Brain training

Updated 19.8.2009 :
Okies folks, I made a mistake announcing this website as free. It isn’t all free after all. By registering, you are given 7 days of trial and you get to access all of the games. By the 8th day, you get to play the following games to train your brain so to speak; enjoy nonetheless :-

1. Raindrops
2. Word Bubbles
3. Lost in Migration
4. Monster Garden
5. Familiar Faces
6. Speed Match

Sheesh!

homer-simpson-wallpaper-brain-1024TINY: Mr. Simpson’s brains under the revealing probes of an X-Ray

Dear WordPress,

Sometimes when I’m free at the office (usually when I’m in the toilet!), I managed to grab old Malay Mails left in store room for some, um reading material I think. Anyway, whilst browsing the content, I discovered a gem of a thing in the paper. It’s called “The 30-Second Challenge”. It’s just a combination of simple mathematical exercises such as adding, subtracting, dividing and multiplying.

The challenge is for readers to complete it within the 30 seconds and without using any pen & paper. So definitely these calculations will be done in our grey matter and effectively not only giving your brain a daily workout but also producing a strained if not puzzled look on your face as your frantically divide and multiple those little numbers in time.

Unfortunately, a quick Google search revealed that this challenge is available upon subscription and no freebies here for us poor office workers. Undaunted by this revelation, I marched on with the internet searching for something that can effectively and easily train your mind to be sharp and nimble. Working in an office environment with mixed routine and ad hoc stuff, a greased mind is certainly of help.

Of course, one can go to some de Bono training or even transplant a genius’ brain but being ordinary Joe, I’d settle for something practical and cheap if not free. Well my prayers were answered as Google reveled another gem amongst stones. It’s a website called Lumosity. Currently it’s offering some 30 sessions of various trainings in forms of games to improve one’s ” spatial working memory and visual attention” as claimed by Lumosity. Furthermore, Lumosity is a result of a paper presented at  the Society for Neuroscience Conference in 2006 and at the Bay Area Neuroscience Gathering in 2007 as the website so claims.

lumosity-logo

THINKING PROCESS : Something everyone should master and be good at

So how does it work? Basically, as I would recommend, you follow through each day the series of tests on a daily basis. These tests are designed to enhance your mind’s particular abilities such as memory, problem solving and some logic deductions. If your memory is as sucky as I’m, you may want to concentrate on a specific area of cognition or simply known better to us as “the thinking process”. The great thing is, after all those mental acrobatics and hoola hoops jumps, you are given a scoreboard of your performance. You can use it to gauge your improvements as your mind are sweating it out at this mind boot camp of sorts.

I’m just at my first session and the score isn’t encouraging to say the least hehehe. Anyway, probably it’s due to how the training is done via exciting games. You may lose a few points just trying to get o know better of the game mechanics but hey, it isn’t all about winning. The important thing to remember is that lumosity is a training regime. I’ll trade any day for a real life results rather than getting perfect marks in an academia setup.

The site just need a simple registration details and within 5 minutes you’re in boot camp ready to dust that old grey matter of yours into something spanky and brand new. For the people on the street, most probably by using lumosity, you’d be able to utter some dignified statements when interviewed on television for some jom heboh kepoh style extravaganza.

Gone are the days where ;
“Apa pendapat encik mengenai penganjuran karnival ini?
Oh, bagus! Boleh enjoy, bawak famili hujung minggu, beli belah, tengok artis dan makan free.”

Instead we may hope the following would happen:
“Apa pendapat encik mengenai penganjuran karnival ini?
“Oh bagus! Bayangkan kalau satu keluarga berbelanja kat karnival ni RM100. Yang datang ada 100 buah keluarga dari pukul 10 pagi ke 12.00 tengahari. Bukan ke RM10,000 dah mengalir ke karnival ni dalam masa 2 jam. Lepas ni, penjual berbelanja pulak kat tempat lain. Bukan ke ada multiplier effect. Tu baru 2 jam… encik bayangkan kalau 8 jam kali pulak 150 buah keluarga… bla bla bla”
(the interviewer at this stage has gone into a cardiac arrest and laying on the ground with foaming effects visible at his mouth!).

Sorry guys, I really have to let that out hehehe! Enjoy lumosity and feel the difference! By the way, you may want to read some more on lumosity at their blog here.

One response to “Brain training

  1. Brain training is indeed were the future is headed. Posit Science also has some good software and they let you try games for free. Just short ones mind you. Apparently there are also scientists hard at work inventing drugs to help you erase bad memories from your brain. http://www.brainblitz.net

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