Professor of psychology Alain Lieury (from the University of Rennes) has carried out a study that (shockingly!) finds there are better ways to improve your mental faculties than using Dr Kawashima's Brain Training
Mainstream newspapers such as The Times
and Daily Mail
are keen to point out that a pencil and paper is one of the better methods in question, but in at least one category doing nothing at all proved better than both.
Lieury took a group of 67 youngsters and split them into four groups. The first two did seven-week memory courses on the DS (neither The Times
nor the Mail
wants to tell us on which games), one group did pencil and paper tests while another did nothing outside their normal routines.
The most damning result for the DS test was in memory tests. After the DS course the kids were apparently 17% worse, while pencil and paper users were 33% better.
In logic tests, however, Nintendo kids and their old school pals both registered a 10% improvement. Their lazy peers who did nothing unusual, however, improved by 20%! Makes you wonder about the testing, eh?
In Maths tests, Nintendo kids improved 19% - the same as the pencil and paper users and 1% better than the idlers.
In his book due later this month, Stimulate Your Neurones
, Lieury writes, “There were few positive effects and they were weak. Dr Kawashima is one of a long list of dream merchants.”
He does have something nice to say too, however - “The Nintendo DS is a technological jewel. As a game it's fine”, he uttered, before going on to state, “But it is charlatanism to claim that it is a scientific test.”
So what should we take from this? Possibly that Brain Training
won't change your life? Maybe that 67 'youngsters' isn't exactly the largest sample ever used in research, nor seven weeks a long period? We could even examine that fact that the good doctor has a book, Stimulate Your Neurones
, coming out next month, and along with the newspapers... we've just publicised it as well. Damn his professorial cleverness!Sources:
The Daily Mail