The brain is a muscle. Like all muscles, it must be exercised to avoid atrophy. To maintain cognitive health and boost your cognitive skills one must challenge the brain just like the body is challenged with physical exercise.
The following apps help you train your brain with exercises that range from Mensa approved games to physics drawing puzzles that require creativity as well as cognitive thinking to solve.
Elevate is a brain training app that launched in May 2014 and was selected by Apple as App of the Year. Its brain training sessions focus on improving focus, speaking abilities, processing speed, memory, math skills, and more.
Users get to create customized training programs from a selection of over 35 games created by neuroscience and cognitive learning experts. the app features a training calendar to keep you motivated, and it also measures your performance against yourself and makes adjustments to your training program as needed.
This app is available on the App Store for iOS devices and has a free and a paid version. The paid version is referred to as Elevate Pro and one month costs $4.99. When you sign up for the free version, you get a 14-day free trial of Elevate Pro.
The Lumosity app was launched in 2007 and has over 85 million registered users in 182 countries. The app is designed to help users improve five core cognitive abilities. Attention, flexibility, problem-solving, speed, and memory.
The app has over 60 cognitive games made by neurologists and gamers. Users start off with a Fit Test made up of 3 games to establish a baseline score. The score tells them where they stand in comparison to others in their age group and is also used to design a personalized training program. Users will then receive daily prompts to complete brain workouts. The workouts are made up of three games (five come with the premium version) that are 3-5-minutes long. The app tracks your performance
This app is available on the App Store for iOS devices and has a free and a paid version. The paid version costs $11.99 per month or $59.99 for one year.
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The Mensa Brain Training app was developed by puzzle experts and is accredited by the definitive high IQ society, Mensa, the worldwide organization for people with an IQ in the top two percent.
The app provides users with brain training exercises that focus on four areas. Memory, concentration, agility, perception, and reasoning. Users can also check their personal Mensa Brain Index (MBI) and see where they rank globally in each of the focus areas.
As far as brain training apps go Mensa Brain Training has a more simplistic, no-frills design. It’s better suited to people who prefer not to spend their brain power on reviewing things like excessive stats, figures, and graphs.
This app is available only for iOS devices and has a free and a paid version. The paid version costs $9.99 for a yearly subscription and $5.99 for a quarterly one.
Memorado features 24 mind games with over 720 levels created by neuroscientists. The exercises train memory, logic, concentration, reaction, and mathematical skills. The app also has four exercises that focus on mindfulness exercises, lowering stress and restoring mental balance. Daily exercises are personalized according to the user’s wishes, and regular scientific tests are used to track progress.
The app is available for iOS devices and Android devices and has a free and a paid version. Memorado says that their paid version, Memorado Premium helps you improve 74% faster (on average).
Unlike the other apps in this list, Happify has only one training focus. To help users find happiness. Their tools and programs were developed by leading scientists and experts in the fields of positive psychology, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral therapy.
The exercises are referred to as tracks and there are over 60 tracks to choose from that are designed to help break old habits and form new habits better suited to emotional health and wellbeing. Users get started by completing a short questionnaire. Tracks are then created to help them work on what they are struggling with e.g. conquering negative thoughts, coping better with stress, or building self-confidence among others. Users will receive a character strength report to check their progress.
The app is available for iOS devices and Android devices and has a free and a paid version. The paid version costs $139.99 per year ($11.67/month), $14.99 monthly or $449.99 for lifetime access.
CogniFitis, a healthcare company that was founded in 1999. Their brain training app differs from others in that it uses scientifically validated software to not only train the adult brain but to also train children with learning disabilities as well as help medical professionals track cognitive deficiencies.
The app’s exercises include training for various cognitive skills including auditory memory and perception, contextual memory, inhibition, hand-eye coordination, short-term memory, and visual perception among others. In the area of cognitive deficiencies, it can be used to assess ADHD, Chemo Brain and Chemo Fog, Depression, Dyscalculia Dyslexia, Fibromyalgia, Insomnia, and Parkinson’s.
The app is available for iOS devices and Android devices. You can download it for free but to access all the features, you need a paid subscription which costs $19.99 per month or $189.99 per year.
Formerly called Brainbow, Peak’s team believe there’s always a little room for improvement and it can be done with a combination of neuroscience, technology, and fun. Their training exercises have been created to help users with memory, attention, problem solving, mental agility, language, coordination, creativity and emotion skills. The app has over 40 games and activities that were created in partnership with experts in neuroscience, cognitive science, and education.
Users get started by setting personal goals for what the areas they wish to work on an initial assessment is used to determine a starting point. A personal trainer referred to as Coach then takes you through your personalized brain training program giving you feedback at the end of each session.
The app is available for iOS devices and Android devices and has a free and a paid version. Peak Pro is the paid version and is available for $4.99 a month or $34.99 for 12 months.
Brain It On is a brain training app that gets its inspiration from physics. Users are challenged to use both their creativity and critical thinking to complete physics puzzles that have more than one solution, but only one is best.
Puzzles are solved by drawing various objects. You’re rated based on how quickly you complete puzzles and the fewer objects you need to draw to complete them the better. Users can also compete with other users.
The app is available for iOS devices and Android device. To unlock the full game you would need to pay $3.99.