Neuroscientists have looked into the extensive research, and developed Lumosity’s training program to promote cognitive health. By creating challenging activities to stimulate the process of brain training it has been found that the brain can actually reshape itself to become more efficient.
To understand this process, lumosity encourage us to first understand the key concepts for brain training in general.
I played the games before I read about these concepts!!!
Each individual brings his or her own unique set of strengths and weaknesses to any new task. A task that is quite easy for one person might be impossible for another and it will change over time as performance improves.
Cognitive reserve represents the brain’s resilience, its ability to cope with damage resulting from trauma, illness and age. The brain has the ability to maximize its performance by recruiting different or alternate brain networks to solve problems historically managed by now-damaged areas.
The brain is a highly complex, and all aspects of brain function must work together to lead to optimal understanding and appreciation.
To get the most out of brain training, individuals should train often and consistently. To encourage people to do so, effective brain training must therefore possess engaging exercises and an effective reward structure. We are much more interested in training our brains if it is fun and enjoyable
Fluid intelligence is the capacity to think logically independent of acquired knowledge. It is the ability to analyze novel problems, identify patterns, and extrapolate relationships. It is necessary for all logical problem solving, especially scientific, mathematical and technical problem solving.
Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s lifelong ability to reshape neural connections when faced with new experiences. Only recently, though, have neuroscientists discovered the extent of this ability. Given the right challenge, the brain can actually become faster and more efficient. Neuroplasticity, in other words, means anyone can improve their brain, and no matter what their age.
In order to effectively exercise a brain, we must confront it with novel tasks and challenges. Many of the mental challenges typically recommended for brain health, for example crossword puzzles and bridge, are highly over-learned tasks that do not force the brain’s processing systems to operate in new ways. Yet unless we process information in new ways, we cannot initiate nervous system remodeling and growth. The brain creates specialized circuitry for doing particular tasks. Tasks that have been performed many times in the past simply reactivate the existing circuitry.
This form of stimulation may be helpful in keeping the brain active, but it will not drive fundamental improvements in information processing.
Take the case of crossword puzzles: as we work our way through a crossword puzzle, we recall information we have already learned in the past, albeit in the form of words. We are reactivating existing circuitry, not challenging the brain to work in new ways. Crossword puzzles thus provide a relatively inefficient form of brain exercise.
Processing speed measures how quickly the brain can perform basic cognitive operations, and is thus a good general indicator of intelligence. The faster you can process information, the faster you can respond to the world, e.g. while driving or making snap decisions. The brain’s processing speed unfortunately declines with age. With Lumosity’s training program, though, you can push the limit of your information processing speed.
Effective brain training targets the specific brain functions necessary to produce significant and noticeable changes in our everyday cognitive life. Cognitive psychologists use the word “transfer” to describe the process whereby selectively-targeted exercises produce real-world cognitive benefits. Well designed exercises accomplish this transfer by improving multiple cognitive functions at once. An effective training program involves carefully crafting training tasks that target the most critical aspects of brain function.
Working memory represents the cognitive ability to temporarily retrieve, hold, process and dispose of information from both long-term memory and the world around you. The better your working memory, the more information you can synthesize. Like processing speed, working memory declines with age.
I’m excited about Lumosity and their Brain Training Program! They offer a free trial so you can see if this is something that would interest you. The program is only $6.60/month.
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The variety of games provided will keep your interest and improve your brain! Scientific Brain Training: Improve Attention, Memory and Processing Speed with Lumosity. Free Trial.