By John Rampton (Article reposted from inc.com)

Brain training is big business. Companies like BrainHQ, Luminosity, and Cogmed are part of a multimillion-dollar business that is expected to surpass $3 billion by 2020. But does what they offer actually benefit your brain?

Researchers don’t believe so. In fact, the University of Illinois determined that there’s little or no evidence that these games improve anything more than the specific tasks being trained. Luminosity was even fined $2 million for false claims.

So, if these brain games don’t work, then what will keep your brain sharp? The answer? Learning to play a musical instrument.

Why Being a Musician Is Good for Your Brain

Science has shown that musical training can change brain structure and function for the better. It can also improve long-term memory and lead to better brain development for those who start at a young age.

Furthermore, musicians tend to be more mentally alert, according to new research from a University of Montreal study.

“The more we know about the impact of music on really basic sensory processes, the more we can apply musical training to individuals who might have slower reaction times,” said lead researcher Simon Landry.

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