Brain Trainer app gives you a mental workout

Aug 17, 2010
Educational

If you’ve got high hopes of joining Mensa and you’re worried that you won’t make the cut, or you just want to exercise your brain to snatch the title of Sudoku or crossword-puzzle master, there’s a potential solution within reach on your iPhone or iPod Touch, an app based on research that claims it can […]

If you’ve got high hopes of joining Mensa and you’re worried that you won’t make the cut, or you just want to exercise your brain to snatch the title of Sudoku or crossword-puzzle master, there’s a potential solution within reach on your iPhone or iPod Touch, an app based on research that claims it can “train your brain.”

Deemed “an iPhone app that offers users a complete brain-training experience in a mobile format,” Brain Trainer by Lumosity boasts that it can improve your memory, enhance your mood and attention span, and sharpen your problem-solving skills.

As soon as you open the app, you’re warmly greeted with the following: “The human brain starts slowing down as early as age 30. The good news is that you can speed it up and improve even your most basic cognitive abilities at any age.” If that sounds depressing for those of us born after 1980, this isn’t: The app says that by playing just one session per day (each game has a total of three sessions), you’ll be on your way to improving your cognitive abilities. And, perhaps, one step closer to Mensa initiation.

Before you begin, you’ll need to create an account, which will then prompt you for a user name, password and e-mail address, along with your birthday, educational level and gender. Be forewarned that the free price tag on Brain Trainer can be a bit deceptive. While the first five sessions are free, if you want to continue using the service with full access, a subscription is required.

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Brain Trainer has seven games, including Shapes, Memory Matrix, Chalkboard Challenge and Lost in Migration. You’ll find directions for each game, along with a built-in timer and a score, which can be shared on Facebook. You’ll be able to track your progress and see how smart you’ve gotten.

While Brain Trainer might or might not be your golden ticket into Mensa, if you practice long enough (and pay for that subscription service!), you’ll certainly dazzle your friends by whizzing through Sudoku or crossword puzzles, even the most challenging ones on the back page of that in-flight magazine. Now, that’s brilliant.

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Lauren Drell

Lauren Drell is a freelance writer living in Chicago who appreciates descriptive adjectives and the art of the perfectly cooked shoestring french fry. She graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

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