Brain Fitness, Day 4

Day 4 of Posit Science Brain Fitness training took place on July 30th. (I skipped Saturday and Sunday.) Today’s session was one hour, with four exercises of 15 minutes each. High or Low, Tell Us Apart, Match It and a new one: Sound Replay.

High or Low opened with a stated goal: to lower the gap between the sounds by 200 milliseconds. Technically, this is day three of exercising for brain fitness. When I finished matching the high or low chirps, I saw a score of 1616, up from yesterday’s 1373 and the first day’s 1104. I moved through High or Low with almost no mistakes. And I definitely was able to tell when the gap between the sounds was lessened. I think the earlier sessions well prepared me for the faster sound delivery.

“Tell Us Apart” was more difficult today. I spent more time going to the optional “Practice” time, where the exercise is paused and I can hit the “d” sound and the “t” sound as many times as I want. The “g” was a bit frustrating today. Sometimes it sounded to me like a “d”, sometimes like a soft “b” and rarely like a hard “g.” But somehow the computer program picked up on this and both rewarded me with easier sounds to answer and challenged me to correctly identify more often the ones I missed. It angered me a bit that I can usually tell the difference like it is in real life, but in real life, I have an advantage, I have context from which to understand the sounds. When hearing my mother say, “I sent you a picture of a dog today,” I don’t hear her say “I sent you a picture of a god today.”  I focused on the training as it is and let go of distracting thoughts. I missed looking at the score for Tell Us Apart today. I can see it tomorrow. (If I remember! HA!)

Match It was a bit harder than yesterday, but the concentration and the joy of making a match made it fun. My score for “Match It” was better than yesterday. It is 961, up from 705. I earned four animations, but passed it up a couple of times to get more testing time in.

Sound Replay is a different challenge. I was told that it engages working memory by remembering sound sequences, which is also good for remembering number sequences. Its goal is to help working memory to function accurately even when sound is rapid. I was forewarned that the sounds may sound strange but they had been developed and modified for greatest effectiveness. My first score for Sound Replay was 852. It was almost hard and I could tell where the program was repeating and steering me toward success. I earned more animations, all different from the previous ones. They give me a short mental break and were funny in the way that cartoons exaggerate and help us laugh at ourselves.

This exercise became difficult when it used nonsensical sounds. The assignment is to identify the sounds in order. But being nonsensical, like “kam,” “fu,” and “dit,” it challenged me in a way that I am not used to. Then it got harder, asking me to remember and identify the sequence of sounds like “tub” “but,” and “putt”  each using an “uh” sound in the middle.

I can easily see why I want to succeed at this. It will help me hear and see without judgment or expectation and recall what it was I saw or heard, even when it doesn’t make any sense or I can’t see how it fits together.  My Sound Replay score was 1704.

Up soon: “Listen and Do” for working memory and “Story Teller” for narrative memory. Sounds good to me!

The past two sessions, I saw that after the program ends, my results are being sent to Posit Science Corporation. The request for my permission came at the end of the last session. I think the people involved at Posit Science are still testing the material for further improvement.

Speaking of people involved, I took a stroll though the “Guide.”

It included a long list of credits including over 50 scientists, a Science Advisory Board, Researcher Collaborators, a Special Advisory Board, more consultants, the Quality Assurance department (including the Department of Customer Delight), Voice talent, Learning Services, Testers, IT and Operations personnel, and more.

I was impressed to see that listed in the group of the Special Advisory Board was Lloyd Morrisett, the co-founder or Sesame Street Workshop and Creator of Sesame Street. Talk about learning success! Sesame Street has been at the forefront of teaching via the use of colorful imagery, rewards, repetition and the fun that comes from establishing trust while introducing rapid program changes and variety. Unlike Sesame Street TV, this entire program may take some stick-to-it-ness, but the fun along the way could be reason enough to sit down and give it another day.

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