Cambridge University releases a brain-training app that improves concentration akin to Ritalin

Alan Weedon:

If you’ve ever convinced yourself that your lack of attention needs serious medication, think again: a simple brain-training app from Cambridge University just might be the ticket.

The university’s Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute has developed and tested “Decoder”, an app which activates a frontal-parietal network in the brain that is designed to improve attention and concentration.

In a study published in the scientific journal, Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience, researchers — led by the Department of Psychiatry’s Professor Barbara Sahakian — found that the app’s use on an iPad for eight hours over the course of a month resulted in neurological improvements in healthy trial participants that were comparable to those taking stimulants such as methylphenidate (Ritalin) or nicotine.