Michigan State University Brain Powered Games Brain Powered Games

Healthy Brain Tips

Engage Your Brain

Brain experts are convinced that engaging in active learning throughout life will help maintain brain health in our later years. You can choose to follow a lifestyle that maximizes your "brain power," which will keep the engine of learning revved up as you age. Brain Powered Games are one of many ways to keep your brain active.

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Exercise Regularly

Regular physical activity is associated with better cognitive function and less cognitive decline. Even moderate exercise such as walking is associated with reduced risk of dementia.

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Eat Well

There are many tantalizing hints but few firm conclusions about diet as a whole and its relationship to brain health. Some studies have pointed to leafy green vegetables, fish, and even chocolate. One conclusion seems clear: healthy foods are not only good for your body—but also for your brain.

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Stay Socially Connected

Experts say that how socially connected a person tends to be is one of the most important ways of predicting his or her health and independence in later years. The more contact we have with others as we age, the better we may be at retaining mental sharpness.

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Sleep Well

Some experts believe that sleep is critical for memory consolidation and information processing in the brain; others point out that sleep seems to be crucial to optimal functioning of the immune system.

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Brain Powered Games Exercise Your Brain

How Brain Powered Games work:

Fun AND a Mental Workout

Brain Powered Games were made at Michigan State University in the Games for Entertainment and Learning Lab. Employing principles of game design and cognitive science, the games are designed to be fun and exercise your brain.

Diversify Your "Cognitive Reserve"

Different Brain Power Games exercise different parts of your brain. Don’t focus only on one of the games. Diversify the brain functions you are exercising, for a well-rounded workout.

Playing Tip: Try all of the games. Each game is designed to exercise a different part of your brain, so try to balance your time spent playing each of the games. The ones that are easy for you will feel more fun. The ones that are hard for you will stretch your brain more than the ones that are easy.

Multiple Levels of Challenge

Every game has three difficulty levels to choose from, including Gentle (easy), Moderate (medium), and Power (hard). Every brain is unique. As you play you will discover which games are easy and hard for you. Brain Powered Games include hints to keep players from getting stuck. Challenge your brain by choosing difficulty levels hard enough to stretch your brain, yet easy enough to be fun.

Playing Tip: Gentle is a great place to start, especially when you are just getting started and learning how to play the game. As you play, you’ll get better. When you feel ready, try Moderate and Power for more of a challenge. If you try a harder challenge level and it is too hard, you can always restart at an easier level. Again, remember to challenge your brain by choosing difficulty levels hard enough to stretch your brain, yet easy enough to be fun.

Accuracy and Speed Feedback

After each round of play, Brain Powered Games provides you with feedback about how accurately you played (we call it your genius %) and how quickly you played (ranging from slow to awesome).

Playing Tip: If you find that a game is easy for you, one way to challenge yourself is to keep track of the speed meter and try to improve your speed as you continue to play. You can even try to play the same Sokoban puzzles and photos in Photo Flaw more than once, and try to beat your own personal record.

Performance Tracking

Brain Powered Games keeps track of your play performance so you go see how often you play and how much time you spend playing each game. You can also see how many genius and speed points you have earned. If you enjoy competing with others, you can compare your scores with other players in the high scores table.

Why exercising your brain works:

Brain Exercise improves cognitive performance

Brains have a lifelong capacity to grow and change. Until recently, age-related cognitive decline was considered inevitable and irreversible. New research dramatically overturns conventional wisdom, revealing great potential for brains of all ages to change. Brain plasticity refers to the lifelong capacity for physical and functional brain change. Research now shows that learning (and living) constantly changes the brain. Negative plasticity changes reduce brain function. Positive plasticity changes can restore sensory, cognitive, memory, motor, and affect.

Keeping your brain active and engaged can:

Want to know more?

The Alzheimer's Association website has a lot of information on Brain Health, including pages on:

A few academic studies that have been done include:

Please be aware that the information on this site is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.