Cognitive Training

Make Your Brain Training Specific

Flexing your brain muscle makes it bigger. And research suggests that flexing it through brain training can reduce your risk of developing dementia. Also called cognitive training, brain training includes any structured activity designed to improve brain function like memory, reasoning, or processing speed.

Brain training encompasses many activities that are probably already familiar to you like reading, crossword puzzles, and computer games. Research suggests that even short training sessions of brain activities can boost your cognition.

But here’s what you need to keep in mind: while all cognitive training flexes your brain muscle, you need to work on the specific skill you are looking to improve.

Need some ideas for specific cognitive skills? Maybe you’re looking to increase or maintain your vocabulary? Then reading books, newspapers, and magazines is the cognitive training program for you. Want to improve how quickly you think on your feet? Computerized brain training programs that focus on cognitive processing speed can help you achieve this goal.

Just because your training needs to be specific doesn’t mean you can’t focus on more than one area. Just keep in mind that habit science tells us that working on one small goal at a time makes habit change more achievable.


  • Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease: What Do We Know? (2018). National Institute on Aging. Retrieved February 13, 2020
  • Tennstedt, S. L., & Unverzagt, F. W. (2013). The ACTIVE Study: Study Overview and Major Findings. _Journal of Aging and Health_, _25_(8 0), 3S-20S.

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