New Book Outlines 5 Conditions for Brain Training to Work

          New Book Outlines 5 Conditions for Brain Training to Work

Groundbreaking SharpBrains Analysis Identifies Four Proven Brain Training
Methodologies and Reviews Leading Computerized Programs

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2013

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --To help clarify the confusing media
controversies on whether "brain training" actually works, a new book by
independent market research company SharpBrains outlines five key conditions
required for brain training to work, based on the analysis of hundreds on
scientific studies.

"Brain training is rapidly becoming an important tool in our brain health and
mental health toolkit," says Alvaro Fernandez, CEO of SharpBrains and
co-author of The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness: How to Optimize Brain
Health and Performance at Any Age. "We need to help consumers and
professionals understand its value and its limitations. If something claims to
be brain training, but doesn't meet these five conditions, then it's not
credible brain training to start with."

Misha Pavel, Ph.D., Program Director of Smart Health and Wellbeing at the
National Science Foundation, adds, "Although there is no 'final word' on this
nascent topic, an important transformation is underway that people need to be
aware of and prepared for. This new book is a great start."

The most critical factor in determining whether a brain training method works
is the extent to which the training "transfers" to benefits in daily life.
Building on an analysis of documented examples of brain training techniques
that "work" or "transfer," the new SharpBrains Guide outlines five conditions
that must be met for brain training to translate into meaningful real-world

1.The training must engage and exercise a core brain-based capacity that is
    relevant to real-life outcomes, such as executive attention, working
    memory, speed of processing and emotional regulation. Many supposed "brain
    training" games fail to provide any actual "brain training" because they
    were never really designed to target specific and relevant brain
2.It must target a real performance bottleneck – otherwise it is an exercise
    in vanity similar to building the largest biceps while neglecting crucial
    muscle groups.
3.A minimum "dose" of 15 hours total per targeted brain function, performed
    over 8 weeks or less, is necessary for real improvement. Training only a
    few hours across a wide variety of brain functions will not deliver
    real-world benefits.
4.Training must adapt to performance, require effortful attention, and
    increase in difficulty. This is often a key advantage of computerized
    "brain training" over pen-and-paper-based options.
5.Continued practice is required for continued benefits. The same as you
    wouldn't expect to derive lifelong benefits from running a few hours this
    month and then never exercising again, brain training cannot be sporadic
    and still be effective. While the minimum dose is just that—a minimum
    threshold that begins to produce benefits—continued practice, either at a
    reduced number of hours or as a periodic "booster," is the final condition
    for transfer to real-world benefits over time.

The SharpBrains Guide describes in detail specific protocols of the four brain
training methodologies that meet these conditions –meditation, cognitive
behavioral therapy, biofeedback and cognitive training—and reviews the leading
computerized brain training programs based on published evidence and an
independent customer satisfaction survey conducted in 2012 with over 3,000

To learn more about the SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness, or buy the book
now, visit or any book retailer such as

About The SharpBrains Guide
The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness: How to Optimize Brain Health and
Performance at Any Age" (284 pages; April 2013) is a user-friendly, how-to
guide that cuts through the clutter of media hype and confusing research,
offering proven, practical tips and techniques that anyone can use to enhance
and maintain cognitive, emotional and executive functions throughout life and
even ward off cognitive decline. The book is published by SharpBrains, an
independent market research firm and think tank tracking health and well-being
applications of brain science. Kirkus Reviews found the book to be "a
stimulating, challenging resource, full of solid information and practical
tips for improving brain health." The book is available now at, and everywhere books are sold in paperback and

SOURCE SharpBrains

Contact: Kellie Connors, SS|PR, +1-609-750-1027,
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