Brain Training and the Placebo Effect

How to Correct Your Child Without Discouraging them (28)What if you could simply play games to improve your brain? Well, that’s what the brain training industry is suggesting people do and people are buying into it.

According to a popular brain training website, brainmetrix.com, “You will find some brain fitness workouts that can help your mind process information more quickly and more efficiently, as well as the ability to perform multiple tasks at the same time.”

According to Forbes, “brain-training” is a billion dollar industry. This market is forecasted to reach $4-10 billion by 2020, but research shows the strategy is a myth.

Brain training usually comes in the form of a digital game, and claims to stretch your mind and “brain fitness.” Some sites claim to improve memory, focus, intelligence and even brain creativity.

It seems as though pchildren-593313_960_720eople are always looking for a fun, quick and easy solution instead of sticking with the research-backed road to development– it appeals to those who have “get rich quick” desires.

It might also be a huge market because users claim to see results. But, a new study has examined the possibility of the placebo effect disguised as results and found that this is a likely explanation. 

Cyrus Foroughi and his colleagues at George Mason University tested the placebo effect. They posted two fliers both’s goal to “brain train” but one said “brain training and Cognitive Enhancement” and the other said, “Email today and participate in a study.”

Both groups went through the same hour of “brain training” and the Brain Training group improved their scores on the post-test and the control subjects did not.

According to this information alone, it seems that the brain training works, but even brain training advocates say that one hour is not enough to see results. The subjects simply thought they would perform better, so they did. 

Lexercise’s program is backed by real and in-depth research. We see the improvements in our students each and every day. If you think your child may have dyslexia, you can have them take our free screener here. 

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Taylor Quinn

Blog & PR Intern

Taylor is a senior studying communication at NC State University. As the Blog and PR intern for lexercise she utilizes her passion for writing to help inform parents of struggling readers, writers and spellers. She feels a connection to Lexercise through her love for children and their well-being.