The report “Cognitive Assessment and Training Market by Assessment Type (Pen & Paper Based, Hosted, Biometrics), Service, Application (Clinical Trials, Classroom Learning, Brain Training, Corporate Learning, Academic Research), Vertical and Region – Global Forecast to 2020” by MarketsandMarkets talks about the importance and popularization of cognitive assessment and training tools. These assessments are finding their way in to different markets little by little, such as “dementia screening, clinical trials, academic research, corporate and classroom learning, self-assessment, and brain training. Cognitive assessments can be used in a number of ways and are expected to increase in popularity in the coming years.
Cognitive assessment programs such as CogniFit expect a huge growth in the next five years as it will become a more and more recognized tool to evaluate and train one’s cognitive ability. MarketandMarkets predicts that the cognitive assessment and training market will grow to 7.5 Billion USD by 2020.
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In the article on AT&T Thread, brain games and brain traning is questioned. By understanding what these applications do, we can better understand how to use them.
What do you want to achieve?
Brain training applications say that they can train certain parts of the brain in order to improve in various aspects of your life, like performing better at work, recalling names, and reducing stress. How does this happen? Studies have shown that it is possible to create new neural pathways in the brain, making it possible to overcome difficulties and improve assets. Brain plasticity or neuroplasticity allows the brain to create more of these neural pathways, which can enhance reaction time, processing speed, and global cognition.
Applications or websites like CogniFit, Elevate, and Fit Brain all claim to help improve cognitive areas such as memory, concentration, mental reflexes, and problem solving. Other applications are available that focus mainly on memory building.
There are also a range of games and apps used for relaxation and meditation.
Christi Durden, an RN in Seattle was quoted in the AT&T Thread article talking about her personal experience with brain games. “It’s both challenging and relaxing” she says. Durden mentions how working in the health care field makes one very conscious of the difficulties that memory loss causes. While she has no proof that the games have helped her memory, she claimed that they are entertaining and made her better at the individual game.
Prominent researchers have raised ethical concerns about university scientists’ work for the companies. But some of those scientists reject the criticism as too broad. The Chronicle discloses helpful information you should know when you choose a brain training program
The topic of brain training and its effectiveness has been a question for years. As a new part of the health field, many people are skeptical of its claims and wonder if it really can do what it says.
There are really two sides to this debate. Some researchers, doctors, psychologists, neurologists, etc. claim that it many brain training companies do not have the scientific evidence that they need in order to make the claims that they do. Many professors have refused to take part in the research, and others have signed a document asking for the scientific proof that these activities work.
One professor, Adam Gazzaley is cited on one of the research materials, his name marked with an asterisk. This asterisk shows that there is a conflict of interest, as he is a paid consultant for a company that helped found one of these brain training programs.
Many people do not believe that these companies are deceitful or disingenuous, but when it comes to a question of clients’ money, caution must be taken in order to ensure that they are not being taken advantage of. It is important that the client understand the claims that the company is making, and the fine line between “scientifically based”, and “scientifically validated”.
The latter of these, scientifically based brain training programs, have the scientific research to support their claims and are transparent with their research. CogniFit, a company with 15 years of experience in the brain training field, is one of these companies that has real scientific validation. Tommy Sagroun, CEO of CogniFit, says “[‘based on science’ is] simply a marketing term that is very misleading. It’s not hard to ‘base things on science’”.
Even then, there are some people who say that training with brain training games does not actually help cognition. One user used a brain training program for 9 months and took a 7 month break. When he went back to use the games, he noticed that his scores for all of the games had fallen, proving to him that the games were not effective.
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