Brain training apps claim to make us smarter, but there is no evidence

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There are plenty of apps that offer mental exercises claiming to make users smarter the more they play. Not only are they not much fun, but studies show they have no effect on performance, says Adrian Hon

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12 October 2022

Michelle D’urbano

WOULD you turn down the chance to become a genius? We have long been fascinated by quick fixes that could increase our intelligence, not only in science fiction like Flowers for Algernon and Limitless, but in “smart drugs” like modafinil, a treatment for sleep conditions that some erroneously believe can make us smarter. Today, people’s hopes lie in brain training apps as a speedy “digital pill”, some of which claim to result in “smarter minds”. But is this quick fix all it is cracked up to be?

There are plenty of brain training apps, mostly on smartphones, but they all …

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