Brain Fitness Blog, Day 18

Day 18, August 22, 2012

“High or Low” kicked off another day of brain training. I noticed that I went through 3 levels, with each level not only using shorter tones with less time between them, they seem to also be coming closer to each other on the musical scale. So, that is where this is going? I can see the benefit of that. The score was 2484 today, growing higher each day.

“Match It” continued from yesterday’s unfinished grid  when the time ran out.  I continued to finish the 30-place grids with clicks to spare. My score was similar to yesterday, too: 1122, which is third best of twelve. The strategy I figured out several sessions ago has continued to work for me. I start with a single row and work down to the next. Before I go to the third, I replay several in those first two rows so the sounds are better fixed in my mind. I quickly start finding matches and the rewards that come from the matches are not only personally rewarding; they eliminate the number of grid pieces so other matches get easier to find.

“Sound Replay” was a replay of earlier days, moving forward, then getting a string of wrong answers, which create a sort of “brain freeze,” so as I get moved back down to easier sets. Once there, I still can’t put the sounds in order until several plays later.

I see the metaphor between my brain and a computer when it freezes up. Or my brain and the brain of a person under incredible stress, like I have been reading about in “The Unthinkable,” by Amanda Ripley. The author explores the thinking processes of people during disasters like 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina. Under unplanned stress, even for survivors of building emergencies and previous hurricanes, our brains can easily stall for several minutes (or days) in denial and disbelief before they move to decision and decisive action. Firefighters, police and pilots are usually given special training to overcome the normal stress-induced brain freeze, as explained by this very observant author and journalist for Time Magazine.

“Story Teller” was next and I finished the assignment for “Urban Jungle” with a “superb” rating. In the last few minutes of the 15-minute session, the speaker was changed and her pace nearly doubled for a new story called “Dahlias.” I missed a couple of questions in the faster reading gait and finished with an average (for me) score of 634.

The daily summary shows that “Match It” is at a level almost as difficult as I have encountered previously and “Story Teller” was harder than all previous sessions.

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