CogniFit's Science blog: Why Is Cognitive Training Superior Than Video Games?

Why Is Cognitive Training Superior Than Video Games?

In our last posting, "Cognitive Training that Works", we explained the absolute necessity to obtain scientific proof for the cognitive training program of your choice.

We also explained what constitutes scientific proof and what does not. This posting is about some of the scientifically proven benefits of cognitive training.

Cognitive training is brain fitness for those who want to slow cognitive decline and improve their quality of life. Using cognitive training, you can maintain or enhance a wide range of cognitive abilities in areas such as memory, visual and spatial processing, executive control, and speed of processing. As discussed, it is never too soon to start training your brain and taking care of your mental health.

Among the companies that develop cognitive training software, only a few provide rigorous scientific proof that the training works. Many scientific studies have been conducted using the CogniFit training software, with the findings demonstrating the program’s efficacy in improving cognitive skills. Here, we discuss one of the CogniFit study that appeared as a peer-reviewed publication in a scientific journal.

Age-related cognitive decline is a problem that affects many healthy older adults, causing major difficulties in tasks such as driving, learning new skills, navigating in novel environments, and planning and remembering daily activities.

Thus, there are many scientific studies on a population of healthy older adults that have utilized CogniFit training, as they are at the greatest risk for experiencing age-related cognitive decline.

In a very recent rigorously controlled study published in Neuroepidemiology scientists investigated the benefits of CogniFit training as compared to playing computer video games in a population of adults aged fifty years and older.

The cognitive training group, who used the software three times a week for the duration of three months, improved significantly more on a well validated mainstream neurocognitive battery in several cognitive areas when compared to the control group who played for the same duration of time three times a week.

The cognitive training group significantly surpassed the video games playing group on spatial short-term memory, visuo-spatial learning, and focused attention, as well as on the overall Nexade cognitive score.

This study is of special importance because, despite playing a wide variety of challenging classical video games, the control group improved very little and could not match the significant cognitive improvements experienced by the cognitive training group.

Why is cognitive training superior to video games? The authors offer two explanations. First they think that the CogniFit training program, being highly personalized had tailored a unique training regimen for each participant. This was done using the results that each participant obtained on the full CogniFit neuropsychological baseline evaluation that opens the training. Because no two persons ever get the same results on the CogniFit neuropsychological evaluation, no two persons are likely to get the same training regimen. Rather, each is assigned training matched to his or her own needs.

Another explanation offered by the scientists to explain why CogniFit works better than games lies in the multiplicity of the cognitive skills assessed and trained by the program. Indeed, CogniFit assesses and consequently trains many different abilities that are all important for prolonging autonomy and increasing quality of life in the elderly.