Science or sciencey ….The illusion of potential
Via Invisible Gorilla Blog
Almost all of the programs that tout their ability to train your brain are limited in scope. Most train your ability to perform simple cognitive tasks by having you perform them repeatedly, often adapting the difficulty of the task over time to keep it challenging. Some determine which tasks you perform well and which need improvement and adjust the tasks based on your ongoing performance. The simplest ones, though, simply track how much you improve and inform you that such improvements have made increased the fitness of your brain. Such task-specific training effects can be really useful—if you want to enhance your ability to do Sudoku, by all means practice doing Sudoku. But what pitches for those programs regularly imply is that playing their videogame or using their training will enhance your ability to do other tasks that weren’t specifically trained. For example, this advertisement for Nintendo’s Brain Age implies that by using their game, you will be better able to remember your friend’s name when you meet him on the street.