Your Average Bear

Apparently, I am merely average. 

Please try to ignore my ego there, writhing on the floor, mortally wounded, while I explain.

This evening, via Make Use Of, I found the brain training site Lumosity.  Their comments:

"cool brain fitness program that claims to improve your memory, attention and processing speed. Make sure to take their 10-min LumosIQ brightness test (free only while in beta)."

I surfed over to the site and took the IQ test, where I scored, almost exactly, average.  The test is actually broken into three smaller games that test Attention, Processing Speed, and Memory.

The Attention test is a game centered on the idea of Bird Watching.  A background picture is loaded and then birds appear in various locations on the screen.  Meanwhile, in the center of the screen is a small box where a letter of the alphabet appears at the same time as the bird.  The idea is to use your mouse to locate the bird while keeping track of which letter has appeared.  Essentially, the test determines how well you can track two simultaneous pieces of new information.

The Processing Speed Test was a series of mathematical equations.  Simple problems involving the four basic mathematical skills are presented in a series of falling water droplets.  The goal is to type the answer before the droplets hit the water.  Wrong answers are penalized.

The Memory Test is another game, this time an "avoid the monsters" style maze.  A character is presented on screen, along with a flower.  Monsters are shown in various locations and then hidden.  You must remember where the monsters are and avoid them on your way to the flower.  After you have gotten the flower, you will have a chance for bonus points for correctly identifying where various kinds of monsters are hidden.

Once I had taken the test (and presented with my score) I was given a chance to sign up and begin a series of training exercises designed to improve my score.  I signed up immediately.

The screenshot you see with this post is my score page after my first session.  Not perfect, but it says that I'm improving. 

Which is where my question comes in.  I enjoyed the test and I like the challenge of trying to improve my scores, but will this actually result in any real world changes?  I like to think so, but what does improving a score really prove?  That I can play the games better?  Doesn't everyone play better with practice?

I plan to keep up with the sessions.  If nothing else it's another way to avoid real work, but I really am wondering if I'll be able to see any results in a month.  I wonder if I'll notice a difference in my memory or in my ability to do simple math more quickly.

Anyway, the beta is free and the site notes that there will be fees eventually, so get in and see how well you do.  Let me know.  Unless you scored better than I did.  In that case, just give me a month to prep for the re-match.


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2 responses to “Your Average Bear

  1. I really enjoyed your blog. I have been searching for a brain workout for a while, ever since I started reading all these "use it or lose it" reports from brain scientists. A site I found that you might enjoy is called the Brain Fitness Channel, It has some more brain tests and alot of different resources on how to keep improving cognitive capacity. You should check it out!

  2. Thanks for the link. I'll have a look.

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