Brain Gym: Just use yours to see how silly this is

Brain Gym claims challenged.

Australian neuroscientists have attacked a taxpayer-funded brain-training and exercise program used in NSW classrooms for making ‘silly’ pseudo-scientific claims when explaining how it works.

The Brain Gym website says its 26 physical exercises will “bring about rapid and often dramatic improvements in concentration, memory, organising and more” by developing “neural pathways” in participants’ brains.

“Brain Gym is expensive to run and not backed up by science like it claims,” said Emma Burrows, a neuroscientist at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in Melbourne.

“We already know increasing exercise and hydration will improve blood flow and brain function,” Dr Burrows said. ”This is commonsense.”

Brain Gym Australia could not provide peer-reviewed scientific evidence for its claims when asked by Fairfax Media.

Despite the controversies surrounding brain-training programs, Professor Pankaj Sah of the Queensland Brain Institute believes the gap between education and neuroscience can be closed.

Ah, the Brain Gym, pointed at and taken apart by Ben Goldacre years ago.

Brain Gym – Name & Shame – Bad Science.

Keep your pupils stretched and watered | Education | The Guardian.

Banging your head repeatedly against the brick wall of teachers’ stupidity helps increase blood flow to your frontal lobes – Bad Science.

[…]Brain Gym is a set of perfectly good fun exercise break ideas for kids, which costs a packet and comes attached to a bizarre and entirely bogus pseudoscientific explanatory framework. They tell you to rub either side of your breast bone, in a special Brain Gym way called Brain Buttons: “This exercise stimulates the flow of oxygen-carrying blood through the carotid arteries to the brain to awaken it and increase concentration and relaxation. Brain buttons lie directly over and stimulate the carotid arteries.” Through your ribcage. Without using scissors.

Very silly nonsense.

Comments are tightly moderated. Please follow the Comment Policy.
This is not a forum or free-for-all. Only thoughtful additions and pertinent opinions will be approved.

  6 comments for “Brain Gym: Just use yours to see how silly this is

  1. John Doe
    January 14, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    I heard of Brain X internet sites and games that promote to improve your brain functioning before, but never knew that Brain Gym was anything like this. I always thought it was something like that popular Nintendo DS game, the name of which I can’t seem to remember because most of these things have similar titles.

    I think it was Brain Coach…

    • Mr. Shreck
      January 14, 2013 at 2:56 PM

      Could that be Brain Age? http://brainage.com/launch/index.jsp

      Great fun.

      • John Doe
        January 24, 2013 at 12:40 AM

        I do believe that’s the one. Also, anyone here ever tried Luminosity and if there’s any legit science between these two programs/games?

  2. Massachusetts
    January 14, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    I would think swimming or a brisk walk would promote blood flow much better!

  3. oldebabe
    January 14, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    Yes, nonsense. And sad, Nothing is going to alter the MCI of an aging person for the better. BUT, as one wishes that this was not true, that is exactly how this kind of `Brain Gym’ can get under ones skin, and does not help, except for those who are ready to deplete others’ wallets.

  4. JC
    January 14, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Here in Ontario, Canada, there is a software being peddled called “Techno-Tutor”. The website uses both no-information-speak and a professional who is not a professional in the field of neuroscience, neuropsychology, early child development, etc. I was able to ask the right questions that resulted in a friend not buying the software. I agree with the above. Going for a walk might contribute to increased blood flow.
    agent j
    a.k.a. JC
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Comments are closed.