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 to keep your wits sharp. Check out 15 of the best brain training apps on Android and iOS devices.
Elevate (Android, iOS) is a freemium brain training app that allows users to train a variety of brain capabilities, such as listening, memory and comprehension. Part of Elevate's appeal is its focus on practical language and math skills, such as estimation, comparing values and name recall as well as reading and listening comprehension. Like many other brain training apps, Elevate takes a freemium route, providing free users with a variety of daily exercises, while premium subscribers gain access to a larger variety of exercises over the daily offerings.
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 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 the difficulty level of games 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.
Peak (Android, iOS) combines brain science and gamification to give users a full-spectrum brain workout, testing users' focus, memory, mental agility, problem solving and language skills with a variety of daily minigames and goals. As you exercise regularly, Peak provides users with a variety of performance metrics to rate your improvement over time. Free users get a selection of daily exercises, while premium subscribers gain access to the full range of exercises available on demand, as well as improved metrics and personalized training plans.
NeuroNation (Android, iOS) is another science-based brain training app that takes the gamified approach to exercising and improving your brain's faculties. Users sign up for a free NeuroNation account and then do a quick checklist and testing to set their goals and measure their aptitudes. NeuroNation users can practice with a variety of exercises that challenge your numeracy, memory, perception and reasoning. There are additional focused courses that zero in to exercise your memory, general intelligence and focus as premium content. NeuroNation offers expanded content that you can unlock through in-app purchases.
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.
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.
BrainHQ is Posit Science's own take on the brain training app formula, delivering regular, daily brain workouts in the form of minigames and short puzzles, along with an adaptive difficulty system that keeps the app's puzzles at an appropriate challenge level to keep your brain sharp. BrainHQ's exercises offer a great mix, from traditional minigames such as pattern recognition and memory games to people skills like recognizing facial expressions and remembering names and faces at a glance. A free tier of exercises is available, with a wider variety available to premium subscribers.