Working-Memory Training Report – Will – Session 133

Session number: 133

Average n-back: 5.38

Duration (min.): 25

Average over 19 sessions, 5.38, showing reasonable improvement and consistency (.16 higher average than last run). I didnt reach my high of 5.8 but nor did I dip lower than I did last session with exception of my 1st run starting at N=2. I feel with decent focus in tow, I have mastered 5 back but challenged by 6 still.

At the bottom of the list David asked good questions on my last post that I did not see …I will address those at the bottom.

1) 4.95
2) 5.55
3) 5.20
4) 5.20
5) 5.35
6) 5.55
7) 5.40
eight) 5.40
9) 5.50

In quotes, David wrote the following:

“Here’s a link for a online version of the Raven’s (looks legitimate but I wouldn’t know since I never saw the real thing before):

As I recall when I took that test a while back, at first I hit 56/60 and then hit 57/60 on a retake. The IQ for my age edad (38) if im not mistaken was 134 and then 136. The test does look like a legitimate variation of the real thing, though I have only seen sample problems of the real standard matrices test.

“I had a question for you though. Do you think your improvements on the ECTs at MyBrainTrainer were related to your dual n-back training or to your working on those specific ECTs?”

I think dual N back training helped my N back score over there…but the N back exercise at MBT is as much about speed as it is about recall, and I have quick reaction time — reaction time that has remained stable over a long period of training. My jump in N back over there I attribute to the dual n back training here, especially for advanced (3 back) and expert (4 back) levels. However, Id attribute the gain also to the practice effect that I experienced having done the N back repeatedly at MBT…so Id say a mix between the two. But I feel fairly confident that my breaking into the top 10 on the advanced n back there had much to do with the training here.

“Finally, given your interest in MyBrainTrainer, you may find these links interesting:

Go to the “Thinkfast” section in the second link. They relate to a program called THINKfast which was the precursor to MyBrainTrainer. Bill McGaugh was a member of the prometheus society and was advocating using the program as an admission test – it didn’t last for long, but the discussion was very interesting.”

Thanks, I have read both of those pages in the past. I think the correlation between reaction time (chronometrics) and IQ is strong…but, as I think as Promethean society soon realized, it is not a great way to discriminate levels of very high IQ (or, in their case, out of sight levels of IQ). The problem has to do with absence of long term memory and abstract reasoning.

That said, as the Prometheus report indicates, there is in fact a widely held correlation between IQ and ECT batteries at around .7, which has been established by the research of Jensen and Eyesenk. However, I have read that this correlation attenuates in the above average rage of intelligence.

The Prometheus site posits that idea of ECTs are a good fluid measurement since ECTS do not measure the varying areas of knowledge that crystallized tests go after…thus, its more of a pure measure that closely measures on a physiological level anyway, individual differences in neural transmission speed.

However, there is more to intelligence than speed (even fluid intelligence. I find this with myself, for instance, with non verbal fluid tests…I can solve most problems or see patterns very quickly, but very difficult problems, while beyond my grasp, are not beyond grasp of someone with a higher ability level than me (viz, — greater abstract reasoning abilities).

As for ECT tasks efficacy in raising IQ I think it is possible after a few weeks of training, as it is with a few weeks of training with the dual n back here. But I am not sure in either case that IQ is being raised, per se, but simply that focus on the functions not used in every day life provides a boost so that one is moved up to optimal levels, especially as far as brain speed is concerned. This then is reflected in IQ test performance and then more widely in every day life. One is left with illusion of increased IQ, but really one is functioning closer to their capacity — a capacity that can atrophy due to disuse as is the case for most people in day to day life.

I continue to train working memory on the dual n back primarily because I think it is possible for neuroplasticity to occur over a very long period of training with an increase that exceeds the initial 19 day 5-15 or so point bump that the media got so excited over with study in PNAS. My own personal thinking is that Happy Neuron, MBT, Luminosity, Posit Science, etc, are all excellent ways for someone to bump their IQ up after several weeks to a month of training. But I tend to think dual n back training is a better long term exercise to maintain optimal brain function *and* to continue to make actual gains over say, a year, by going beyond optimal.(While I am not convinced that exceeding potential is possible, I am open to the idea that intellectual potential may have different levels of optimal since our use of technology to make ourselves more intelligent is very much a new phenomenon in human history).

A while back I did use MBT as a training tool. I use it as check in measurement now here and there. Other brain training I use once in a while, but dual n back I aim to train on consistently over a long period, even if I level off completely as far N level goes.

This post was submitted by Will.

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One Response to “Working-Memory Training Report – Will – Session 133”

  1. Shaun says:

    Hey Will:

    I’ve been reading your posts with interest. Thanks for writing them.

    What are ‘ECTs’?


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