The Brain Behind Brain Age Speaks

Dr. Ryuta Kawashima may not be a name recognized by many individuals, but he is the brain behind the popular selling DS game, Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day and the upcoming title, Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain? These “games” are a series of various activities that include reading exercises, math puzzles and other activities to help the brain.

According to Kawashima, “…a person was 2-3 times better [in memory skills] following the simple mathematics and reading aloud training than before such training. Furthermore, I had dementia patients perform simple mathematics and read aloud two to five days a week. When compared to those patients who did not perform the exercises, the results of those who did showed that activity levels in the prefrontal cortex, that can affect cognitive functions, were increased. “The argument can be made that video games fill this profile for brain enhancement very closely as many titles require the process of puzzle solving, reading, simple math skills and various other activities associated with Kawashima,s research.

Kawashima discussed his views on how the brain functions and what can be done to keep it healthy in an interview given to He alluded that not challenging our minds will lead to a resulting decline in mental prowess. "If we only use our body in routine movements in our day to day life, physical strength actually weakens. This means that using our bodies in routine ways is not enough to maintain and improve our physical strength. We can say the same about our brain. When we use our brain every day in a routine manner, this may not be enough to challenge it. Therefore we should consciously challenge our brain to do different things for about 5–10 minutes every day at least."

In 2004, Dr. Kawashima wrote the book, “Train Your Brian: 60 Days to a Better Brain.” It was an immediate hit and went on to sell 2.5 million copies worldwide. The games published by Nintendo for its DS, are based upon the principles of this book. Kawashima is the leading authority in Japan for brain imaging research.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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