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Why waste an hour when you can spend 15 minutes a day? I used to work out during my lunch break, but now I've downloaded an app for myself and I don't care. There are a lot of simulators, most of them are satisfied. But the tiniest thing is Cats and Mice, when you control everything there with both hands. Memory improves-a fact. The ability to concentrate anywhere is another fact. But this is for me personally, of course, everything is individual.
There is an effect for me. Especially if you need to read a huge boring article. I no longer fall asleep after a couple of paragraphs, but read it once and for all. This moment saves me a lot of time.
The benefits are there. However, it is not quite correct to compare them with Olympiad tasks, since their solution trains the ability to solve similar tasks rather than cognitive functions themselves (although the general non-specific effect of any training is certainly present).
Regarding the effectiveness of computer simulators that develop cognitive functions, there are a number of studies showing that they work (see, for example, the list of references to the article in the English-language Wikipedia about Lumosity: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lumosity).
It is very important that the training sessions are regular, without missing out. Meanwhile, not always the proposed simulators develop mainly the function for which they are designed. For example, an attention simulator can train not so much attention as reaction speed or perception. In an individual case, the performance of the same cognitive activity can be provided by different functions, so in many cases it is possible to restructure the structure of activity taking into account the most developed cognitive functions.
As a third-party user, I can say that the simulators work. But apparently it all depends on some individual characteristics. I found them when I was actively improving my English and it really helped me: I finally memorized all these rules from time to time and expanded my vocabulary. But I advised a friend: he said that in addition to the fact that he began to remember what he read better, he did not feel the effect. Although, maybe it's the regularity of classes: he definitely missed it.
I spend not an hour, but 15-20 minutes a day. I go through daily training sessions. I'm not an expert in this field, but I can say that the simulators work for me personally. The effect was especially noticeable on my memory: if I had often heard phrases from my friends before: “we talked about it”, “don't you remember??” but now there are much fewer of them. Yes, and the concentration of attention has definitely improved.