NeuroNation Review – A New Brain Training App
Brain training games are growing in popularity across generations as tools to improve important skills and prevent mental decline. Among the websites and apps dedicated to brain training, NeuroNation sets itself apart with a wide variety of exercises organized into personalized training programs designed to boost performance in multiple areas of cognition.
The Basics of NeuroNation
NeuroNation is the brainchild of Rojahn Ahmadi and Jakob Futorjanski. Their company, Synaptikon GmbH, was founded in 2008 and launched the training program in 2011. The platform, which is available on the web and via a mobile app, was developed in cooperation with psychologists from the Free University of Berlin and Technische Universität Dortmund to create a suite of scientifically backed exercises to target and strengthen specific areas of the brain.
Today, NeuroNation is headed by a team of neuropsychologists and IT professionals and has become increasingly popular throughout Europe. Growing from 100,000 subscribers in 2014 to over 10 million in 2016, this brain training program serves people all over the world with custom training plans made up of simple, effective games.
According to NeuroNation’s website, the team believes brain training “needs to be: motivating, tailored to suit your goals, regularly practiced and personalized to your individual performance.” With this in mind, the web-based training program and the mobile app offer a range of engaging training exercises founded on basic concepts to focus the brain, enhance cognition and promote routine practice.
Brain Training Science
Many people consider brain training to be a “use it or lose it” proposition, classifying cognitive games as a form of mental exercise. The hypothesis is, if you neglect to perform tasks to keep your brain sharp, you’re more likely to experience mental decline.
Research regarding cognitive games is ongoing, but several studies show benefits from participating in exercises such as those offered by NeuroNation. These benefits are measured in terms of improved performance within the games themselves and in everyday tasks. More research is needed to understand how this works and to what extent brain training platforms like NeuroNation can help people of various ages.
Not all scientists agree with studies showing benefits from playing brain games. Some researchers postulate that the simple act of participating in a program designed to “train” the brain makes people more aware of the areas in which they need to improve, thus prompting them to work harder in those areas even when they’re not doing cognition exercises.
Setting up an account at NeuroNation requires a few steps. You begin by putting in your chosen username and answering a series of questions to clarify which areas of brain training are most important to you. Once the questions are complete, you’re given a quick test run through three of NeuroNation’s exercises.
Using a combination of your answers and training results, NeuroNation creates a personalized training plan with a series of daily exercises designed to strengthen the specific areas in which you want or need to improve. This plan can be accessed through your account any time.
After signup, you can start with limited free training or upgrade to a premium account. NeuroNation lets users work on memory, concentration, intelligence and more by picking single exercises or going through special “courses” in which games are organized in a targeted manner. You will approach training in different ways depending on which option you choose.
Structure is an important part of brain training. To improve in any specific discipline, you have to know which exercises are best for focusing on particular trait. To aid in this, NeuroNation’s brain training exercises are divided into categories dedicated to different areas of cognition:
• Language tests vocabulary, targets memory and enhances articulation.
• Memory strengthens the ability to store and retrieve information.
• Numeracy uses timed tests to increase the speed of mental calculations.
• Perception focuses on sensory accuracy and information processing.
• Reasoning improves pattern recognition and the ability to recognize relationships between objects.
By offering over 60 exercises within the five categories, NeuroNation ensures their training program doesn’t become monotonous. As with any other kind of training, it’s easier to keep up with the daily commitment to brain games if the exercises are engaging and varied.
Activities are combined within plans and courses to point you toward a particular goal, such as building memory, improving focus, honing concentration or increasing the speed with which you complete tasks. Progress reports include a “brain score” and are generated each day show how far you’ve come.
Starting with a free NeuroNation membership grants access to eight of their exercises on the web and six on the app. To utilize the entire suite of training games and get full use of all NeuroNation’s web and app features, you can sign up for a premium membership.
Premium packages may be purchased monthly or in one- or two-year blocks. If you find the training exercises are working for you and you enjoy the daily stimulation of brain games, you can pay a one-time fee for lifetime access. With nearly eight times the exercises of the free membership, premium memberships provide a wider range of mental stimulation to keep you focused and on track for continued cognitive improvements.
In free and premium memberships, the difficulty levels of the games grow as you do. The more you play, the more difficult the exercises become as you “level up” to new challenges. This prepares you for more complex tasks in real life so that you can tackle the unexpected in both the personal and professional realms.
Named one of the best iPhone apps of 2014 and one of Google’s best apps of 2015, NeuroNation helps you build skills you can apply to everyday tasks. The free training option lets you see what the program is all about before deciding to commit to a premium membership. With just a short time commitment every day, you can keep your brain young and your mind sharp throughout life.