This review comprises my opinions, both as a consumer and a neuroscientist, of Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training on the Nintendo DS. I have previously (https://www.drjack.co.uk/brain-teasers-brain-training/) outlined my view that brain training is simply a matter of teasing your mental faculties with a variety of word, number and problem solving challenges on a regular basis. In this regard, the greatest advantage of the Nintendo DS brain training over the old-fashioned (but quite possibly equally effective) books of crosswords and number puzzles, is its fantastic convenience and flexibility. You can carry around with you literally thousands of mentally-taxing brain teasers for use during your daily commute, or whilst on adventures to the far corners of the globe, and it will take up no more room in your baggage than a small book. I have also previously described (https://www.drjack.co.uk/does-brain-training-really-work-by-dr-jack-lewis/) why I think that, despite the BBC’s headline-grabbing publication of research suggesting that “BRAIN TRAINING DOESN’T WORK”, I sincerely believe that the jury is still out on that issue. Here you will simply find my considered opinion on how this game rates – as a way to while away some spare time in a manner that probably won’t change your life, but certainly won’t do you any harm and might just sharpen up some very basic, but fundamental, cognitive abilities.
A study conducted in collaboration with the BBC and recently published in top science journal “Nature” suggests that “brain training doesn’t make us smarter”. In this article I argue that lack of proof is not the same as proving that something doesn’t work and outline several reasons why I believe it would be premature to write off the potential benefits of brain training on the basis of the first proper clinical trial ever to investigate this potentially exciting phenomenon. I also describe a possible approach to a future clinical trial that might give brain training the best possible chance of proving itself worthy of the billions of dollars people are spending on such programs worldwide.