A new brain training app has been developed by Cambridge University researchers with the aim of improving people’s concentration. The app, named Decoder, is a game that focuses on activating and strengthening the frontal parietal network of the brain, which in charge of problem solving and attention. According to the researchers, the effectiveness of the game has been backed up by scientific tests.
Lead researcher Barbara Sahakian, professor of clinical neuropsychology at Cambridge University, and her team were looking to developing an entertaining solution to help individuals increase their ability to concentrate. They settled on a game that asks players to detect sequences of numbers to find clues that solve missions. The goal was to create something where players would need to stay focused and not think about something else to be successful.
After development, Decoder was tested in a study that used 75 healthy participants split into three groups to see how effective the game would be. One group played Decoder for eight one-hour sessions over the course of a month. Another group played the game Bingo for the same amount of time, while the last group played no game at all. All groups were given an assessment before and after the sessions to determine their levels of attention and concentration.
According to the researchers, the study participants who played Decoder showed significantly better attention than participants who played Bingo or no game at all. The results of the study were published in the journal Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience.
The game has now been licensed through Cambridge Enterprise of the University of Cambridge to app developer Peak and has been made available for free on iPhones. Sahakian wrote in a press release, “By licensing our game, we hope it can reach a wide audience who are able to benefit by improving their attention.”