A French researcher has discounted Nintendo's claims that playing DS titles such as Brain Age and Big Brain Academy can improve memory.
The Times Online reports comments by cognitive psychology Prof. Alain Lieury (left) of the University of Rennes:
The Nintendo DS is a technological jewel. As a game it's fine. But it is charlatanism to claim that it is a scientific test.
Lieury studied four goups of 10-year-old children as they worked on logic problems, memorization, math and interpreting symbols. Two of the groups which had completed a seven-week memory course using the DS did no better - and in some cases, worse - than those who did not use the DS.
While Ryuta Kawashima, the creator of Brain Age, claims positive effects from playing the game on Nintendo's website, Lieury dismisses Japanese neuroscientist's assertions:
There were few positive effects [shown in Lieury's research] and they were weak. Dr Kawashima is one of a long list of dream merchants.