or help?
A clear cut answer to this difficult question has not yet been found. The brain is a fascinating part of the human body and although scientists are currently working towards understanding it, they have barely scratched the surface.
However, what we do know about it may provide evidence in the hoax or help debate spurred on by these games. As previous studies have revealed, the more you repeat certain tasks, the better the brain gets at handling them, and this appears to be the principle behind brain games.
So what is then the difference between brain games and the common, everyday game? The answer would be the fact that by playing the former, one could gain life skills that should influence and play a part in the real world. Their providers maintain that brain games are specifically designed to improve our memory and sharpen our skills.
In a world with an ever-increasing number of mental degeneration diseases such as Alzheimers, any means that could help prevent us from memory losses or even better, heighten our mental capacities are bound to be greatly appreciated and sought out.
So why exactly is it so hard to demonstrate the actual helpfulness of the so-called brain games, especially when a medical explanation has already been brought forth in the form of neural plasticity. The term is used to denote our brain’s capacity of continuously acquiring and storing new information without bending or breaking, that is, without losing already stored data.
But this ability is rivaled by another. The subject of transference or our brain’s capacity of applying in a new situation what we have learned in another has been thoroughly studied, but still raises questions. The fact that the brain can use information acquired through different means in a new situation is a given, but the nature of this transference poses a problem. How useful can it be, say, to recite Pi when you don’t remember lyrics or can’t work the laundry machine?
It is true that brain games help you develop a certain type of skills, but their range is still limited. It is true that by practicing a lot, one gets better at certain tasks but, for the moment, it is still quite hard to determine if these brain games are a hoax or help as their applicability in regards to cognition improvements or even academic or professional accomplishments is as yet unknown.
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