Adoption of Brain Training is Running Ahead of Research
You have probably come across the recent consensus statement made by 69 cognitive scientists and neuroscientists, which argued that there is no compelling scientific evidence supporting the claims that playing brain games may actually help people to become smarter. While these scientists believe that we need the illumination of sound research to determine the effectiveness of brain training game, a respected scholar has recently torpedoed what used to be considered the iron clad protecting the claims of scientific research. The researcher concluded that most published research findings are false. Obviously it is irresponsible to claim that brain training games are bogus based on the lack of research, which in itself is being claimed as bogus.
While scientists are arguing about the merits of brain training in the basis of scientific research, teachers and parents who are confronted in helping children experiencing difficulties on a daily basis are running ahead of the evidence-based discourse and adopting a variety of brain training games for helping these children to enhance their cognitive skills.
Drawing from our award-winning research in cognitive skills augmentation, we have developed the Neuro-Ludus brain training game by dovetailing important discoveries in neuroplasticity, gaming and mobile technology. Neuro-Ludus enables youth and adults to augment their analytical/information processing skills to learn more effectively and achieve peak performance.
To succeed in the information society, people need to have well-developed analytical/information-processing skills. Employers view these skills as essential to achieve a competent and productive workforce. Educators also recognize the importance of these skills to learn effectively throughout life. Additionally, the use of digital technology involves the application of advanced cognitive skills for processing huge amounts of complex information quickly and effectively. These skills regulate the information processing habits representing a person’s typical mode of perceiving, visualizing, thinking, problem solving, and remembering.
To mitigate this widening cognitive overload, Neuro-Ludus offers cognitive augmentation brain training to improve analytical/information-processing skills. Neuro-Ludus has a built-in pre-test and post-test to enable players to assess their progress.
Neuro-Ludus contributes to the democratization of brain training in two important ways. First it provides fun, continuous, on-demand brain-training anywhere, anytime, and free for everyone. Second it puts players in the driver’s seat to improve their cognitive skills, and assess their progress in real time, with the help of a highly valid and reliable standardized pre and post-test.
Non-personal information collected from the gameplays will provide important learning analytics, which would help to shed light on the effectiveness of brain training. It is irresponsible for scientists to claim that brain training is bogus, based on presumed quality and paucity of evidence-based information. We caution against blind confidence in “text book” research design and methodology. We have to acknowledge that recent experimental research from the medical field is indicating that subjects in control, non-treatment condition groups, and receiving placebos can show significant improvements. This of course seriously undermines both the internal and external validity of the research.
We need to learn form e-learning research. For several years, research comparing e-learning to traditional instruction was yielding statistically non-significant results. Critics were using these results to claim that e-learning does not work. What they failed to realize is that the effectiveness of an e-learning intervention is incremental and that summative evaluation results are used for the continuous improvement of e-learning interventions. Learning analytics now provides instructional designers with an important tool to identify strengths and weaknesses of e-learning programs. The effectiveness of brain training programs should be viewed from a similar perspective.
During our first involvement in brain training a young student who was struggling in school and was identify as a potential dropout asked us: “Why are we not all born smart”. At the end of the intervention another students told us: “I was always told that I am dumb, now I feel that I am smart”. We believe that brain training is an avenue to help people unlock their full potential. We invite people to play Neuro-Ludus for free.
An animated video demonstration of Neuro-Ludus is accessible from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAYN0xTfihM.
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