View Full Version : Little evidence that brain training works.


sarahsweets
10-05-16, 04:56 AM
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/10/03/study-little-evidence-brain-training-has-wider-benefits/91489638/
Dont know if this is the right section.
I aways suspected this but I am glad there are more studies and publicity about it.

TygerSan
10-05-16, 08:03 AM
It always seemed to me that the studies showed people improve with practice. So practicing on a brain game makes you better at the brain game, but that improvement doesn't necessarily transfer to real life.

Unmanagable
10-05-16, 09:08 AM
I agree with Tyger, you improve at playing the game on the computer, but at the game of life, not so much.

I always had a weird gut feeling about trying all the different forms of "neurofeedback" and brain training that required you to do the computerized homework and play the games. They offered it as a helpful tool that would train my brain the way they felt it needed to be trained vs. training my brain to work as it was meant to do. No thanks.

Then I had a practitioner introduce me, via the local time bank, to a different variety or neurofeedback (the neuroptimal brand) that supposedly was able to help your brain function as it should, without trying to program it or steer it in a certain direction. Sounded way too good to be true, but I had nothing to lose in trying it.

I'm not fluent in scientific speak, at all, and when I first looked it all up, it appeared to be more sales pitches than anything, but I'm so glad I was able to look beyond the hype and beyond my own preconceived notions of things without enough science to "back it up" to experience the real value it could hold for me.

She also reminded me of the importance of gauging things by how they actually make me feel more so than by the words of others who tend to not believe in things until they've already been proven by enough folks to warrant what are considered credible studies. She made absolutely no money from me, she just earned hours in exchange for the hours she allowed me to be hooked up to the machine.

Without having that individual offer the experience via the time bank, I would have never tried it based on how much it costs to do so per office visit. Yet another life-saving/enriching tool I pretty much lucked into.

The best way I can describe it is by envisioning it to be a broom and dustpan in my neural pathways clearing out the debris left behind from all my "what-ifness" thinking, and all the other side trips my mind takes within a moment, to make room for all the cool stuff it's actually capable of doing.

It worked so well my husband invested in a personal machine for me the following xmas, after seeing many subtle, yet very significant changes over a period of a 11 months, using it a total of 8-10 times within that time frame.

I began to notice healthful changes in myself after the 6th session. I now use it once every 3-6 months or so, depending on how I feel, and it's a great bartering tool among other healers who are interested and have also experienced therapeutic effects from using it previously.

Not all of them are BS, as witnessed by my own experimentation and results, but many certainly seem to be. And as with everything in this twisted world, each individual's mileage may vary. Hustlers are on every corner, for sure, trying to make those dollars, and sometimes, most especially the corners we think are legit.

TygerSan
10-05-16, 12:29 PM
Bio/neurofeedback is a whole different beast. The cognitive training games are supposedly getting you to exercise your brain like a muscle so that you can, say, increase your working memory capacity by playing a game where you're counting as people run in and out of houses (for example).

Neurofeedback, on the other hand, is essentially gamifying something akin to mindfulness/meditation. It's using feedback of some kind (often packaged as a game like driving a car down a street) that rewards you for getting your brain into a specific state. I haven't really looked at the literature in a while (and it's one of those things that's particularly hard to look at in a double-blind kind of way like you'd do with medication), but if I remember right, there is some evidence that neurofeedback does help somewhat.

mildadhd
10-05-16, 08:54 PM
It always seemed to me that the studies showed people improve with practice. So practicing on a brain game makes you better at the brain game, but that improvement doesn't necessarily transfer to real life.

Thanks TygerSan, "..people improve with practice."

And we are more likely to want to consistently practice things that our brain's positive feeling emotional systems respond to.


G

TygerSan
10-06-16, 02:38 PM
Thanks TygerSan, "..people improve with practice."

And we are more likely to want to consistently practice things that our brain's positive feeling emotional systems respond to.
Which is why, even if the working memory games *did* improve working memory in real life, you won't find me playing them. :giggle:

I *hate* them with a passion, and get really frustrated trying to play them. Even if they are set on "easy" mode.

mildadhd
10-10-16, 02:43 AM
Which is why, even if the working memory games *did* improve working memory in real life, you won't find me playing them. :giggle:

I *hate* them with a passion, and get really frustrated trying to play them. Even if they are set on "easy" mode.

Me to.

Not very much fun at all.

Frustration soon drains my desire to so call "play".

Although I am much more enthusiastic about accessing information on the Internet for what ever I am interested in at the time.

So much so that I do not have a phone with Internet, because I know I would be glued to it.

G

BellaVita
10-10-16, 05:11 AM
I had bio/neurofeedback done on me for four years.

Some areas that were majorly focused on were: training me to focus and be less distracted, worked on my depression, deep breathing techniques and being taught to lower my heart rate, and teaching me how to calm the constant brain chatter and fall asleep.

There were other important things the doctor worked on but I've somewhat blocked the details out since it all took place during a hard time in my life

What really turned out to be the most focus of the sessions was training me to learn how to sleep (fall asleep)

I can honestly say that these brain things might've had a tiny effect but overall nothing overly helpful in the long-term. I did come out of the sessions feeling extremely relaxed, though. I still remember all the breathing techniques and full body relaxation techniques. And hearing a certain type of ringing bells is something I can tell still somewhat relaxes me (the program he had would play different bell sounds as an audio reward to signal I was doing the right thing in my brain) because of how much I got trained to clear my mind to fall asleep. Like I can tell it's because of the memory I have of the experiences.

But yeah, it was just really expensive and maybe could've helped if I wasn't living in an abusive home environment but for me it had little beneficial effects.

It couldn't fix my disorders I guess.

Hermus
10-11-16, 05:02 PM
While I can understand why you would want to go for Neurofeedback, Bella, I highly doubt whether it would have helped in any case. There is little real scientific evidence for neurofeedback being effective.

http://www.printfriendly.com/print?source=homepage&url_s=uGGCF%25dN%25cS%25cSJJJmCFLpuByBtLGBqnLmpBz% 25cSoyBt%25cSoEnvA-zLGuF%25cScabdac%25cSErnq-CnLvAt-baaF-ArHEBsrrqonpx-GurEnCL-a

BellaVita
10-11-16, 07:26 PM
While I can understand why you would want to go for Neurofeedback, Bella, I highly doubt whether it would have helped in any case. There is little real scientific evidence for neurofeedback being effective

http://www.printfriendly.com/print?source=homepage&url_s=uGGCF%25dN%25cS%25cSJJJmCFLpuByBtLGBqnLmpBz% 25cSoyBt%25cSoEnvA-zLGuF%25cScabdac%25cSErnq-CnLvAt-baaF-ArHEBsrrqonpx-GurEnCL-a

It was something I didn't have a choice in, until I quit going when I was much older. (The doctor and my mom ended up verbally and mentally abusing me together at the end of the four years I went there, in the span of two sessions, and the doctor broke many of the "rules" that they aren't supposed to break. My mom was extremely manipulative, and that whole experience traumatized me) was a child being brought there by my "parents."

Thanks for the article!