Dr. Gareth Moore has authored several puzzle and brainteaser books aimed at exercising the “brain muscle.” Train the Brain: Use It or Lose It is Dr. Moore’s latest work in this field. In the introduction of Train the Brain Dr. Moore briefly describes the theory behind brain training. He considers the brain a muscle that needs adequate nutrition, rest and exercise in order to maintain optimum brain such as memory, attention and processing speed. Without proper exercise the brain begins to lose function, memory decreases, and processing, thoughts and reaction times slow.
Dr. Moore also points out that the brain also needs adequate rest and nutrition, such as a high-fiber diet that releases glucose throughout the day. Rest and nutrition, Moore claims, are as important to brain function as exercise. Although he does not present any scientific or academic studies to support this theory, he does mention the existence of such research.
This book contains puzzles to exercise brain processes to develop or retain functions such as memory and attentiveness. A guide to using the book follows the brief introduction. Here Dr. Moore suggests performing the puzzles in increasing order of difficulty. The three chapters in the book contain puzzles grouped into beginner, intermediate and advanced categories. By performing the exercises in order of increasing difficulty, the reader will be able to note where he or she needs more work.
Puzzles that are perceived to be difficult indicate areas of brain weakness and the need for more training or brain exercise. Each puzzle is labeled with the brain area it is supposed to be exercising. For example, after reading a story the participant is asked to recall details to improve memory.
If the reader has difficulty with memory puzzles in the beginner section, he or she will almost assuredly have trouble with the memory exercises in the intermediate and advanced sections. However, Dr. Moore warns, just because the puzzle is difficult. it is still important to attempt it and work it through. This is how the brain gets exercise, and with increasing work, it will grow strong, just as other muscles do.
The remaining three chapters of puzzles require the reader to have a pen and paper handy. The puzzles are designed to take only a few minutes each. Performing a few puzzles per day is all the exercise necessary for brain improvement.
The material is presented in a fun and conversational way. Train the Brain contains a variety of fun and often challenging puzzles including logic, memory, spatial, speed and arithmetic. The book was small enough to keep in a briefcase and perfect for the work commute. Imagine the pleasure of reaping the benefits of exercising while sitting on the bus to and from work. Train the Brain provides a fun and stimulating brain workout with no muscle pain. It is appropriate for readers of all ages.
Train the Brain: Use It or Lose It
By Dr. Gareth Moore
Tarcher: September 2009
Paperback, 192 pages