Brain Training Report – Zach

Stage: 3

Session number: 18

Average n-back: 9.35

I’m starting to think I’m not doing this right…

I’ve had a lot of mind chatter doing this training since I picked up the course–now doing it consistently again after taking about a month off from mid-May to mid-June. About Session 17 the thoughts became so distracting that I hit the stop button in the middle of my session and basically just yelled “Enough!!!” When I sat back down my performance went to another level.

I’m telling everybody this for two reasons:
1. I know this is working because I’ve seen the improvement, particularly from being stuck between stages 6 and 7 to skyrocketing to sessions as high as 11. More importantly I’m appreciating the discipline I have to have to quiet my mind, though I obviously still have lapses.

2. The downside is that I don’t know if I’m cheating myself or not.

I hope I’m not spoiling it for everyone else when I say this (not that I’m the smartest person here by any measure), but my strategies have basically involved chunking the squares into groups or patterns, and only clicking on the squares I know are n-positions back from my recall. Otherwise, I don’t answer. Am I cheating myself or is this the idea behind the process? To force our brains to adapt however they best can to meet the challenge at hand?

I’d like to believe I’m falling into the latter category, but who knows. Any thoughts and feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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This post was submitted by Zach.

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One Response to “Brain Training Report – Zach”

  1. martin says:

    Hi, Zach.

    These are interesting questions. I think a lot of people face similar questions and hurdles at some point in the training.

    There is not a straightforward answer. Strategies have been shown to limit the effectiveness of the training. However, I believe that this is because the trainee is exerting more brain power on the strategy than on focusing and remembering.

    The best advice I can give is to try to use the strategies less. It’s very hard to avoid strategies such as chunking when you reach higher n-levels, but during each session try to spend some time in the “zone” where you’re trusting your brain to stay focused even if you’re not absolutely sure that it is.

    I’d also recommend a few minutes of quiet, eyes-closed relaxation before you sit down to train. And the same if you find yourself frustrated during the session. (Playing the focus helper either before or during training can help with this, too.)


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