If one headline I found summed up the issue, it’s this one from an article in the cerebral magazine Scientific American: “Study Shows Brain Power Can Be Bolstered—Maybe.”
It’s no wonder we get a “maybe.” To begin with, what IS brain power? There are so many different elements: reaction time, visual and auditory recognition, attention, processing speed, executive function, and the biggie: memory. Reviewers even chop memory into subgroups, like episodic and working memory.
Even if you zero in on a specific cognitive activity of interest, you have to ask: “Who was tested?” Healthy children? Kids with ADHD? Healthy teens? Healthy adults? Adults with cognitive impairment? Study subjects who were motivated? Subjects who really wanted to improve?
Why should computer brain training be any different?
Can Positive Results "Generalize"? Will They Last?