Research shows that one of the best ways to build up working memory is to combine cognitive training with regular exercise, a healthy diet, adequate levels of sleep, and talking with other people | Source: Better Tech

On Your A-Game: 10 Brain-Training Apps to Sharpen Your Mind

While the importance of exercising the body is widely understood, the significance of stimulating the mind is sometimes understated.

It’s no secret that physical exercise, sleep and meditation are crucial to maintaining a healthy mind and body. There’s one aspect however that’s often overlooked, that can specifically target the brain’s cognitive skills to sharpen the mind – brain games.

Research shows that one of the best ways to build up working memory is to combine cognitive training with regular exercise, a healthy diet, adequate levels of sleep, and talking with other people. 

St Luke’s Health

These days there’s an abundance of brain-training apps for sharpening cognitive skills that exercise memory, attention span, logic, and fast thinking. While undoubtedly fun to play, the benefits of these games range from improved problem-solving skills to expanding abstract thinking abilities – vital components in most areas of life.

Here’s a look at the best brain game apps to keep your mind in tip-top condition.

Lumosity

One of the most popular online brain game programs, Lumosity consists of games looking to improve memory, attention, flexibility, speed of processing, and problem-solving.

The app boasts 100 million members and contains various mini-games and brain-training sessions of three games tailored to your goals. Lumosity is a brain-training app pioneer, introducing many features that are now familiar across rival apps.

lumosity website
Screenshots from Lumosity website and app

Elevate

Elevate is a “cognitive pick-me-up” with games that are “good for mental breaks throughout the workday.”

Washington Post

Elevate began life as a language-learning app that’s now a ‘new type of cognitive training tool designed to build communication and analytical skills’. Containing over 40 personalised games across memory, math, and words as well as performance tracking and a workout calendar, regular Elevate users report boosts in productivity, earning power, and self-confidence.

elevate app
Screenshot from Elevate app

Blackbox

If you’re after a sleek, stylish app, this Apple Design Award winner is a puzzle app that’s brilliantly presented with unique gameplay and a minimalist aesthetic. Blackbox contains over 75 mini-games and puzzles that are thought-provoking and designed to make users think outside the box. Thriving in the untraditional, the app’s creator Ryan McLeod is regularly building and adding new puzzles to the app so users can enjoy different challenges.

Blackbox app
Screenshot from Blackbox app

CogniFit

Using scientific patented technology, CogniFit provides neuropsychological assessments and brain training programs to ‘test, train and improve your mind’. The app combines advanced algorithms with cutting-edge gaming technology to create a personalised brain training regimen that’s also enjoyable.

Created by neuroscience experts, users can experience games across memory, attention, concentration, executive functions, reasoning, planning, mental agility, and coordination.

CogniFit app
Screenshot from CogniFit

Peak

A sleek, exciting app, Peak provides more than 45 brain games and puzzles that will challenge; focus, memory, problem-solving skills, language, and mental agility. The games are designed around short mental workouts that are based on research from Cambridge, Yale, UCL and King’s College London – perfect for those looking for science-backed yet fun brain games.

Peak app
Screenshot from Peak app

NeuroNation

Described as ‘fitness for your brain’, NeuroNation helps curate a brain training plan that will meet your specific needs. It specialises in brain and memory training through scientifically-backed online courses to help improve concentration, memory retention and cognitive speed. Its cleverly designed app features a clean, easy-to-use interface offering 30 exercises on 250 levels for easier access to its tools via smartphones.

NeuroNation
Screenshot from NeuroNation app

MindPal

With 40 educational games and over 1000 levels, MindPal features games that train seven key cognitive areas; memory, attention, language, math, flexibility, speed, and problem-solving. The personalised daily brain trainer challenges are based on the user’s training goals whether that’s looking to expand vocabulary, improve writing skills or develop problem-solving skills. There’s also a handy progress tracking feature as well as in-depth insights and the ability to compare scores with other users.

MindPal app
Screenshot from MindPal app

BrainHQ

Following a fitness coach approach, this problem-solving app offers brain exercises across memory, attention, brain speed, people skills, intelligence and navigation. Choosing from quick five-minute training sessions or intense one-hour workouts, the program adapts to performance by increasing the challenge as a user improves.

BrainHQ
Screenshot from BrainHQ

Left vs Right

A great all-around brain training app, Left vs. Right provides over 50 mini-games across six categories applicable to day-to-day activities; adaptability, reflex, reasoning, precision, patience, and awareness. It’s easy to use with a clean colourful interface and also offers additional functions including the ability to track your stats.

Left vs Right app
Screenshot from Left vs Right app

Brain Wars

With a slightly different approach, Brain Wars brings a competitive aspect to sharpening cognitive skills by challenging friends and other players to solve puzzles, brainteasers, and other brain training games. It’s a social game that would appeal to those who enjoy trivia apps and enjoy learning in a competitive environment.

Brain Wars app
Screenshot from Brain Wars app

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