The IMPACT Study

A revolutionary study with remarkable results
The IMPACT study examined the benefits of a specifically designed brain training program to determine whether or not the training caused significant cognitive improvements in adult participants. What makes this study so incredible is the sheer size of the study. In fact, the IMPACT study is the largest clinical trial of its kind with 524 participants. The study was led by renowned scientists from Mayo Clinic and the University of Southern California.

The results were remarkable and the study proved that doing the right kind of exercises caused significant memory and brain processing speed gains in participants. Participants engaged in brain training exercises from the original Posit Science Brain Fitness Program which contains six of the auditory exercises in BrainHQ:

  • Sound Sweeps (previously called High or Low?),
  • Fine Tuning (previously called Tell Us Apart),
  • Memory Grid (previously called Match It!),
  • Syllable Stacks (previously called Sound Replay),
  • To-do List Training (previously called Listen and Do), and
  • In the Know (previously called Story Teller).

Each participant performed approximately 40 hours of brain training using these exercises. To learn more about the design of the study as well as the remarkable results, see the links below:

Study Design (pdf)Study Results (pdf)

The IMPACT study discovered the following:

  • Participants who performed an exercise task improved their ability to do that task.
    While this isn't an unfamiliar concept as we all could expect that "practice makes perfect" and training yourself to do a particular task will yield improvements over time. Most studies on cognitive fitness training report this result and only this result, whereas the IMPACT study had much more to report.
  • Improvements were noted in multiple standard memory tests (generalization).
    The study revealed that Posit Science exercises improved memory overall according to the "Gold standard" memory assessment testing. These tests are well-known and widely accepted by doctors. These results were significant because they showed that brain training exercises improve brain functions more broadly rather than just teaching "memory tricks". That is, the improvements generalized beyond trained tasks to other measures of memory. The difference is comparable to giving someone a crutch to assist with a knee injury and actually fixing the injury so that the crutch is not needed.
  • Positive changes in everyday lives were reported by participants.
    Participants in the IMPACT study reported significant improvements in their daily lives and overall quality of life as a result of the Posit Science brain training exercises. The benefits were plentiful, ranging from remembering items on a shopping list without the need to write notes down to improved hearing in crowded settings, as well as feelings of greater independence, self-confidence, and self-esteem.

Research Results
Study participants who used Posit Science brain training exercises experienced significant gains (statistically) in several brain areas including the following:

  • Increase in auditory processing speed by 131%
    An improvement in auditory processing speed of 131% means that these participants who engaged in Posit Science brain training exercises were able to take in and process information (such as speech) more than twice faster than they could before completing the exercises. This means they were more able to follow a conversation for example because the brain was now able to process the information faster.
  • Memory improvements on average equivalent to approximately 10 years 
    Significant memory improvements were seen from four standard memory tests. These memory gains were substantial and on average the improvements equated to approximately the level of memory ability seen in someone 10 years younger.
  • 3 out of 4 participants reported positive changes in their daily lives.
    In addition to the test results, participants reported that they noticed improvements in their daily lives as well and an overall improvement in their quality of life. This is perhaps the most meaningful result from the entire study!

The results from the study showed significant statistical improvements for people who engaged in Posit Science cognitive training as compared to the control group who did active learning using computer-based software.

Evidence for Cognitive Change

The results from the IMPACT study have shown that contrary to prior belief, cognitive decline is not inevitable and irreversible but rather that with specifically designed training and exercise, your brain functions and performance can be dramatically improved. In similar ways as physical exercise, your cognitive health as well as overall quality of life can be greatly improved by performing the right exercises, regardless of age.

Strengthening and building memory, and increasing processing speed can be effectively accomplished by training in BrainHQ. The gains you can experience will lead to improvements at work, in your social life, as well as your overall quality of life, ability to perform daily tasks more efficiently and enjoy your favourite activities.

The Design of the IMPACT Study: 

  • Multi-center
  • Prospective
  • Randomized
  • Controlled
  • Double-blind