The Growing Field of Brain Fitness

by | Feb 26, 2016 | Top Stories Featured

Today our world is changing faster than ever before. Technology is constantly advancing, so we have to learn more information at faster rates just to stay current. One way to keep our brains healthier for longer is brain training.

Brain training is part of the new and growing field of brain fitness. Brain fitness is the brain’s ability to learn what the body needs to know in order to survive its rapidly changing environment. Since people are living and working much longer than before, brain fitness was developed as a way of keeping our brains active even as we reach old age. The goal of brain training is to improve brain plasticity and enhance and rehabilitate brain function. Fit Brain, Cognifit, and Luminosity are some examples of applications that strive to improve these aspects of brain health.

As technology continues to advance, more people are understanding the need for brain fitness. That is why a growing percentage of the population has started filling their spare time with these interactive learning apps. Since we can exercise our brains while we wait in line or during our morning commute, it is far more convenient than going to the gym. Additionally, these apps are entertaining.

Even though more people are turning to brain fitness, there still has not been much formal research on improving brain health through applications. As we continue to rely on technology to meet more of our everyday needs, brain fitness through technology will need to be properly researched.

The problem with conducting research on brain fitness is that it covers several major concepts such as one’s environment, learning ability, and plasticity. In spite of proper training and resources, some people are unable to master certain skills. Others struggle with dyslexia or dyspraxia, which can further complicate the learning process. However, the brain is very flexible so many people can find ways to work around their conditions and excel in spite of them.

Nevertheless, the brain will not be able to compensate for these conditions without the proper environment and resources to allow it to succeed. That is why brain fitness does not rely on any specific learning strategies, skills, or abilities so that can be accessible to anyone. Instead, brain training uses the environment to offer information from multiple parallel sources. In the case of people with dyslexia, these would be listening, acting, oral reading, and written text.

The main question that the field of brain fitness has yet to address is whether all human brains can still learn and train even in cases where neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, are affecting the learning process. New research will help us learn more about the tools required to continue training our brains as we age, and it will provide interesting insight into how brain fitness can be applied to the fields of medicine, psychology, and neuroscience.

While we wait for that research to be conducted, it is best to test your cognitive function as much as possible by playing Sudoku, puzzles, riddles, and brain fitness applications. Regular cognitive exercise is the key to preventing brain degeneration and improving brain health.

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