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Total Brain is designed for individuals who wish to improve psychological self-awareness and overall brain performance. Upon first use, app users are guided through a 20 minute brain performance assessment, the results of which are used to tailor and prioritize the app’s content for the new user. Once the assessment is complete, users are guided to Total Brain’s home screen. There, users are invited to begin their “Journey” within the app (Become More Resilient, Achieve Sharp Focus, Improve Your Memory, etc.). Within each brain training “Journey”, the app offers short guided meditations, breathing exercises, brain training games, and short coaching videos delivered by a mental health practitioner. At any time via the tab bar, the user can navigate to the “Assess” screen to access their brain performance statistics, or navigate to the “About You” screen to track progress or modify settings.

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Credibility

Overall Score: 3.57/5.00

Overall Score: 10/14

Research Base: 1/3
Research Funding: 2/2
Proposed Intervention: 2/3 
Clinical Input in Development: 1/1
Consumer Ratings: 2/3 
Software Support: 2/2

Rating Date: September 2019


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User Experience

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Transparency

Overall Score: Unacceptable

Overall Score: Unacceptable

Does the app have a privacy policy?: Yes
Does the privacy policy describe the information storage and sharing procedures related to user entered information OR state that user information is stored locally?: Yes
Does the privacy policy state that the app/server encrypts OR de-identifies the entered data OR state that user information is stored locally?: No/Can’t Tell
Does the app provide the option of a pin entry or log-in process to view and enter user data?: Yes
Does the privacy policy state whether or not users can delete entered information OR state that user information is stored locally?: Yes
Does the privacy policy state whether or not users can edit entered information OR state that user information is stored locally?: Yes

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More Information

Available For: Requires iOS 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, Requires Android 4.1 and up
Developer: MyBrainSolutions
Type of Treatment: Cognitive Training, Mindfulness, Psychoeducation & Information
Target Conditions: Not Specified 
Target Audience: Not Specified
Designed to be used in conjunction with a healthcare professional?: No, but recommended
Languages Available: English
Cost: Free
Get it On: iTunes, Google Play

Research on this App

In a randomized controlled trial, 213 adult treatment-seeking smokers were randomized to receive nicotine patch therapy and 12 weeks of either computerized CT or computerized relaxation (control) training via MyBrainSolutions (now called Total Brain). This trial found that adjunctive cognitive training did not increase the likelihood of successful quitting, compared to an active control condition. Six month quit rates in both groups were similar to those reported in the literature for nicotine replacement therapy alone and there was no evidence for reductions in subjective withdrawal or craving symptoms during the quit attempt (Loughead et al., 2016).

A 2010 study evaluated whether Self Regulation training influences workplace productivity. 5,550 employees from major corporations were recruited to participate. They were required to complete 20 minutes of brain training 3x/week for 30 days. Those who completed the requirement in training (N=175), demonstrated a significant improvement in their self regulation score after 30 days. Workers with higher capacity for self regulation scored higher for workplace productivity (O’Connor et al., 2010).

In another study, 2,751 participants used MyBrainSolutions (now called Total Brain) and their cogntive and emotional states were compared to a database of healthy norms. The most significant benefits were found for games training positivity to improve scores within anxiety, stress, and depression (feeling scores). In addition, training in self-regulation was found to be beneficial in terms of improved memory, attention, and executive function and reduction in anxiety, stress, and depression levels (Gordon et al., 2013).

Gordon, E., Palmer, D. M., Liu, H., Rekshan, W., & DeVarney, S. (2013). Online Cognitive Brain Training Associated with Measurable Imporovements in Cognition and Emotional Well-being. https://doi.org/info:doi/10.3727/194982413X13608676060574

Loughead, J., Falcone, M., Wileyto, E. P., Albelda, B., Audrain-McGovern, J., Cao, W., … Lerman, C. (2016). Can brain games help smokers quit?: Results of a randomized clinical trial. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 168, 112–118. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.08.621

O’Connor, M., Cooper, N. J., Williams, L. M., DeVarney, S., & Gordon, E. (2010). Neuroleadership and the productive brain. Neuroleadership Journal, 3, 37-42.