There’s a whole bunch of brain training apps out there, promising to not only improve our concentration and memory, but also our overall quality of life.
These apps often make big claims, but with so much debate surrounding cognitive training and the effectiveness of brain training, we wanted to find out what gave them such confidence and why the topic is so often at the centre of discussion in the scientific community.
So our App of the Month is Brainwell, one of the most interesting brain training apps we’ve come across.
Brainwell is backed by a team of neuroscientists, cognitive psychologists, computer scientists, game designers and software developers all involved in development and planning, giving it a certain credibility over similar apps on the market.
The team claim that in a very similar way to our muscles responding to physical exercise, our brain responds to any mental activity we participate in. And with different exercises, different parts of our brain can be stimulated – just like different parts of our body when we go to the gym.
And what could be better than a workout, where you don’t even have to leave the sofa?
The app is easy to use, with a great user interface and over 50 available games. Brainwell focuses on 6 main areas of cognitive development – critical thinking, attention, problem solving, language retention and visual cognition.
Before we started out, we had to take a quick cognitive test so the app could recommend specific games for us to play. Rather than repetitive tests, the games stand out for being genuinely fun and mildly addictive.
We spent a good few hours on both ‘Castle Climb’ and ‘Odd Man Out’, justified largely by the knowledge that we were getting better at ‘analysing information systematically’ and that rather than just wasting time, we were, in some way, getting smarter.
You can train anytime, anywhere – and even take on your friends if you have that competitive edge.
Whilst we may not have seen any huge difference since giving it a go, the app was fun to play on the tube and arguably more addictive than Sudoku. It’s one of the strongest examples of meaningful gamification that we’ve seen in an app and definitely worth a try if you find yourself regularly trying to remember if you locked the front door or not.
You can try Brainwell by downloading it now on Google Play Store – it’s free for seven days, and will continue to offer three free games each day.