AP English III- 1
28 April 2013
Brain Games: First Draft
Do you often forget your keys or regularly miss appointments? Do you often have a certain word on the tip of your tongue that takes hours to come back to you? Do you feel like your memory is slowly waning? If you frequently find yourself in these types of situations, you may find yourself considering those brain games you hear so much about. New studies suggest that so-called brain games don't improve players' thinking or IQ, they just make you better at playing the games, the New Yorker reported. The studies come after a decade of spotty research suggesting that brain games do work, as well as the launch of companies such as Lumosity, Cogmed and CogniFit that sell brain games for kids, older adults and everyone in between. The New Yorker interviewed Cogmed executives, who insisted the new research was flawed. Meanwhile, the researchers involved in the skeptical studies say it's unethical to sell software that doesn't work, especially to vulnerable audiences such as kids with learning disorders or older adults worried about cognitive decline, or the rising failure to acquire new knowledge. A study, hoping to debunk recent studies, tried to replicate previous research showing that certain mental exercises improved fluid intelligence, which is important to learning and is associated with professional success. The newer study wasn't able to reproduce the effects of the previous experiments. This failure to reproduce the effects of the previous experiments helped prove that brain games are nothing more than mere games. A so-called "meta-analysis" that reviewed 23 previous studies of brain games, weighting the studies by how rigorous they were and how many study participants they included. Like the other skeptical studies, the meta-analysis found that people just got better at the games they played, but their skills didn't transfer elsewhere, such as people's verbal and...
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