« Breathe Easy: testing breath for disease | Main | Health Robots: close, but not too close »

Brain Training--and monitoring?

Like 1.4m Japanese, I have applied myself to Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training on the Nintendo DS. After 2 months I reduced my brain age to more than 20 years below my biological age--not bad I guess.

Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Dr. Ryuta Kawashima (a neroscientist at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan) has selected numerical and verbal tests that most activate your brain's hemispheres. Surprisingly, the tests are not sophisticated. You solve a range of simple arithmetical and verbal puzzles quickly and your memory is also tested.

The handwriting and speech recognition are good--but it's still frustrating sometimes when the software misreads my handwriting scrawl giving me a red cross instead of the green tick I should have had!

I bought Nintendo's Big Brain Academy which was released recently in the UK. It also tests mental agility with another series of puzzles. I will let you know how I get on.

Devices like this could be used to remotely monitor cognition and perhaps give an early warning of its decline.

Nintendo's UK site for Brain Training.


TrackBack URL for this entry:


Does this work in reverse for infants?


Welcome to the site.

The best brain age you can achieve with Brain Training is 20, so you make an interesting point.

I guess a child prodigy could achieve a brain age greater than its biological age, which would be flattering--at least up to a certain level.

However, testing brain age is not the only way of measuring progress with this game. You can simply try to improve your speed and accuracy at the tests.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)