There has been much controversy 1,2,3,4 over the use of “brain games” in the medical field, as scientists are still trying to debunk the efficacy of such programs on improving human cognition. This controversy has arisen as some companies have made claims not backed by science that their program can “reverse aging effects on the brain” or “can boost your brain function in minutes a day”. While these statements have been found to be false by the government and these companies have retracted such statements, the confusion and concern remain among clinicians and patients alike if these digital cognitive software programs really work.
Any experience changes and shapes the brain. This phenomena of shaping of neural circuits is called neuroplasticity. The billions of neurons are connected to each other and fire in unique patterns due to life experiences, such as schooling.
Cognitive remediation therapy aims to improve cognitive function by practicing relevant cognitive tasks that can help strengthen connections between neurons and reestablish firing patterns that were once there but were lost due to disease or injury. To assist with cognitive remediation therapy outside the clinic, a therapist may assign exercises via a digital platform where their patient has difficulty. They can then review results and modify their treatment plan according to how their patient is progressing in care.
The experience of intervention does shape the brain, but the extent to which digital platforms do on their own is still a question to be investigated.
To date, there has not been enough research to show an indisputable efficacy of Computerized Cognitive Remediation as a solo intervention. More work is being done by researchers around the globe testing such platforms including HappyNeuron Pro. Researchers are updating findings as they analyze and report data, and HappyNeuron Pro supports them as much as possible.
Despite this, there is much evidence demonstrating the efficacy of cognitive remediation therapy and use of digital platforms during the therapeutic process.
A meta-analysis by Grynzspan et al. has demonstrated efficacy of computerized cognitive remediation tools in a review of relevant scientific studies regarding cognitive remediation. In their review, they have found benefits using computer-assisted cognitive remediation (CACR) with regards to intervention of psychiatric conditions as these programs allow for multisensory stimulation, improved utility of therapy time, and increasing motivation.
HappyNeuron Pro is meant to be a part of the therapy “toolkit” in conjunction with the rehabilitation plan the therapist has planned. Our platform can compliment what is being done during clinic hours and allows the patient to remain engaged, see progress, and focus on areas of concern.
What makes therapy effective aside from practice alone is bridging – where the patient takes what is being practiced in therapy and applies what they have done inside their home and therapist’s office to a real-world situation, such as working to find a job.
We cannot emphasize the importance of bridging enough. This is what makes any program successful. If your patient does not reflect and see how what they practice in therapy carries over into their everyday life, then all the time spent in therapy is for nothing. You must create time and space for your patient to think about how their practice at home and in the clinic can translate into their lives.
There are a variety of ways to do this, but each kind of therapist or treatment team has their way. You can find resources, such as Cognitive Remediation To Improve Functional Outcomes or Cognitive Remediation for Psychological Disorders: Second Edition that describe in depth how to do bridging and how to set up a cognitive remediation program if needed.
In sum, HappyNeuron Pro does work together with therapy provided by a clinician. Your patient will get benefits if they can see, reflect, and understand how their care impacts their daily life. In addition, keeping your patient motivated and ensuring that they can overcome emotional obstacles as they occur will help them succeed.
If you want to know more about the controversy about computerized cognitive therapy, we recommend reading the last episode of the controversy which shows clearly and extensively the efficacy of computerized cognitive therapy.
For more information on the studies that have been done or are underway using our programs, please check out our list of clinical studies.
If you are interested in conducting research, please contact us. We are always happy to support research as much as we can.
Page last updated on Jan 10,2020
What People Say About Our Program
I have seen positive behavioral changes in the people that I work with. The staff and clients love HappyNeuron Pro.
Dyana Hagen – B.S.W. – InterCommunity Inc.’s Common Ground Learning Center – East Hartford, CT, USA
Read more about Dyana in her Case Study
“[people considering using HappyNeuron Pro] should go for it. It’s worth the investment”
Ruth Mwaura – Clinical Psychologist – Thalia Psychotherapy – Nairobi, Kenya
Read more about Ruth and her practice in her Case Study
“There are other companies I like. After 10 years of working with HappyNeuron Pro, the “gamelike” design is why we stuck with it.”
Kristin Hoffman – Rehab Specialist & SLP – iN2L – Denver, CO, USA
Read more about Kristin and her work at iN2L in her Case Study
Every kid needs to be doing HappyNeuron Pro. Every school needs to be working on these skills. Every school in America should have a cognitive skill curriculum..
Kyra Minichan – SLP – The Cognitive Emporium – Hendersonville, TN – USA
Read more about Kyra and her practice in her Case Study
Our favorite thing is to be able to break down into core cognitive domains, knowing every task the patient is doing touches upon overlapping cognitive skills, and it gives participants a sense of what skills they are working on.
Vocational Coach – WISE Employment – Melbourne – Australia
Read more about WISE Employment in their Case Study
This program is something that really can benefit the well-being of the clients we serve. It gives us more resources and tools to help people.
Lisa Rae – Director of Business Development – Integrative Group Psychology Services – Chicago, IL – USA
Read more about Lisa and her practice in her Case Study
“The team at HappyNeuron understands our customers’ needs and how iN2L can fit as a solution. It is an important aspect of any relationship, but in situations like this, it is particularly valuable.”
Chris Krause – Dir. of Research and Outcome – iN2L – Denver, CO, USA
Read more about Chris and his work at iN2L in his Case Study
It was just enjoyable to see the results right at the moment. So once a patient is done with the group, I was able to get the results immediately and see what they did well on and what needed to still be improved. HappyNeuron Pro is just easy and accessible.
Hector Sigler – Director of Operations – Family Recovery Center – Lantana, FL – USA
We love this program! One of my success stories was the man who had a stroke. As a matter of fact, everybody noticed his progress after using HappyNeuron Pro.
Laura Argentine – LCSW – Integrative Group Psychology Services – Chicago, IL – USA
Read more about Laura and her practice in her Case Study