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 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.