Alain Lieury, professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Rennes in Brittany, France, conducted a survey with 67 kids and concluded that regular homework, reading or playing traditional games such as Scrabble were equally or less successful as enhancing memory than the Nintendo’s titles as Big Brain Academy, Brain Training, and Brain Age. The scientist compared 4 group of kids, two groups played with the memory course on the Nintendo DS for seven week, one group was assigned with pencils and paper puzzles and the last one went to school as usual. The study found that kids using the Nintendo DS did not demonstrate significant improvement in memory test compared to the other groups.
“The Nintendo DS is a technological jewel. As a game it’s fine,” the Times Online quotes Lieury as saying. “But it is charlatanism to claim that it is a scientific test.” “If it doesn’t work on children, it won’t work on adults,” Lieury said.
I am not sure if a “scientific” study regarding the human brain can be proven accurate with a survey conducted with only 67 subjects. In my opinion, the last quote from Lieury is questionable: according to another scientist, Catherine Vidal, the human brain evolve during our whole life, the environment and our activities have a huge impact on the development of the connections between neurons (information from a conference, no link), so, why not conducting the study on adults who do not go to school anymore?