Language Lovers: Crossword puzzles and games such as Words with Friends and sudoku strengthen memory. "Most of the games we use to help our brain are generally really working at the frontal lobes," says Dr. Jose Rafecas, a general neurologist at Neurology and Neuroscience Associates in Akron.
Couch Potatoes: Video games such as complex racing games really improve hand-eye coordination. "A large area of the brain is involved in allowing your body to react to what it sees but also in 3-D spatial planning and our concept of our world around us," says Rafecas.
Lighten Up: Lumosity, an online service and smartphone app run by a team of neuroscientists, tests and strengthens skills, including memory retention, reaction times and problem-solving, through a series of games. "Anything that puts a stress and taxes the brain tends to be helpful," says Rafecas.