Posts Tagged ‘Hints and Tips’

Training progress for mere mortals – session 303

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

A few days ago i broke through the n = 6 barrier with a average n back score of 6.05.

The thing that still fascinates me about this is that I’m still seeing slow continuous improvement in my scores. It hasn’t been easy or rapid but steady and pretty continuous. I have felt and seen the difference that clearer thinking can make in day to day and professional life.

It’s really remarkable to reach a max average n back greater than 6… and now i can do 5′s almost without thinking… that just freaks me out.

I’ve been keeping track of my scores in a spreadsheet which enables me to look back on my progress several different ways: number of training days vs progress, number of training sessions vs progress and calendar time vs progress. I’ve completed 303 sessions along the way over the past 9 months.

The most positive and consistent correlate seems to be number of training days with n=back progress.  The graph correlating calendar days to training progress is fascinating in showing a long plateau around n=5 last summer.

Thanks to all who have posted in this blog for inspiration and motivation to keep going.

The key learning from this, for me, is that continuous if not rapid improvement in your working memory is possible whether you start out as a genius or not. Hard work can pay off just stick with it.  Benefits correlated with improvement in working memory are available to all of us.

Suggestions For Mastering The Aural Sequence

Friday, November 7th, 2008

Last week a customer asked for tips on mastering the visual sequence. This week another customer asked the same question about the aural sequence. Here is my response:

Here are two suggestions:

  1. As you hear the letter spoken, visualize it on the square that shows at the same time. This visual reinforcement should help solidify the aural sequence. I’ve recently been doing this myself and have found it quite helpful.
  2. At the same time, try to recite in your head the letters as a string of spoken sounds. The recited cadence of the spoken letters will help to fix the sequence. The recitation will help, too, I think.

Anyone else have a suggestion?

These questions have given me an inspiration for a new program feature — a practice mode for either visual or aural, allowing people to work on and strengthen one aspect of the training.

Suggestions For Mastering The Visual Sequence

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

A Brain Fitness Pro user asked for tips on improving success on the visual sequences. This was what I had:

I find that I do better on the visual when I think of it as a pattern or flow of positions. Instead of trying to remember “upper-right, bottom-middle, etc.” I instead try to hold a picture of the flow of white squares in my mind’s eye…”

Anyone else have a tip?

Hints And Tips

Monday, June 23rd, 2008
  1. Don’t feel stupid: The program is designed to stretch your brain. As you improve, it automatically makes things harder by increasing the degree of difficulty. Feeling stretched means that you’re getting more intelligent.
  2. Pause between training blocks: Sit back, take a deep breath. Orient yourself to the next n-value. In particular, if the n-value has changed since the last training block, make sure to get your mind around the n-back value for the next block before pressing “Go!”
  3. Don’t panic: If you lose your way during a training block, don’t panic. Just pick up again from where you are. Or, if you got distracted, just cancel the block and start over.
  4. Stay alert: Take the training when you feel alert and focused, ideally when you’re not tired or hungry, and not right after eating.
  5. Turn off e-mail alerts, shut off your phone, and close other computer programs that may make noises. (Peace and quiet is essential to peak performance.)
  6. Expect setbacks: At some point during the training, most people’s scores slip from one session to the next. Your mind is forging new pathways, gaining mastery. These setbacks may be accompanied by a sense that you’re actually getting better at remembering the sequences.