Archive for the ‘brain training’ Category

Working Memory Training Can Reduce Anxiety, Distractibility

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

A study published in Biological Psychology finds proof of concept for the use of working memory training (specifically the kind of training used in MindSparke) to reduce anxiety and distractibility.



Brain Change For Grown-Ups

Monday, July 7th, 2014

When people take the plunge and start brain training with MindSparke a common question is whether lasting changes can really occur in the adult brain.  Psychology today has this overview of the natural role of adult neuroplasticity in helping us change and adapt as we age.  Life events like falling in love and experiencing the birth of a child, the article points out, switch on our plastic brain chemicals and spur changes in the brain.  The piece also points out that frequent, repeated stimulation of brain circuits, as with brain training, is required for changing older brains.

Brain Training Report – Zach

Friday, July 12th, 2013

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.

MindSparke Brain Training Software

MindSparke Brain Fitness Software

MindSparke Working Memory Training

This post was submitted by Zach.

Brain Training is The Bomb

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

It turns out that those mushroom clouds from atomic bomb tests in the 1950s and 60s brought a boon to researchers of brain development. Using carbon dating, researchers from the lauded Karolinska Institute in Sweden have determined that a staggering 1/3 or more of brain cells in the brain’s hippocampus are renewed during our lifetime.  This refutes the often-heard criticism of brain training that our brain power is essentially fixed.  The hippocampus houses all of the critical brain functions that govern memory, comprehension, and decision-making.

“We provide the first evidence that there is substantial neurogenesis in the human hippocampus throughout life, suggesting that the new neurons may contribute to human brain function,” said senior study author Jonas Frisén of the Karolinska Institute.

The relatively brief period during which above-ground nuclear tests were permitted gave the researchers the opportunity to trace the path of the Carbon-14 isotope (a by-product of nuclear testing) through the cells of people who lived during that era.  The findings showed that about 1,400 new neurons are being made each day, and the rate of neurogenesis doesn’t decrease with age.