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(ABC)   Do brain games improve cognition or are they just mental masturbation? Hint: this headline is in the form of a question   (abcnews.go.com) divider line 60
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10161 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Jul 2008 at 9:20 AM (6 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2008-07-10 07:55:58 AM  
Is correct spelling merely an exercise in pedantry or an actual measure of intelligence?
 
2008-07-10 08:16:06 AM  
submitter:masterbation

Somebody needs to play a couple more rounds of Scrabble.
 
2008-07-10 08:39:28 AM  
Ah, but the servant waits while the master baits.
 
2008-07-10 08:46:11 AM  
On Fark, masturbation is always the answer.
 
2008-07-10 09:07:54 AM  
You know, as much as farkers do it, you'd think they'd be able to spell it.
 
2008-07-10 09:14:41 AM  
*sigh* Here we go.

There was no reason why Goldberg, 38, should have been able to remember the company. "I hadn't heard the name of the company or even thought about the company in over a year," he said.

If you had ever thought about the company, there is reason to suspect you should be able to remember it. Memories do not disappear except in cases of amnesia (and even then, they don't always disappear either) they just occasionally become harder to access.

Most brain experts don't think so; they say there isn't much chance that any so-called brain game or memory technique will people you from developing Alzheimer's or dementia.

"For those who enjoy such games, fine," said Dr. Paul Aisen, director of the Memory Disorders Program at Georgetown University. "But there is no valid evidence that they preserve memory, and certainly no evidence that they ward off dementia."


With regards to improving memory, agreed. With regards to warding off (though not preventing) dementia/Alzheimer's, I'm not entirely sure. There is some evidence that, as you get older, if you continue to learn new skills and keep up with old skills (such as doing the newspaper's crossword puzzles everyday and learning how to play the guitar) you are keeping more of your brain active and there is some staving off of development of Alzheimer's. If you were to make a routine out of learning and mastering these brain games, there might be some reason to suspect a correlation and that might make a good study in the future. I doubt anyone playing these games casually would show any improvement, but people who devote the requisite time and energy to master them might.

There is no randomized, double-blind study to prove (or disprove) that these brain games can ward off cognitive decline, or even improve one's day-to-day ability to think and remember.

So? There are more methods to conducting sound scientific research than class 1 randomized clinical trials.

Still, most experts say that learning a new skill or taking on a new hobby is probably more beneficial to improving memory and strengthening synapses than any brain game.

Pretty much what I said earlier. Nice to have it backed up by more experts.

But Goldberg said he tried that, and he didn't notice nearly as much of an improvement in his cognitive ability as he did after he started his brain training exercises on Lumosity.com.

So? He's biased in favor of the games anyway, which are very fun, whereas doing something like learning to play a new instrument or take on a new hobby can be frustrating. Odds are he doesn't test himself after doing this stuff to see if there's improvement in any valid way, he just goes along his day and attributes all his successes at memory recall to the games whereas before he started playing them, he didn't bother to keep score.

Anecdotal evidence is not sufficient to justify the claims they are making.

Play the games because they are fun. If you happen to notice your memory improving, then perhaps it's just because you're paying attention to your memory now and not because of anything the game is doing.
 
2008-07-10 09:23:49 AM  
"Go away! 'Batin'!!"
 
2008-07-10 09:26:02 AM  
eyehate:submitter:masterbation

Somebody needs to play a couple more rounds of Scrabble.


Scrabble thread!!!

/my one true goal in life is to play "HRYVNIA"
 
2008-07-10 09:27:55 AM  
tl;dr. Guess my brain isn't up to it this morning.
 
2008-07-10 09:28:14 AM  
eyehate:submitter:masterbation

Somebody needs to play a couple more rounds of Scrabble.


bwhahaha. Really? a farker can't spell masturbation?
 
2008-07-10 09:28:53 AM  
"ward off Alzheimer's and dementia."

Booze!

August11:eyehate:submitter:masterbation

Somebody needs to play a couple more rounds of Scrabble.

Scrabble thread!!!

/my one true goal in life is to play "HRYVNIA"


What is that? Some sound you make during Master Bation?
 
2008-07-10 09:31:32 AM  
August11:eyehate:submitter:masterbation

Somebody needs to play a couple more rounds of Scrabble.

Scrabble thread!!!

/my one true goal in life is to play "HRYVNIA"


My goal is to play sygyzy, quartzy and sheqalim. :-)
 
2008-07-10 09:32:02 AM  
Katie98_KT:eyehate:submitter:masterbation

Somebody needs to play a couple more rounds of Scrabble.

bwhahaha. Really? a farker can't spell masturbation?


Well not with 1 hand.
 
2008-07-10 09:33:39 AM  
You are meant to be learning.
 
2008-07-10 09:36:12 AM  
Sword and Shield:August11:eyehate:submitter:masterbation

Somebody needs to play a couple more rounds of Scrabble.

Scrabble thread!!!

/my one true goal in life is to play "HRYVNIA"

My goal is to play sygyzy, quartzy and sheqalim. :-)


I actually had the word "Vulva", but didn't get the chance to play it.

/.... awwwww :
 
2008-07-10 09:36:18 AM  
I can't imagine how doing things that exercise your brain aren't at least a little helpful. I can't imagine why they would need a study of any kind to try to prove it.

Look at it this way... Much of intelligence is mostly measured in terms of how much you remember. Like, you aren't going to figure out how triangulation works if you can't remember that the sum of the angles in a triangle is always 180. You'll make it nowhere if you don't even know what triangulation is used for.

It's a silly example, perhaps. But the point is that memory does play a great part in your intelligence. And not constantly exercising it is a mistake.
 
2008-07-10 09:38:38 AM  
durbnpoisn:It's a silly example, perhaps. But the point is that memory does play a great part in your intelligence. And not constantly exercising it is a mistake.

Could you repeat your post? I forgot what it said the first time..

thanks!
 
2008-07-10 09:42:07 AM  
OK, I give up.
It's spelled "masterbation".
And "definately".
And "it's".

And a couple of generations from now, when all written communication has given way to mere grunting and pointing, and all printed materials are used to keep warm and keep predators away at night, only the occasional dreamer will look inside a book before throwing it into the fire, and wonder what the tiny black pictures meant to the Old Ones.
 
2008-07-10 09:44:29 AM  
A mental mindf*ck can be nice.

img2.timeinc.net
 
2008-07-10 09:51:11 AM  
Don't we seem to be conflating two distinct issues?

(1) does it ward off dementia and/or Alzheimer's?

...seemingly no....

(2) can it improve brain functionality?

...I believe that some research would say, "yes." Research in neuroplasticity shows that unused neural pathways atrophy over time. Therefore, when a new task pops up that would best pass along the now defunct pathway, mental agility is slowed.

From what I've read, though (and, for the record, neuroplasticity is WAY outside of my field) there is a catch: you can't keep doing the same thing over and over. i.e. you can't just play soduku (or whatever it is) or one or two specific "mental games;" you have to keep doing new things to keep as many pathways open as possible and potentially open new ones
 
2008-07-10 09:53:30 AM  
ues
 
2008-07-10 09:54:43 AM  
How long would one need to participate in apprenticebation before it would be considered masterbation?

/journeymanbation?
 
2008-07-10 09:56:33 AM  
Anyone know if there are any good brain games for the Sony PSP? I know the DS has them but I don't have a DS anymore.
 
2008-07-10 09:58:07 AM  
Tirion529:Sword and Shield:August11:eyehate:submitter:masterbation

Somebody needs to play a couple more rounds of Scrabble.

Scrabble thread!!!

/my one true goal in life is to play "HRYVNIA"

My goal is to play sygyzy, quartzy and sheqalim. :-)

I actually had the word "Vulva", but didn't get the chance to play it.

/.... awwwww :


You might as well go for the gold and aim for ZYZZYVA
 
2008-07-10 09:58:15 AM  
Sword and Shield:August11:eyehate:submitter:masterbation

Somebody needs to play a couple more rounds of Scrabble.

Scrabble thread!!!

/my one true goal in life is to play "HRYVNIA"

My goal is to play sygyzy, quartzy and sheqalim. :-)


Those are great. BRAZIER on the upper right TWS gets 390 or something--it is the holy grail of scrabble.
 
2008-07-10 09:59:54 AM  
FarkOf40000Years:OK, I give up.
It's spelled "masterbation".
And "definately".
And "it's".

n 2+ gentions frm nw, whn all rittin + textin is givn wai to totol lols n pointin, n all l3wt are pwned to kep warm n k33p teefxors awai ta notsuntime, onli 1 loser will lok at suxass comix b4 ti DIAF, n fink wut teh tinee raycist pics ment to teh old 1s. LOL!


FTFY.
 
2008-07-10 10:02:05 AM  
August11:Sword and Shield:August11:eyehate:submitter:masterbation

Somebody needs to play a couple more rounds of Scrabble.

Scrabble thread!!!

/my one true goal in life is to play "HRYVNIA"

My goal is to play sygyzy, quartzy and sheqalim. :-)

Those are great. BRAZIER on the upper right TWS gets 390 or something--it is the holy grail of scrabble.



you probably mean BRAZIERS stretching across 2 triples, scoring 311 with the 50 point bonus. However, there are higher scoring words. MEZQUITE in the same spot would score 392. And OXYPHENBUTAZONE across all 3 triples would score over 1500.
 
2008-07-10 10:02:53 AM  
durbnpoisn:I can't imagine how doing things that exercise your brain aren't at least a little helpful. I can't imagine why they would need a study of any kind to try to prove it.

The brain is not a muscle. And there have been many many studies showing that memory drills and attention drills and such really don't work.

Look at it this way... Much of intelligence is mostly measured in terms of how much you remember. Like, you aren't going to figure out how triangulation works if you can't remember that the sum of the angles in a triangle is always 180. You'll make it nowhere if you don't even know what triangulation is used for.

It's a silly example, perhaps. But the point is that memory does play a great part in your intelligence. And not constantly exercising it is a mistake.


Intelligence is measured in terms of how much you can reason. Rote memorization of facts is only one part of being able to reason well, and it isn't even that big a part.
 
2008-07-10 10:04:15 AM  
fizzix_is_fun:Tirion529:Sword and Shield:August11:eyehate:submitter:masterbation

Somebody needs to play a couple more rounds of Scrabble.

Scrabble thread!!!

/my one true goal in life is to play "HRYVNIA"

My goal is to play sygyzy, quartzy and sheqalim. :-)

I actually had the word "Vulva", but didn't get the chance to play it.

/.... awwwww :

You might as well go for the gold and aim for ZYZZYVA


Where do you get all the Z squares? Make your own?? Are there two V's?
 
2008-07-10 10:13:22 AM  
www.gamerevolution.com
Masturbation?
 
2008-07-10 10:16:16 AM  
Strawberry Whine:fizzix_is_fun:Tirion529:Sword and Shield:August11:eyehate:submitter:masterbation

Somebody needs to play a couple more rounds of Scrabble.

Scrabble thread!!!

/my one true goal in life is to play "HRYVNIA"

My goal is to play sygyzy, quartzy and sheqalim. :-)

I actually had the word "Vulva", but didn't get the chance to play it.

/.... awwwww :

You might as well go for the gold and aim for ZYZZYVA

Where do you get all the Z squares? Make your own?? Are there two V's?



You can either cheat, or use two blanks. so you have the rack AVYYZ??
 
2008-07-10 10:17:02 AM  
Mental masturbation does improve cognition. The two go *ahem* hand-in-hand, as it were.

/Has played "sequoias", using all 7 letters and hitting 2 triple word score squares in the process. Wifey was pissed.
 
2008-07-10 10:19:04 AM  
Well, I guess any hope for an intelligent thread is gone. As if everyone doesn't do enough masturbation talk in the other 5000 threads.
 
2008-07-10 10:24:43 AM  
cubsfan07:Well, I guess any hope for an intelligent thread is gone.

How often do we have those on Fark anyway?
 
2008-07-10 10:28:18 AM  
Kome:cubsfan07:Well, I guess any hope for an intelligent thread is gone.

How often do we have those on Fark anyway?



Not often, but your earlier post seemed to lean in that direction. Then all the Beavis/Buttheads came out of the woodwork when they read the word "masturbation".
 
2008-07-10 10:29:41 AM  
Dreadstar:You know, as much as farkers do it, you'd think they'd be able to spell it.

They can, but they spell it F-A-P.
 
2008-07-10 10:30:13 AM  
cubsfan07:Well, I guess any hope for an intelligent thread is gone. As if everyone doesn't do enough masturbation talk in the other 5000 threads.

i275.photobucket.com
 
2008-07-10 10:39:11 AM  
The headline appears to have been fixed.
 
2008-07-10 10:52:50 AM  
Exercise has been shown to improve cognition, because it improves blood (and oxygen) flow to the brain. Meditation has also been shown to help, because it improves concentration.
 
2008-07-10 11:08:08 AM  
Either-or, I fail to see a downside to either.

That being said, I don't think I've ever had an orgasm playing BrainAge...

Bookworm, yes... Brainage no.
 
2008-07-10 11:25:17 AM  
If you have Firefox, you can get the spell check add-on and save yourself lots of embarrassment.
 
2008-07-10 11:41:29 AM  
Sybarite:Ah, but the servant waits while the master baits.

img.photobucket.com
Approves.

/Wrong movie, I know
 
2008-07-10 11:49:42 AM  
Kome:The headline appears to have been fixed.

Well, that's no fun... that kills a lot of our jokes. A simple [sic] would have been more appropriate, methinks.
 
2008-07-10 12:09:50 PM  
It makes sense to me that just like working out physically will improve physical fitness, working out mentally can have analogous effects. Of course, the intensity and difficulty of the exercise will have a large impact on noticeable improvement and change.

This book: Orage, A. R. Psychological Exercises and Essays (new window) is pretty incredible, with hundreds of very intense mental exercises and thought-provoking essays. Originally published in 1976, then it fell off the map, and I've never found anything comparable published since then.
 
2008-07-10 12:21:30 PM  
Fark is my mental masturbation.
/*wonders if head would as-plode on totalfark*
 
2008-07-10 12:26:57 PM  
It's just anecdotal but in my experience, crosswords and brain games do help. I had some minor brain damage years ago, went from being very intelligent, well versed and creative to struggling for words to name simple objects. Reading became a frustrating and boring activity and all my creative writing skills were gone. It was the most frustrating experience of my life but a friend encouraged me to read the books that challenged me and do the crossword puzzles and to take a college course or something to learn and it worked. I know I still don't have the vocabulary I did before and my short term memory is horrible but I have come really far.
 
2008-07-10 12:28:07 PM  
Mental Masturbation.

That's a GREAT band name.
 
2008-07-10 12:36:35 PM  
just_another_farker:I have come really far.

I'm in the same spot right now (TBI last year) and I really haven't come far. Wish to hell I knew how you did it.

/at least the vertigo is getting better
//I don't get out for a spin too often anymore
 
2008-07-10 01:15:12 PM  
So my hubby (Hagbardr) and I were playing Scrabble the other night. He was taking an awfully long time to play his turn. So I said to him, "Will you just f'in move already?" to which he replied, "I would if I had any freakin' vowels!" So I said to him--

"I guess that means you're consonantated, so it's impossible for you to make a vowel movement!"

*drum roll*
/not planning on quitting her day job
 
2008-07-10 01:29:52 PM  
Marley:just_another_farker:I have come really far.

I'm in the same spot right now (TBI last year) and I really haven't come far. Wish to hell I knew how you did it.

/at least the vertigo is getting better
//I don't get out for a spin too often anymore


It took a really long time. Just keep at it. It will get easier though 10 years after the fact, I still find myself quite frustrated that my brain doesn't work as well as it used to. But, I'm not a bumbling idiot anymore so that's progress. :-)
 
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