Brain Fitness, Day 20

Day 20 August 24, 2012

“High or Low” was completely different today, launching an evaluative game to compare and measure performance so far. “High or Low” has never been very hard, so I was interested to see if any improvement was visible. According to the program, yes.  I had a 33% improvement, moving to the ability to distinguish 32 millisecond sweeps, whereas I had started with 48 millisecond sweeps.

After that performance review, the program moved on to “Tell Us Apart,” where I am usually given the task of telling apart similar sounding parts of speech, like “baa” from “daa” and “gee” from “kee.” Apparently, I have reached my max at this level and speech version of “sheh/ cheh.” I know they don’t sound this similar in regular speech. There, I can tell the difference between “sherry” and “cherry.” But here, at level 11 (there are 14 levels), I cannot tell the difference. They both sound like sheh. I got through level 11 going on intuition, then quickly failed level 12. So I knew I’d be sent back to 11 (where I am shaky) and back to 10, like usual. At 10, I can barely tell the difference.

Next, at level 6 of deh/ geh, it was tough for me. Also, I heard noises in the next room and I felt anxious that I wouldn’t be able to hear the sound when it was presented. I wondered why the program doesn’t let you ask to hear that again before you answer. The only option is to go to the practice mode and hear the two sounds for practice, which isn’t the same as asking to hear the presented sound once again before answering. So, I got sent back to level 5 of deh/ geh. It is much, much easier for me on this level, whereas on level 6, I just try to let my gut answer instead of my ears.

After time ran out on “deh/ geh,” I started on level 1 of “baa/ paa.” In the time allotted, I worked up through level 7 and into level 8. As it turns out, the grid of difficulty shows that though it’s not a lot, this session was the hardest I have ever experienced in “Tell Us Apart.”

“Sound Replay” started with the explanation that the program was moving to a new speech level, from level 2 to 3. It is part of the scientific approach behind this set of training. The session was really hard for me. (I expected the new level to be easier to hear, but I wasn’t used to the faster pace.) I worked into replaying 5 sounds and then 6. I got my highest score yet, 1390, way up from last time I played, 984.

“Listen and Do” also increased the sound level from 2 to 3, which is less emphasized and faster. The speed, at first, sounded more like normal speech. But five minutes into the game, I felt my brain was too full. Instructions started falling out of my head, like an overstuffed piñata and it became hard to see/ find the characters or buildings I was supposed to identify in order. But I moved through level 5 and onto level 6! I got the first correct, then two wrong, and then I was moved back to level 5. I tore through level 5 and then, on level 6, I again got the first one right and the next two wrong.

Once finished, the difficulty graph indicated that I was only working at moderate difficulty. (I don’t get that!) My points were at 1006, my second highest and less than one set from my highest score, 1020.

All in all, my results were very good. Thank you, very much.

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