New app for brain training works like digital Ritalin

New app for brain training works like digital Ritalin

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Can an app improve concentration?

Experts have now developed a new free brain training app that significantly improves owner concentration. The program works like digital Rialin, so to speak. Doctors hope that the app can replace the use of certain medications.

In their current study, the scientists from the internationally recognized University of Cambridge tested an app that helps improve concentration. The researchers published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience".

Many find it difficult to concentrate

The emergence of new technologies increasingly requires simultaneous work on several projects, for example, texts have to be edited, social media monitored and, in addition, e-mails answered quickly. This can lead to problems with maintaining concentration and increased distractions. The difficulty of focusing and concentrating attention is further exacerbated by stress, jet lag from frequent trips and poor sleep.

App improved attention within a month

The experts at the Behavioral and Clinical Neuroscience Institute at the University of Cambridge have now developed the free app decoder. This game is designed to help improve attention and focus. The app is based on the team's own research and has been scientifically tested. The doctors found that playing decoders on an iPad over a period of one month increased attention and concentration. This form of attention activates a so-called frontal-parietal network in the brain, the scientists say.

Performance improvement through the app was significant

In the study, 75 young adults were divided into three groups. One group played decoders, one control group played bingo and a second control group played no game at all. Participants in the first two groups were invited to eight one-hour sessions during the month, during which they played either decoders or bingo under supervision. A CANTAB Rapid Visual Information Processing Test (RVP) was performed on all 75 participants at the beginning of the study and after four weeks. This highly sensitive test checks attention and concentration. The results of the study showed a significant difference in attention. When the subjects played decoders, they achieved better results compared to the participants playing bingo and subjects who had not used a game at all. The difference in performance was significant and significant because it was comparable to the effects associated with stimulants such as methylphenidate or nicotine, the doctors explain. The former drug, also known as Ritalin, is often used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Attention and focus have been improved

In order to ensure that decoders improve attention and concentration, the researchers also tested the skills of the participants in a so-called trail making test. Using the decoder app also improved the results of this frequently used neuropsychological test of attention shift.

Further studies are being carried out

Many people explain that they have difficulty focusing their attention. Decoders should help them improve their ability to do so, explains study author Professor Sahakian from the University of Cambridge. The experts hope that the game will not only help healthy people, but also patients with impaired attention. In order to check this, a study with patients with traumatic brain injuries is to be carried out this year. (as)

Author and source information

Video: Games for the Brain by Barbara Sahakian (October 2022).