Many people spend a great deal of time in the gym working on our bodies, but can we say the same about our minds? Just like a healthy physical form, a healthy mind also needs to flex its mental muscles and get some exercise. In fact, there are studies that show playing puzzle games can help increase mental agility. Brain training apps combine the latest in brain science with puzzles and mind games in order to exercise your faculties. Check out 10 of the best brain training apps on Android and iOS devices below.
1. Lumosity (Android, iOS) (Free, Premium subscriptions)
Lumosity (Android, iOS) combines proven cognitive science techniques from the Human Cognition Project with a gamified approach to provide users with brain-training mini-games that are fun and effective at exercising your mental muscles. Users create a Lumosity account and then select particular mental faculties that they want to exercise. Lumosity then creates customized daily exercise routines with mini-games built around those particular skills. The app tracks your scores, with difficulty adjusting to your performance, ensuring that you’re always challenged. Free users can access a set of daily exercises, while subscribers gain access to a wider variety of exercises and more features.
2. Fit Brains Trainer (Android, iOS) (Free, Premium subscriptions)
Rosetta Stone’s own entry into the brain training field is Fit Brains, an all-in-one brain training program. Fit Brains Trainer (Android, iOS) serves as the core of the program, featuring more than 360 games and training sessions designed to sharpen memory, concentration and other mental faculties. A scoring system allows users to track their performance in each mental skill relative to other users of the same age or gender. The app uses this performance data to dynamically assess and adjust the difficulty of its games relative to your progress.
3. Eidetic (iOS) (Free)
Rather than deliver an all-in-one brain training package, Eidetic focuses on one specific faculty: memory. Eidetic uses a flash card-style approach to help its users memorize everything from notes, lists, phone numbers, quotes and other useful real-life applications. The app includes a simple system for users to write down their own content in easy to use categories, allowing users to store and then memorize whatever is relevant to them. Users simply set the intensity of memory training, from one day cramfests to a more sedate weekly period, and Eidetic automatically notifies you when it’s a good time to practice.
4. CogniFit Brain Fitness (iOS) (Free, Premium subscriptions)
Like other programs, CogniFit Brain Fitness combines neuroscience and gamification to make mental exercises into a fun pastime. The CogniFit Brain Fitness app allows users to sign up and run through a series of exercises to assess their mental abilities and train further in fields such as memory, focus and attention. Users can take a personalized training track, or simply play one off games. A neat feature is the ability to challenge your contacts to beat your performance, with Neurons (credits earned in-game or purchased) at stake for a bit of a competitive dimension.
5. Happify (iOS) (Free, Premium subscriptions)
Not every brain training app focuses on sharpening your mental faculties to a razor’s edge. Other apps like Happify focus instead on building your emotional intelligence to build a habit of a positive outlook on life. Through short mini-games, quizzes, guided meditations and other activities, Happify aims to reinforce “happiness skills” such as thankfulness, empathy, giving and serenity. Free users gain access to a series of guided tracks aimed at a particular objective, such as coping with stress and self-confidence. Subscribers gain access to more activities, additional guided meditations and other features.