Posts Tagged ‘advice’

Creating an optimum environment.

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Stage: 3

Session number: 1

Average n-back: 2.5


I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to create the perfect serene environment for maximum concentration.

At the moment, I switch off the lights, turn on two aromatherapeutic candles and put the screen on “full screen”.

Is this an effective way of training or is it bad for my eyes?

I’d love to hear your methods and what you find to be the best way to get the most out of your training.


John Chalmers.

MindSparke Brain Training Software

This post was submitted by John.

Advice On Mastering n=5

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

I had a request through e-mail for tips on mastering n=5. I thought this would be a good subject for a post. Please chip in if you have other thoughts…

n=5 seems to be a pivotal n-back level. For most people on the blog 5 seems to be the largest single chunk that we can hold and repeat. This may also relate to how many items one can comfortably rehearse in two-and-a-half to three seconds. (That’s how much time we have between items.)

I would encourage this approach:

1. Pause before every block at 5. Imagine the rhythm of 5. Develop some sense of affection for the rhythm, even if it’s faked. Bring a smile to your face, even and welcome the opportunity to visit with 5.

2. As you begin the block, build up the first five item pairs in the sequence slowly. You have three whole seconds for each new item pair. As the second item pair appears, go back and re-fix the first item pair. As the third appears, go back and re-fix the first and second item pairs. Do this all the way up to 5. (When I say re-fix, I mean visualize the series in your mind’s eye and at the same time rehearse the letter sequence in your head.)

3. Now, as the sixth item pair appears, don’t panic! Simply go back to the second item pair and re-fix 2, 3, 4, 5, and then add the new 6th pair.

4. Try to keep this up, dropping the oldest and rehearsing the new set of 5 as you go.

5. If you get lost, simply start again, fixing a new starting point. You can start a set of 5 wherever you want. And you can still succeed even if you miss a few items altogether.

I realize that this advice suggests rehearsal and mindfulness and goes against the idea that we can “feel” the hits. But I think perhaps we need to master an n-value mindfully before we can feel it.