Proven and distinguished: With the help of the FU Berlin, the scientific foundation of NeuroNation was laid. We have remained true to our roots – through collaborative studies with partners from research and clinics, the latest research findings are continuously incorporated into the brain training exercises so that our users receive the best training. NeuroNation is currently involved in some of the largest trials worldwide on healthy aging and neurodegenerative diseases.
Development and research is carried out by our team in Berlin with partners from Australia to Canada.
Already in 2013, NeuroNation was awarded the Leonardo Prize by the German Federal Ministry of Health and the AOK. . NeuroNation received the prize for its contribution to the advancement of the cognitive abilities and mental health indicators of its users.
Your brain is adaptable
While brain training is a very modern topic, physical fitness is already highly regarded in our society. For a long time now, there have been fitness studios aimed at people of all ages. It is a general consensus that physical exercise leads to a healthier, longer, and more fulfilling life. However, the situation is somewhat different with mental training. How to achieve optimal training here is the subject of current research. According to current knowledge, the brain reaches its highest level of comprehension and performance at the age of 16-25. From this age, mental fitness decreases. The good news is that you can actually do something to keep yourself fit because your brain is adaptable. Scientifically speaking, this adaptability is called “neuroplasticity”.
Targeting the right areas of the brain
Games and puzzles like Sudoku or crossword puzzles offer a simple way to stay mentally fit. But science already knows far more effective methods to increase mental fitness.
Modern brain training does not only activate a certain part of the brain like a crossword puzzle but many different areas, such as memory or attention. This can not only lead to a general improvement in performance in exercises, but also in everyday life. These so-called “transfer effects” can usually only be achieved with an adaptive and thoroughly developed training plan. The exercises of NeuroNation are based on the current state of research.
There are a number of points that good brain training must include in order to improve your everyday performance in the long term: Above all, your brain must neither be over- nor under-challenged, since in both cases your training success will fail. Thus, all NeuroNation exercises always begin simple and develop towards a higher complexity after a series of correct results. Maximum effectiveness is only achieved if you train at your personal performance limit. That is why the training is designed to start each day at your current appropriate level.
Frequency is key
As with any form of practice, consistency and continuity are the keys to success in the brain and mental training. “A rolling stone gathers no moss” is a well-known saying. That is why NeuroNation offers a large number of playful exercises. This variety is also important from a scientific point of view: If you constantly solve the same tasks (e.g. Sudoku), you will learn to perform them quickly but will strain your brain less and less over time.
In order for the brain to restructure itself, it constantly needs new challenges. And for additional motivation, you can even train together with friends or family. Brain training is suitable for people of almost any age.
A long-term study by MSH Medical School Hamburg and the University of Würzburg has shown that NeuroNation exercises performed from home, without instruction and supervision, are effective.
The researchers recruited participants via the internet and newspaper advertisements to a training study, in which the participants were to train on various NeuroNation exercises from the comfort of their own homes. The participants were divided into two groups: the training group practiced on NeuroNation memory exercises, whereas the control group practiced verbal knowledge. Altogether over 170 participants finished the study.
After only 21 training sessions, the training group improved memory and also other cognitive functions, such as processing speed.
Even more exciting are the everyday-life results. The training group also reported significantly less cognitive failures, like forgetting appointments, forgetting names, getting easily distracted, and difficulties in making decisions.
Leading scientist Prof. Dr. Tilo Strobach commented on the results:
“Since the participants were randomly assigned to the training and control groups, and since we also made sure that the performances of both groups were equal before training, we can conclude that the performance differences after training can be attributed to the training intervention.”
Our scientific partnerships
Cooperation with Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Germany)
Chemotherapy patients often complain about cognitive impairments after their treatment. Neuropsychological studies have confirmed this problem. NeuroNation is cooperating with the Clinic for Neurology at Charité – Universitätsmedizin in Berlin to study whether chemotherapy-related cognitive impairments can be reduced with brain training exercises from NeuroNation.
Study with Goethe University Frankfurt (Germany)
What effect does training various cognitive skills have on school performance in elementary school students? And which role do motivational factors play in the success of the training? In a study with Goethe University, researchers are studying whether a four-week training program with 21 training sessions involving working memory, inhibition, and cognitive flexibility tasks can improve children’s reading and math performance. Using playful elements such as a cover story, the effect of motivation on training and transfer success is also being studied.
Scientific study with the MSH Medical School Hamburg (Germany)
Brain training’s influence on various cognitive skills is currently being studied in collaboration with the MSH Medical School Hamburg under the direction of Professor Strobach. Further details will be released after the study is completed.
Study with Queen’s University (Canada)
Schizophrenia is a complex illness that can manifest in both positive and negative symptoms. For effective treatment, it is essential to understand which techniques and strategies will be most effective for patients. Scientists in the Centre for Neuroscience Studies and the Department of Psychology at Queen’s University in Canada are carrying out a study to determine how brain training should be implemented to create changes in EEG patterns. Patients with schizophrenia display typical EEG patterns when performing certain cognitive tasks. The study is researching whether it is more effective if training is carried out in multiple 2-minute sessions or as a single 10-minute session.
Study with University Hospital Cologne (Germany)
Parkinson’s disease is often accompanied by cognitive decline. In a study done in cooperation with the University Hospital in Cologne, patients who had not yet experienced any cognitive deficits received intense working memory training over the course of 5 weeks. The training aimed to stabilize their cognitive abilities in the long-term.
Study with Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences (Germany)
Demographic change and digitalization both mean that older professionals experience ever-greater cognitive challenges. Do older participants benefit from cognitive training in the same way that younger participants do? Are there differences in the types of tasks, or correlations to working time? In collaboration with students from Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, Prof. Dr. Gerrit Hirschfeld, professor of quantitative methods, is attempting to answer these questions using selected data from the NeuroNation program.
Study with the University of Prague (Czech Republic)
A study conducted in collaboration with the University of Prague is trying to find out to what extent brain training can make a positive contribution to the treatment of anorexia nervosa. Anorexia is a psychiatric disorder that is characterized by a disturbed relationship to food consumption. In recent years, scientists’ interest has begun to focus on the neuronal roots of the illness. The study is being carried out in the Santa Corona Hospital in Pietra Ligure (Italy).
Study with Bielefeld University (Germany)
Ming-Yang (M.Sc.) is a doctoral student at Bielefeld University and is studying attention span in athletes. The scientist is particularly interested in finding out to what extent the attention spans of professional and amateur athletes differ. NeuroNation training is being used to observe these differences.
Study with the University of Applied Sciences in Bochum (Germany)
What effect does computer-based verbal fluency training have on verbal and executive function in the elderly? Bianca Spelter, a speech therapy student at the University of Applied Sciences in Bochum is investigating this question for her bachelor’s thesis using selected exercises from the NeuroNation program. Her work is being supervised by Prof. Dr. Sascha Sommer, dean of the applied health sciences department, whose work focuses on cognitive neuropsychology. Details.
Scientific study with the Hertie Institute in Tübingen (Germany)
What can people living with Parkinson’s disease achieve with brain training? This question is being researched by the working group for clinical neurodegeneration at the Hertie Institute in Tübingen under the direction of Prof. Dr. Berg. Alongside physical exercise, regular cognitive training is carried out using the NeuroNation app.
Scientific cooperation with a neurological therapy center
What type of brain training is most helpful for patients with neurological disorders or those who have suffered a stroke? Under the guidance of Doctor Wolfgang Klein, who is researching technological solutions as a part of neurorehabilitation within the scope of the EU project Rehab@Home, NeuroNation is exploring some innovative new approaches.
Rehabilitational use in cooperation with a health insurance provider
The health insurance provider Deutsche BKK makes it possible for their customers to use NeuroNation training in the course of their rehabilitation. Brain training plays an important role in rehabilitation after a stroke. Effectiveness is evaluated using tests before and after the training takes place.
Maintenance and improvement of cognitive fitness in the elderly
Studies show the importance of regular mental activity in advanced age. For this reason, the Bremer Heimstiftung, a foundation for seniors, makes use of the NeuroNation app in its nursing homes. Initial results show that brain training is extremely popular.
Scientific studies on working memory training
What effect does regular cognitive training with NeuroNation have on working memory? The division of experimental psychology and neuropsychology, under the direction of Professor Niedeggen, is attempting to answer this question. The results show that visual working memory, in particular, improved significantly.
Matriculation project on the effectiveness of brain training
In her matriculation project, high school student Ladina Meier of Bündner Kantonschule Chur compared the effectiveness of various types of brain training. She was supervised by Marcel Liechti. The results demonstrated the superiority of NeuroNation’s training.
At NeuroNation you are in good company: Researchers from Australia to Canada use NeuroNation in innovative studies to improve mental and cognitive health.
1. Strobach, T., & Huestegge, L. (2017). Evaluating the effectiveness of commercial brain game training with working-memory tasks. Journal of Cognitive Enhancement, 1(4), 539–558. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41465-017-0053-0
2. Ophey, A., Rehberg, S., Giehl, K., Eggers, C., Reker, P., van Eimeren, T., & Kalbe, E. (2021). Predicting working memory training responsiveness in Parkinson’s disease: Both “system hardware” and room for improvement are needed. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 35(2), 117–130. https://doi.org/10.1177/1545968320981956
3. Giehl, K., Ophey, A., Hammes, J., Rehberg, S., Lichtenstein, T., Reker, P., Eggers, C., Kalbe, E., & van Eimeren, T. (2020). Working memory training increases neural efficiency in Parkinson’s disease: A randomized controlled trial. Brain Communications, 2(2), fcaa115. https://doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcaa115
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