Experts are always reminding us of the importance of keeping our minds in shape. To achieve this, you can try puzzles or other types of games. You may have even experimented with brain training apps to see if it helps.
Here you can find a selection of the best brain-training apps meant to help you improve your mental abilities.
Can Brain-Training Apps Really Help Boost Your Mental Capacity?
While the scientific community has yet to come to a consensus regarding brain training apps, a new analysis published by Scientific American in September 2020 cites evidence that short-term working memory training can provide benefits to relatively high-functioning individuals, such as college students.
For vision training, there are suggestions that even elite athletes can benefit. Nevertheless, whether one has a memory impairment or not, it’s quite likely that, akin to diet or exercise, brain-training will impact individuals in different ways.
While the matter certainly needs further assessment, there’s no denying that brain-training apps can provide countless hours of fun. And if you can get a mental boost in the process, then all the better.
Price: Free / $4.99
NeuroNation will help you keep your mind in shape. After completing a brief questionnaire as to what you want to improve, the app creates a personalized brain-training plan for you. You can reportedly improve skills such as your memory, concentration, intelligence, and logic, and even reduce stress.
The app features personalized sessions consisting of various exercises and is always adding new ones with its updates. By registering, you can save your progress and compete against other users around the world. NeuroNation also shows you (on a graph) what your strengths and weaknesses are and all the cognitive functions you’re working out.
To prove the effectiveness of home-based training, a group of researchers from the Medical School of Hamburg and University of Wurzburg in Germany worked together on a recent bulletproof study created around NeuroNation.
The study included 170 participants and concluded that the training group, which used NeuroNation premium for 21 training sessions, succeeded in improving memory and other cognitive functions, such as processing speed.
Price: Free / $4.99 and up
Peak’s goal is to improve your language skills, mental agility, focus, memory and more. On top of being packed with countless puzzle games, Peak also benefits from a modern and sleek interface. The app shows you a visual display of how well you did in the exercises, just like the previous service. You’ll automatically see where you excel and how you’ve improved your performance over time.
Like NeuroNation, Peak also provides insight into the science supporting their claims on their official page. For example, research conducted at the University of New York looked at whether Peak games can impact the cognitive functioning and mood of young adults with depressive symptoms.
The study was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders in February 2019 and found that playing some Peak games yielded significant improvements in self and clinical-rated depressive severity, everyday functioning and cognition.
While in the past you could access most of Peak’s games for free, now the app imposes a daily limit of two games. After reaching the limit, it nudges you to upgrade to Premium.
3. Brain Wars
Brain Wars offers quite a few options when it comes to challenging others during brain-training sessions. Besides providing a great design, it also gives you the option to compete with others around you, around the world or in a particular country.
The games offered by this particular app will help you improve your focus, observation, concentration, reactions, and math/geometrical skills as well. Brain Wars also shows you an overall image of what parts of your brain you’re working out with the games you’ve played.
The app doesn’t require you to create an account since you can play as a guest and not give any personal information, but you can create a profile if you want to.
4. Brain Dots
Price: Free / $4.99
With Brain Dots, you only have one mission: to draw lines and other shapes in order to get the two colored dots to bump into each other. It seems simple enough, but as you progress, solutions to the levels get more complicated. If you want a hint to know how to pass the level, tap on the light bulb icon at the top right.
While you start by using a pencil, you can level up to drawing tools such as a pen or even a crayon. You will need to use the coins you won after each level to buy the pen or whatever it is you want to use. More levels will be unlocked as you progress, and you’ll have to deal with a few ads here and there.
Price: Free / $39.99
Elevate is another app with a visually-satisfying interface that claims to be able to improve your writing, speaking, reading and everyday math skills.
After giving you a quick test to assess your native skills, the app creates a personalized training plan. which you need to access daily if you wish to see any results. Daily workouts consist of up to three free games, but unlocking the PRO tier will offer access to more games, as well as additional materials.
To validate their claims, the app’s creators list the conclusions of a study on Elevate’s official page. It was conducted at the California State University which had Elevate users train with the app during a four-week period. After teh training period, the Elevate group and a control group took identical pre- and post-tests that consisted of 33 questions covering the four skills the app claims to be able to boost. The results revealed that Elevate users improved 69% more than non-users.
A great way to keep your mind active is by installing one or more of the apps listed above on your device. With time, you may improve what you didn’t even realize needed improvement.
If you need more games to keep you occupied, you can check out our list of best sites to play online board games with friends or learn how to play old DOS games on macOS with DOSBox.
Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.
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