For centuries, scientists believed that most brain development occurred in the first few years of life — that by adulthood the brain was largely immutable. But over the past two decades, studies on animals and humans have found that the brain continues to form new neural connections throughout life.
But questions remain whether an intervention that challenges the brain — a puzzle, studying a new language or improving skill on a video game — can really raise intelligence or stave off normal memory loss.
A series of studies in recent years has suggested that certain types of game training can improve a person’s cognitive performance. In February 2013, however, an analysis of 23 of the best studies on brain training, led by the University of Oslo researcher Monica Melby-Lervag, concluded that while players do get better, the increase in skill hasn’t been shown to transfer to other tasks. In other words, playing Sudoku or an online matching game makes you better at the game, but it doesn’t make you better at math or help you remember names or where you left your car keys.
But other studies have been more encouraging.
~Tara Parker Pope, WELL blog, New York Times
Read the complete article, Do Brain Workouts Work? Science Isn’t Sure.