We spend hours every day on our android or iOS devices. The information overflow surely has a mind numbing effect. There’s a floating notion that overburdened with information, our working memory along with our attention span is faltering.
At this point a mobile game or application that claims to enhance your intelligence quotient in a matter of hours can be tempting. While an application that engages your working memory and triggers your critical thinking faculties cannot harm, it’s better to have regulated and limited expectations.
A research team, under the leadership of Bobby Strojanoski, has done some seminal work in this area. They took two games, let’s say A and B, which require similar engagement of the working memory.
Now, they asked the first group to play game A for some time before they go on to play game B. The other group was not given the game A. They played B directly.
The results of the survey revealed that there was no evident effect of the brain training games on the first group. While playing the game engages the working memory, it does not evidently enhance cognitive prowess.
Cognitive boost or not. You can play some brain training game for the sheer fun of it. Developers are coming up with a lot of ideas to engage the brain more meaningfully. While their effect is not evident, they sure engage you in a cool manner.
Wordle, for instance, is a fun game run by the New York Times. The game has a tremendous fan following around the world. The game comes up with a 5 letter puzzle everyday. You get five empty tiles which you have to fill with right guesses. If you guess a letter right in the right place, the tile turns green. If you are way off and your guess is not in the word, the tile changes into grey.
Lumosity and Elevate are other games developed specifically to enhance brain function. Sadly, their effect is not evident yet.
In fact, it is proven that our cognitive ability is enhanced by exercising, sleeping well, and socializing. Those are definitely some things we should focus more on.