OUTREACH ARTICLE / ARTICLE DE VULGARISATION
(see related scientific article below / voir l'article scientifique source plus bas)
Brain training has no effect on decision-making or cognitive function, researchers report
A recent study found that, not only did commercial brain training with Lumosity™ have no effect on decision-making, it also had no effect on cognitive function beyond practice effects on the training tasks.
Une récente étude a démontré que non seulement un entrainement avec Lumosity™ n'avait pas d'effet sur les habiletés de prise de décision, mais qu'en plus il n'avait pas d'effet sur les fonctions cognitives au-delà d'un effet de pratique lié aux tâches spécifiques demandées.
SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE / ARTICLE SCIENTIFIQUE
No effect of commercial cognitive training on neural activity during decision-making
Kable, J. W., Caulfield, M. K., Falcone, M., McConnell, M., Bernardo, L., Parthasarathi, T., ... & Diefenbach, P. (2017). No effect of commercial cognitive training on neural activity during decision-making. Journal of Neuroscience, 2832-16.
Increased preference for immediate over delayed and for risky over certain rewards has been associated with unhealthy behavioral choices. Motivated by evidence that enhanced cognitive control can shift choice behavior away from immediate and risky rewards, we tested whether training executive cognitive function could influence choice behavior and brain responses. In this randomized controlled trial, 128 young adults (71 male, 57 female) participated in 10 weeks of training with either a commercial web-based cognitive training program or web-based video games that do not specifically target executive function or adapt the level of difficulty throughout training. Pre- and post-training, participants completed cognitive assessments and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during performance of validated decision-making tasks: delay discounting (choices between smaller rewards now vs. larger rewards in the future) and risk sensitivity (choices between larger riskier rewards vs. smaller certain rewards). Contrary to our hypothesis, we found no evidence that cognitive training influences neural activity during decision-making, nor did we find effects of cognitive training on measures of delay discounting or risk sensitivity. Participants in the commercial training condition improved with practice on the specific tasks they performed during training, but participants in both conditions showed similar improvement on standardized cognitive measures over time. Moreover, the degree of improvement was comparable to that observed in individuals who were reassessed without any training whatsoever. Commercial adaptive cognitive training appears to have no benefits in healthy young adults above those of standard video games for measures of brain activity, choice behavior, or cognitive performance.