Do Brain Training Programs work? is a question we get asked at our Psychology seminars and conferences. The first thing we always point out that real, scientific based, research supported brain training programs are more than just simplistic memory games. In fact, the RaiseYourIQ brain training program is based on books we have written and represents over 50 years combined research into improving peoples mental abilities.
Our brain training program has an adaptive, varied and challenge based logic, which begins with simple tests and games, gradually expanding the complexity to help the user reach the limit of their capabilities before challenging them to move to new levels of cognitive behavior.
Remember, the goal of brain training programs is to make your SMARTER.
As a consumer, parent or as someone interested in brain training, it can be difficult to determine which brain training programs are really effective. At RaiseYourIQ, we always stress that the importance of reading the the scientific evidence behind the various brain training games providers plus the purpose for which the games have been designed for (for example, to help with ADHD, learning difficulties, cognitive challenges or promoting healthy brain functioning ), and to understand the people, the research and the principles behind the design of the exercises.
What do Brain Training Programs Do?. Well, brain training usually refers to the cognitive training a person undertakes where they perform a series of mental exercises to improve the brain’s cognitive skills. Improvement in cognitive skills in a learning and educational sense are important as these are the skills our brain uses to read, reason, learn, comprehend, remember, recall and for attention span. Cognitive skills are also determine a persons IQ.
At RaiseYourIQ, our university supported clinical research into cognitive development shows that cognitive skills gaps are not strengthened by time or conventional learning. Our published research shows that children who struggle with math, reading, learning, reasoning or memory recall will usually grow into adults with these same struggles.
Our brain training program has been designed on our research that kids and adults can recall details and information better when they encode it in several different ways and then make meaningful connections to the subject. “Relational Skills” through imagery, puzzles and the creation of connections to the details to be remembered, enhances cognitive skills and memory recall. We have proven that testing oneself as opposed to just consuming information supports longer-term learning and memory. And just like a gym for the body, spreading out the mental exercises instead of cramming them in a large block of time improves the memory for already studied information.
Relational skills are the skills that help you to understand the relationships that can exist between any two things. For example, they can be the same as each other, or opposite, one may be more than the other, or less, and so on.
Also effective brain training programs should focus on improving "Working memory", this involves the brains ability to focus in on tasks, retain information and the ability to conduct mental processing on such information. Working memory has been proven to be a fundamental brain function that underpins most of our conscious mental functioning. It is also called upon to execute certain functions when learning, such as the ability to understand the content while reading or when solving math problems. Working memory is used when in everyday life such as following instructions, reading maps or having a conversation.
Finally, to answer the question, are all Brain Training Programs the same and do they work?, our reply at RaiseYourIQ is No.
Dr. Bryan Roche and Dr. Sarah Cassidy have been involved for over 20 years as scientists in the development of the SMART brain training learning and educational method within the behavioral research community in which the idea of “relational skills” first evolved. The RaiseYourIQ approach to brain health is based on Relational Frame Theory – a modern theory of cognition that our team has helped to develop over the past two decades.
RaiseYourIQ is the only brain training program offering online relational skills training based on the tried and tested methods of applied behavior analysis (ABA). These technologies have developed over decades in a research tradition started by the now legendary psychologist B.F Skinner. Skinner was not a brain scientist. He was an expert in the science of learning and teaching. Skinner’s ideas eventually led to the development of supremely successful treatments for a whole range of learning, educational and intellectual deficits including autism spectrum disorders, and his approach taught us how to help individuals reach and surpass their intellectual potential.