New Brain App Has “Ritalin”-Like Effects


There is a new app on the scene that appears to truly help its users focus. The game was designed by none other than researchers at the world-renowned University of Cambridge. Specifically, the university’s Behavioral and Clinical Neuroscience Institute launched an app by the name of “Decoder”, that was developed to improve concentration, attention, and overall focus.

In a world where there truly does seem to be a “pill” for everything – whether the issue is erectile dysfunction or lack of sleep – the app has actually improved concentration as much as the extremely popular drug “Ritalin”. For those that are unaware, Ritalin is a among the top 50 prescribed medicines in the United States, often given to individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD.

About The Study

The scientific journal Frontiers In Behavioural Science published a study that concluded that if one used the app for eight hours over the course of about thirty days, there were similar effects observed that if one had been prescribed Ritalin.

The study involved 75 individuals, who were separated into three groups. One group played “Decoder”, while another group played the game “Bingo” over the same time period. The third group didn’t play a game at all. There were then assessment studies designed to measure the attention and concentration of participants, where those who had played “Decoder” scored much higher than the other groups.

Additional Information

A co-author of the study, and research associate at Cambridge University, George Savulich, said that he hoped that the app would help as many individuals as possible. Specifically, he stated: We hope that the game will be beneficial for patients who have impairments in attention, including those with ADHD or traumatic brain injury. We plan to start a study with traumatic brain injury patients this year.”

For those wondering more about the nature of the app, the user is meant to tap the screen when they spot certain patterns. Many point to the fact that social media has made it so that less individuals – especially children – can concentrate and focus – and that Decoder could then potentially help with millions around the world. The app has been licensed to a developer by the name of Peak, and is available for free currently on the Itunes App Store. Professor Barbara Sahakian, from Cambridge’s University of Psychiatry, pointed out that researchers will conduct a study with a new aim soon, stating: “We plan on starting a study with traumatic brain injury patients this year.”