Improve your memory – really – according to new research by scientists at Johns Hopkins University. The researchers find that one of the two brain-training methods most scientists use in research is significantly better in improving memory and attention. Until now, the effectiveness of cognitive training has been suspect. This new research reveals that some types of training really does work. It is possible to train the brain like other body parts – with targeted workouts. The research team assembled three groups of young adults. Each participant established a working memory, attention and intelligence baseline by taking a battery of cognitive tests and also got an electroencephalogram (EEG) to measure brain activity. The participants were then sent home to practice a computer task for a month. One group used one leading brain exercise while the second group used the other. The third group practiced on a control task. Everyone trained five days a week for 30 minutes, then returned to the lab for another round of tests to see if anything about their brain or cognitive abilities had changed. The researchers found that the group that practiced what’s known as a “dual n-back” exercise showed a 30 percent improvement in their working memory. That was nearly double the gains made by the group working with the other common task, known as “complex span.” The dual n-back group also showed significant changes in brain activity in the prefrontal cortex, the critical region responsible for higher learning. The exercise doesn’t exactly make anyone smarter, say the researchers, but it does greatly improve skills people need at school and work. So – let’s get to work!