Q: Do brain games really work? —Kyle T., Indianapolis, IN

A: Maybe. There have been a lot of studies done to determine the effects of brain games. While people improve in their ability to master a specific game, the question is whether or not improving performance using a specific technology translates into any meaningful improvement in real life. One robust trial evaluated Posit Science’s Brain Fitness Program, which works by stimulating the brain’s hearing system. Overall, subjects who used this approach saw signififificant gains in cognition and memory. So while these results are encouraging, they don’t necessarily extend to other brain-training devices.