Sketchy ethics of scientists involved with "brain training"

Jeff sez, 'Scientists consulting with companies that sell brain games "falls in the same kind of category as medical researchers' taking money from drug companies,' says a Harvard educational-neuroscience professor. Or, as other scholars contend, should academics work with a growing industry to make their products better, and make sure their marketing isn't over-hyped. The Chronicle of Higher Ed delves into the science of brain training."

Mr. Rose said that while Lumosity's evaluation criteria seem standard, he believes there needs to be more transparency about which proposals the company selects and why.

"For example, how often do they select proposals where the hypothesis is that the program doesn't work?" he wrote in an email.

Lumosity did not respond to requests for additional comment.

To deal with scientists' concerns, Mr. Rose recommended that the company publish proposal abstracts and hypotheses in advance and require researchers to submit their results for publication in peer-reviewed journals no matter the outcomes. Studies not accepted should still be summarized on the website, he said.

Brain-Training Companies Get Advice From Some Academics, Criticism From Others [Rebecca Koenig/Chronicle of Higher Education]

(Thanks, Jeff!)

(Image: Brain, Michael, CC-BY-SA)