In the commercial world, hyperbole reigns. App stores are littered with brazen claims — Elevate-Brain Training, for example, is “based on extensive research.” Ulman Lindenberger, a director at the Max Planck Institute, recently published a study that found that 100 days of cognitive training yielded a “relatively minor” improvement in working memory. Soon afterward, a German brain-training firm cited his paper on its website, despite the lack of any connection between his research and its product. The company even appropriated the Max Planck logo.
This month, an international group of 30 scientists — including Lindenberger — became so fed up that they issued “The Consensus on the Brain Training Industry From the Scientific Community,” a withering statement denouncing the hype by both companies and media. “Claims promoting brain games,” they wrote, “are frequently exaggerated and at times outright misleading.” One of the group’s organizers, Laura Carstensen, the director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, says, “I started just feeling like we were obligated — we the scientific community in the aging world — to say something and to not just sit by and have this go on.”
Read the full article at The New York Times.