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9 Free Ways to ‘Train Your Brain’


As I reported on today, companies are pushing out a slew of so-called “brain training” products and services which promise to improve your memory, attention span and productivity.  On the plus side, studies show that such games and tasks can enhance memory and attention.  But there’s a limit to what they can do.  They can’t, for example, prevent Alzheimer’s, and they might not do that much for people who are already pretty sharp, experts say.

And “there’s not strong evidence that tailor-made brain games are any better than just, say, reading or doing a crossword puzzle or doing something else to stimulate the brain,” says Marc Agronin, director of mental health and clinical research at the Miami Jewish Health System and author of “How We Age.”

With that in mind, we asked Christian Elliott, a cognitive researcher at, which reviews cognitive tests, to pull together some of the most entertaining free brain training games and exercises on the web.  So, before you open your wallet, check out these free sites:

  1. Brain Bashers
  2. Brain Buddies
  3. Braingle
  4. Brain Experiment
  5. Cognitivefun
  6. AARP’s Games
  7. Games for the Brain
  8. ProProfs
  9. Sheppard Software


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About Encore

  • Encore examines the changing nature of retirement, from new rules and guidelines for financial security to the shifting identities and priorities of today’s retirees. The blog also explores news that affects retirement, from the Wall Street Journal Digital Network and around the web. Lead bloggers are reporter Catey Hill and senior editor Jeremy Olshan. Other contributors include The Wall Street Journal’s retirement columnists Glenn Ruffenach and Anne Tergesen; the Director for the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Alicia Munnell; and the Director of Research for Pinnacle Advisory Group, Michael Kitces, CFP.