Do ‘brain training’ apps work? Northeastern scientists will test unique interventions for adolescents with ADHD

Search for a “brain training” application on your smartphone or computer and you will get dozens of suggestions. They all claim to improve memory, attention, problem-solving or other cognitive skills via playing games.

Do these apps work? It depends, say Susanne Jaeggi and Aaron Seitz, professors of psychology at Northeastern University, who have been working together for almost 10 years on ways to assess and improve people’s memory and attention functions with games.

There is a fundamental gap, Jaeggi and Seitz say, in research of cognitive training that allegedly can help maintain or improve cognitive skills such as auditory processing, visual processing, working memory, sustained attention, decision-making and executive functions.

The scientific community widely agrees, Jaeggi says, that when a person plays “brain training” games, they will foster specific skills and get better at playing the game.

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