Posts Tagged ‘working-memory’

Working Memory And Academic Achievement

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

As reported in Frontiers in Psychology, a new study shows that strong working memory skills are critical to academic achievement. Read more.

Working Memory And Mental Movies

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Peter Carruthers is a philosopher with a particular interest in the philosophy of the mind. Recently he’s turned his attention to the nature and function of working memory in humans, writing a paper on the “Evolution of Working Memory“.  He concludes that while working memory in humans is similar to working memory in primates and other animals, it seems to be used more intensively and more abstractly.  In this interview with Scientific American, Carruthers emphasizes just how important it is for us to be able to consciously hold and manipulate information in order to strategise, reflect, and act.   He likens working memory to a mental movie.

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 Report – Rich – Stage 1, Session 1

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Stage: 1

Session number: 1

Average n-back: 4.25

First session went well. Went straight to n=5 on my first four blocks. However, once there, I kept missing one or two visuals. Finally, I went back down to n=4 and again could not get everything correct there (usually, I would miss a single visual). I stayed at n=4 though until I got into a grove and finally went up to n=5 for the last 5 blocks. I managed to get 4 of those last 5 blocks correct.

At the end of the session I got a congratulations message and am being moved to double switchback for my next session.

I did the guided meditation (I am using SE) beforehand.

I did the session at the end of the day, before dinner.

MindSparke Brain Training Software


This post was submitted by hank44.

Brain Training Report – Jan – Stage 2, Session 10

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Stage: 2

Session number: 10

Average n-back: 4


I just competed stage 2 and am trying to learn stage 3. I am a little confused by the directions. First, in the help section, it says to reach level 6 in Stage 2 before trying Stage 3. Is this still a requirement/recommended?
Also, I was practicing an visual sequence by itself, and thought I matched all the sequences correctly. I performed it at the slowest speed for the purposes of learning. However, the report said I missed 2 sequences. I was wondering if there is overlap between the sequences, in other words, say a series of 6 white squares are shown. If 2 and 4 are a match, do you have to remember where the third square was in case it is a match for square 5? Or does the sequence start over once you’ve correctly guessed the matching squares? Thanks in advance. Additional input: Seeing improvements in working memory at work, feeling calmer in stressful situations and becoming less reactionary and more able to solve problems on the spot.

MindSparke Brain Training Software

This post was submitted by Janice.

Brain Training Report – Travis – Stage 3, Session 18

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Stage: 3

Session number: 18

Average n-back: 4.5

I’ve got enough sessions logged now that I’ve noticed a trend. My biggest gains seem to come after a period of several days loss. I don’t think this is just b/c of the decline making it easier to have larger leaps. It feels like there is some sort of reorganization going on during the loss period. Anyway, I got 3 n=5 in a row for the first time and am looking forward to the day when the computer throws a 6 at me!

Also, I noticed that not moving my focus off the inner block that never lights up seems to make it easier to remember the visual pattern. I think this ties into the meditation. I acknowledge the square and let it go without loosing my calm or focus. When it comes back in again in the pattern I realize I didn’t let it go, I just let it be.

I’m interested in the tip that suggests the more tricks one tries to employ to memorize the patterns, the less transference one gets to other gF tasks. Its a relief to give up on the tricks!

MindSparke Working Memory Training

This post was submitted by

Brain Training Report – Ezhil – Stage 3, Session 2

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Stage: 3

Session number: 2

Average n-back: 2.55

Second day today on stage 3. Performance was pretty fluid at N-2, but N-3 is quite a struggle with remembering the sequences. Scores have marginally improved from day 1 to day 2 though, so hopefully there would be more gains in the next few days.

MindSparke Brain Fitness Software

This post was submitted by ezhilk.

Brain Training Report – Andrew – Stage 3, Session 5

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Stage: 3

Session number: 5

Average n-back: 2.8

This program is really working, I can see that my memory retention for these exercises are slowly improving on a daily basis. During Stage 3 Session 3 I smoked a blunt but my score did not decrease from the previous session, instead it had increased. This software is amazing I especially like using it for 30 minutes and then proceed to RosettaStone right after :)

MindSparke Brain Training Software

This post was submitted by Andrew.

Brain Training Report – Ruari – Stage 3, Session 4

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Stage: 3

Session number: 4

Average n-back: 2.2

No breakthroughs, though the n-2s seem to be coming along more clearly. From the block score sheet, the audio signals pose a bigger challenge. Today I tried switching around how I remember the sequences. Originally I tried to recall everything in the order recited. This caused too much jumbling and confusion. Today I tried switching it around so that I repeat/recall the sequences in reverse order, and to the appropriate n-number. The switch in recall technique will improve my performance, I believe, but will take some adjusting to.

On a related note, I tried training on the Double Gapmatch at the n-3 level, but was unable to manipulate the training options. This stuck me on the default n-2 level, which I wanted to avoid.

Other observations: brain plasticity seems a challenge. The moment I move up to n-3, my mind struggles to only focus on the third matching sequence. Typically I bomb the first attempt gloriously. Upon demotion to n-2, my mind then wrestles with the shorter matching sequence. Some mental lag time? Do others take long breaks between blocks? I tend to do all 20 in one sitting with just a few breaths between each.

On a positive note, despite the still low performance levels, and dramatic fall in BFI score since starting Double Gapmatch, I feel I’m on the cusp of busting through the n-2 and settling into the n-3 level. I hope my issue is poor mental sorting and that once I get my ducks in line, I’ll see more rapid improvements.

MindSparke Brain Fitness Software

This post was submitted by Ruari.

Brain Training Report – Josh – Stage 3, Session 17

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Stage: 3

Session number: 17

Average n-back: 4.65

Over the last few days I’ve applied a technique that I use in music to play music faster technically. I warm-up by alternating every day between Double Ahead and Double Switchback. While in one of the two stages I start at N-2, then N-4, then N-3, then N-5, N-4, N-6 etc. until I feel I’m really struggling. I then move on to stage 3. This has dramatically improved my performance in stage 3. Try it for yourself and see what you think…

MindSparke Brain Training Software

This post was submitted by Josh.