No ‘far transfer’ – chess, memory training and music does make you better at chess, memory training and music” discusses a review of several meta-analytic studies assessing the evidence for “far transfer” learning – the theory that training in one brain domain transfers to another domain. Or, does learning to ride a BMX bicycle result in better skills are riding a unicycle, or piloting a helicopter? The article concludes: “Limiting the analysis to the best-designed studies, they found little or no evidence of far-transfer. The only exception was a robust effect of working memory training on other memory tasks, which is arguably “near transfer” rather than far transfer. This tallies with an in-depth evaluation of brain training published last year that concluded such training improves performance at the specific skills being practiced, but that claims about its broader benefits have little support once you discount the less stringently designed studiesThe British Psychological Society Research Digest

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