Working-Memory Training Report – Shaun – Session 50

Session number: 50!!

Average n-back: 5.05

Duration (min.): 30

Session 04 on Fr28Nov average of 2.3
Session 05 on Sa29Nov average of 2.4
Session 06 on Su30Nov average of 2.95
Session 07 on Tu02Dec average of 2.75
Session 08 on Th04Dec average of 3.35
Session 09 on Fr05Dec average of 3.4
Session 10 on Sa06Dec average of 3.65
Session 11 on Su07Dec average of 3.7
Session 12 on Mo08Dec average of 3.8
Session 13 on Tu09Dec average of 4.25
Session 14 on We10Dec average of 4.1
Session 15 on Th11Dec average of 4.4
Session 16 on Fr12Dec average of 4.5
Session 17 on Su14Dec average of 4.2
Session 18 on Mo15Dec average of 4.3
Session 19 on Tu16Dec average of 4.55
Session 20 on Th18Dec average of 4.3
Session 21 on Fr19Dec average of 4.45
Session 22 on Sa20Dec average of 4.5
Session 23 on Su21Dec average of 4.65
Session 24 on Mo22Dec average of 4.8
Session 25 on Tu23Dec average of 4.4
Session 26 on We24Dec average of 4.85
Session 27 on Tu30Dec average of 4.4
Session 28 on Mo05Jan average of 4.55
Session 29 on Tu06Jan average of 4.85
Session 30 on We07Jan average of 4.9
Session 31 on Th08Jan average of 5.1
Session 32 on Fr09Jan average of 4.9
Session 33 on Sa10Jan average of 5.05
Session 34 on Su11Jan average of 5.25
Session 35 on Tu13Jan average of 5
Session 36 on Th15Jan average of 4.9
Session 37 on Fr16Jan average of 5.25
Session 38 on Sa17Jan average of 4.6
Session 39 on Sa17Jan average of 5.35
Session 40 on Su18Jan average of 4.75
Session 41 on Mo19Jan average of 4.9
Session 42 on Mo19Jan average of 5.5
Session 43 on Tu20Jan average of 5.15
Session 44 on We21Jan average of 5.2
Session 45 on Th22Jan average of 4.85
Session 46 on Fr23Jan average of 5
Session 47 on Sa24Jan average of 4.65
Session 48 on Sa24Jan average of 5.05
Session 49 on Su25Jan average of ?
Session 50 on Su25Jan average of 5.05

I wanted to do fifty training sessions, and I did it!

I learned that my score on an n-back task can increase from 2.30 (or so) to 5.0 (or so) with about fifty training sessions.

Based on my experience, the next step is that I am going to take five days to consolidate the gains, then on day six (Sat-31-Jan, within reason) carry out two or three on-line IQ tests, and after that make another decision.

The BFPro Training has been personally rewarding. Warm regards,


Brain Fitness Pro working-memory training report.

This post was submitted by Shaun Luttin.

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4 Responses to “Working-Memory Training Report – Shaun – Session 50”

  1. Erin Matlock says:

    50 sessions. That’s impressive. Congrats on your improvement.

    I seem to be just slightly behind your avg n-back score on a session by session basis. Hopefully that means I will be somewhere near your score when I hit my 50th.

    I’m looking forward to seeing your final report.

  2. Shaun Luttin says:

    Hi there Erin, Will, Dave, and Martin:

    It has been fun to dialogue with you on Martin’s Web site. Fun is not an option, it’s vitally important! That’s why we do it.

    About a week ago I promised to test myself using the GIQTest after taking a rest for five days. I did it. Actually, I did it twice. The GIQTest itself is quite arduous. It took about 60 minutes to complete it each time. It includes picture questions, vocabulary questions, recall questions, relationship questions, and arithmetic questions. At times I have frustration filled thoughts and feelings triggered in part by the interface used during the Recall section. There will be more about that later.

    During July 2008 I had a professionally administered WAIS-III done, and scored a FSIQ of 139 (95% confidence interval = 134-142). The report stated that my verbal score came in at 135 (95% CI = 129-139), while my performance score came in at 134 (95% CI = 125-139). My working memory score came in at 121 (95% CI = 113-127), and my processing speed ability came in at 117 (95% CI = 106-124). It’s interesting to look more closely at the working memory score. I did best on the Arithmetic subtest, and scored my relative worst on the Digit Span test (the percentile ratings were 98% and 63% respectively.) That shows my Digit Span was a relative weakness of mine in July of 2008, when the psychologist administered the WAIS-III to me.

    Interestingly, over the last eight years I have spent significant time, effort, and hard earned money seeing a psychologist to recover from clinic depression. That in itself is not a terribly relevant statement. But, what is relevant is that during depression: “MEMORY is poor, CONCENTRATION is fleeting, and the simplest of decisions can be overwhelming. Of all the many symptoms of depression, these cognitive impairments often seem to LAST THE LONGEST, and lag the furthest behind initial signs of recovery.” (Dr. Randy Paterson, from Your Depression Map, p. 210). Emphasis was added by me. This quote may be taken quite seriously because in 2008 Dr Paterson was named Distinguished Practitioner of the Year by the Canadian Psychological Association. He has also been my personal psychologist for the last approximately seven years. I write this because symptom relief from depression has been one of my primary sustaining goals. Mind Sparke Brain Fitness Pro may have helped me with the final, and often intractable, symptom of cognitive impairment (i.e. concentration, memory, decision making).

    So, in that light let’s see how I did when I took the GIQTest on-line today after 50 training sessions with BFPro. The score of my first GIQTest trial will be first, and my second trial scores will be second. Note that the scores are the exact same for all the sub-tests except for the working memory test. More about that difference later.

    142 then 144 = Full scale intelligence quotient
    99.74% then 99.83% = Full Scale percentile
    99.91% then 99.91% = Verbal Scale percentile
    96.41% then 98.83% = Performance Scale percentile***

    Maximum score on the questions sections is 20.
    17 then 17 = Picture questions
    19 then 19 = Vocabulary questions
    16 then 18 = Recall questions***
    19 then 19 = Relationship questions
    20 then 20 = Arithmetic questions

    Was there a learning effect from repeating the GIQTest? The only area where there was a difference between the first trail of the GIQTest and the second trial of the GIQTest was the Recall questions area. The first time I did the GIQTest I scored 16 out of a possible 20 on the Recall section, while the second time I took the test I scored 18 on the Recall section. A single explaination for this is that the first time I went through the test, I became distracted because of the interface used to test recall. Then, the second time I went through the test, I was more used to the interface (but still became distracted by some features). My own sense is that if I took the test a third time I might be able to score higher still on the recall section. In conclusion, the higher score on the Recall section the second time through the GIQTest might be attributable to increased familiarity with the interface. Further, the higher score on the recall section is reflected in the higher score on the performance section of the GIQ the second time through.

    How does the WAIS score compare the the GIQ score? That is interesting to discuss in connection with BFPro Training. On former WAIS, the Verbal score came in at 135, whereas on the GIQ it came in at ~147. Further, on the WAIS the Performance score came in at 134, whereas on the GIQ it came in at 129 (first) and 134 (second time). This shows that I actually did much better on the Verbal section of the GIQ test that I did on that section in the WAIS! This resonates with what Martin Walker mentioned about being better able to do cross word puzzles after BFPro Training. Next, I scored equivalently on the Performance section of the GIQ as I did on the WAIS. This might be explained by the significantly higher level of thoroughness on the WAIS; for instance, the WAIS includes processing speed as well as manual manipulation of blocks.

    What is most interesting the me is the difference in my Recall scores and the similarity in my Arithmetic scores between the WAIS and the GIQTest. It is quite hard to tell whether I had an improvement or not in the Recall section of these tests. The GIQ reported that the average score of all test takers in the Recall section is 10 out of 20; unfortunately, the GIQ does not report the standard deviation. This makes it tough to determine the percentile rating of my own performance, and thus makes it hard to compare my GIQ Recall performance with my WAIS Recall performance (recall my WAIS performance was in the 63rd percentile). Notwithstanding this difficulty, a percentile score of 63% on the forward and backward digit span with the WAIS seems to be lower than the raw scores of 16/20 and 18/20 for the forward and backward digit span with the GIQ. While this is far from scientific, I posit that my digit span DID increase from the BFPro Training. Why do I think this?

    If we were to magically convert my scores of 16/20 (first) and 18/20 (second time) on the GIQ Recall questions into percentile scores rather than raw scores, my own sense is that the resulting percentiles would both be higher than the 63rd percentile that I scored on the WAIS. This is based on the knowledge that the average GIQ Recall question score is 10/20. If (and this is a big if) the standard deviation for the GIQ Recall question was a whooping six points, then my score of 16/20 would put me into the 84th percentile. My own sense is that a standard deviation of six points and a mean of ten would be highly unlikely. But I am not a statistician. Did I improve my working memory? Probably, but we don’t know for sure.

    That about exhausts the dialogue and discussion that I am willing to make of the improvement in IQ test scoring from 50 sessions of BFPro Training. In spite of the difficulty comparing the WAIS results with the GIQ results, a relatively conservative statement is that I at least seem to be moving in the right direction. If this discussion is at all confusing, then I take full responsibility for that, because while my general thinking ability is high, by general willingness to plan is something that I am still working on. The result may have been a loose structure to this dialogue.

    Is the BFPro Training worth it? My own sense is yes…

    Warm regards,

  3. Matt says:

    How is the GIQ test in relation to the WAIS test in regards to accuracy of results?

    Is a high score on GIQ likely to translate to a high score on the WAIS test? Or is GIQ somewhat irrelevant in regards to determining ones actual IQ?


  4. Shaun Luttin says:

    Hi Matt,

    It’s been a while since I looked at the GIQ and WAIS. The former was disappointing, though, and I don’t know the correlation. A fluid intelligence test that I did like is Tractitus Logicus 37.

    In other news, I am enjoying reading What is Intelligence. Flynn (2007) argues for a powerful environmental impact on IQ. On page ninety-nine he also suggests that one such environment might be playing a cognitively loaded computer game in a supportive social group.


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