Brain games ‘do not improve IQ’

So-called brain training games have zero positive benefits on the intelligence of players, according to new research.

A study by BBC Labs UK, tested 12,000 viewers of the TV show Bang Goes the Theory to practice a series of online tasks for ten minutes a day over a period of six weeks. One group played brain training games, while two other groups did not. Although all groups steadily improved their performance, none outperformed another.

"I think the expectation that practising a broad range of cognitive tasks to get yourself smarter is completely unsupported," said study leader Adrian Owen, a Cambridge-based neuroscientist. He added, "If you’re playing because it’s fun, that’s absolutely fine. But if you’re expecting brain games to improve your IQ, this isn’t the case."

The findings were reported in Nature Magazine.

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