Everyday Cognition

Published Research on BrainHQ and Everyday Cognition

A common criticism of brain training is that it only improves performance on the exercises in the training program—not on other skills that are useful in everyday life.

That is a fair criticism for “brain games,” but not for BrainHQ brain fitness and cognitive training.

Many publications have directly measured people’s abilities to perform normal everyday tasks before and after training with exercises in BrainHQ:


  • Two articles measured how quickly people could perform ordinary activities (such as reading a medication label, or looking a number up in a phone book) and found that use of a BrainHQ exercise improved people’s ability to perform those tasks quickly and efficiently compared to a control group.
  • The ACTIVE Study showed that people using a BrainHQ exercise experienced slower decline in the skills required to live independently compared to a control group.
  • The IMPACT Study showed that people using BrainHQ exercises showed improvements on a validated questionnaire where people reported on their everyday cognition (like their ability to remember names and grocery list items).
  • Two studies showed that the use of a specific BrainHQ exercise—Freeze Frame—improved word finding (which scientists call “verbal fluency”) compared to a control group.
  • Many studies have also been published showing how BrainHQ training improves driving safety. (So many that they are included in a separate section. Please click here to find a description and listing of those studies.)

Information and citations for research on everyday cognition

In general, these studies were conducted in cognitively healthy adults aged 65 and older, and in some cases, aged 50 and older. Remember that studies show average results, and that individual results will vary. Where published studies make reference to clinical populations, it is for informational purposes only. BrainHQ is not intended to diagnose or treat any clinical condition.


Effects of cognitive training interventions with older adults: A randomized controlled trial
Ball et al. (2002)
Journal of the Association Medical Association
View article

Transfer of a speed of processing intervention to near and far cognitive functions
Edwards et al. (2002)
View abstract

The impact of speed of processing training on cognitive and everyday performance
Edwards et al. (2005)
Aging & Mental Health
View abstract

Comparing three methods of computerised cognitive training for older adults with subclinical cognitive decline
Gooding et al. (2016)
Neuropsychological rehabilitation
View article

Ten-year effects of the ACTIVE cognitive training trial on cognition and everyday functioning in older adults
Rebok et al. (2014)
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
View article

A cognitive training program based on principles of brain plasticity: Results from the Improvement in Memory with Plasticity-based Adaptive Cognitive Training (IMPACT) study
Smith et al. (2009)
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
View article

Neurocognitive enhancement in older adults: Comparison of three cognitive training tasks to test a hypothesis of training transfer in brain connectivity
Strenziok et al. (2014)
View abstract

Targeting Alertness to Improve Cognition in Older Adults: A Preliminary Report of Benefits in Executive Function and Skill Acquisition
Van Vleet et al. (2016)
View article

Long-term effects of cognitive training on everyday functional outcomes in older adults
Willis et al. (2006)
Journal of the Association Medical Association
View article

The effect of cognitive speed of processing training on the development of additional IADL difficulties and the reduction of depressive symptoms: Results from the IHAMS randomized controlled trial
Wolinsky et al. (2015)
Journal of Aging and Health
View abstract

Improvement in memory with plasticity-based adaptive cognitive training: Results of the 3-month follow-up
Zelinski et al. (2011)
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
View article