The brain, like any other muscle, will begin to work less efficiently if it goes unused. Brain fitness computer software fixes this by exercising your brain with a variety of puzzles and questions. Choosing the best brain fitness software depends on the difficulty, whether the program is varied or static, whether the program’s schedule can work into your individual lifestyle, whether the software lists the benefits of the program, and whether the brain fitness software has been officially reviewed by neuropsychologists and other professionals.
Brain fitness software is supposed to be challenging — that is how it exercises your brain — but studies have shown users won’t learn if the program is too difficult. There are two things that can be done: Find software on a level that is difficult but conducive to your learning, or find brain fitness software with variable difficulty levels. The latter is better, because the program can grow with you as your brain fitness increases.
Whether a program is varied or static is the next consideration. A static program will ask the same questions in the same order each time you use the program. This normally teaches users how to memorize answers and doesn’t really increase brain fitness. A varied program will ask questions in a random order, so you have to figure out the answer rather than memorizing it. Having a program that has a rigorous updating schedule, which adds new questions, is also desirable.
Most brain fitness software has a recommended schedule to help the user learn at an optimal rate. Read the schedule and see if it can fit into your lifestyle. Some programs may come with variable schedules for different lifestyles, such as for high school students, college students and full-time workers. If the program does not have a variable schedule, assess your amount of free time and see if the program can work for you.
Brain fitness software should tell you the exact benefits of the exercise. Some programs do not list the benefits, or present them in ambiguous language. This makes one wonder if there is any real-world benefit to the exercise. A more desirable program is one that tells you, in clear language, the exercise’s benefits.
Check the box or read other information on the program to see if it has been peer-reviewed and if neuropsychologists and scientific boards back the program. If professionals in the psychological field back the program, this adds weight to the effectiveness of the brain fitness software. If there are no professionals or boards that back the software, then the effectiveness is questionable.