Brain fitness test is an evolving process, and should not be confused with personality tests like the MMPI or Minnesota Multi-Phasic Personality Inventory, if memory serves me correctly.
Brain fitness tests are going to have to measure brain plasticity, which is a dynamic process, as your brain creates new connections, synapses, and dendrites each time you learn something. (That is right, each time, you learn something, or perceive something, second by second). Or your brain can dismantle connections, which is negative plasticity. The brain fitness test for negative plasticity is the obvious deterioration of performance or behavior.
Brain plasticity was not known too long ago, and the entire field of brain fitness is in its infancy.
Each of the providers I have profiled below offers brain fitness test and follow-up as part of their package, and all are very effective for brain fitness workouts.
From the Posit Science folks, "Brain plasticity is a physical process. Gray matter can actually shrink or thicken, neural connections can be forged and refined or (conversely) weakened and severed. Changes in the physical brain manifest as changes in our abilities. For example, each time we learn a new dance step, it reflects a change in our physical brains: new “wires” (neural pathways) that give instructions to our bodies on how to perform the step. Each time we forget someone’s name, it also reflects brain change— “wires” that once connected to the memory have been degraded, or even severed. As these examples show, changes in the brain can result in improved skills (a new dance step) or a weakening of skills (a forgotten name)."
So what does your brain do that we can test? We can measure things like processing speed, working memory, spatial memory, for example.
Again from the Posit Science folks, "As scientists gain more knowledge about the relationship between sensory perception, memory and cognition, they are learning to design brain exercises that strengthen brain function. For example, a team of scientists at Posit Science has developed plasticity-based software programs that helps normally aging adults retain or regain mental sharpness. They are effective because they don’t just exercise memory—which is as much an effect as a cause of age-related cognitive changes. Instead, the programs address other root causes of these changes, including the brain’s increasing inability to quickly and accurately process what it hears and what it sees."
One of my resources for brain fitness testing are the free tests at the Posit Science web site where you can find the exercises they use in establishing their brain fitness exercises. And if you are ready to get started, click here for the full range of Posit Science services and tests.
The Lumosity folks are a provider of brain fitness tests also, which you can use as part of their two week free trial of their online subscription program.
Again, you will find that they are testing cognitive processes, performances in areas like processing speed, working memory, spatial memory, and ability to pay attention to relevant information in a noisy environment, for example.
So the test and "treatment" are the same, which means use the tool to make sure neurons involved in the process being tested (hearing, for example) are firing together, and wiring together. The more those neurons connect, the better I am able to do in terms of memory.
It is just like a physical workout at the gym, I do curls to exercise my biceps muscle, and the measure of my success can be increased size of the muscle, or at my age, 61, maintaining what I have, accompanied by increased blood flow, cardiac strength, endorphins, ect, and believe it or not folks, if I want to make the effort, I can increase the resistance, and have increased the weight I am able to move to new levels of weight.
You can do that same thing with your neural muscles, and the tests offered at Lumosity and the feedback after each practice are great measures of your progress.
On those days when you are not progressing so well, rather than worry that you are headed for the 'home', begin to look at your diet, your sleep, your stress, and whether or not you are learning anything new, and change those things for increased performance in your brain plasticity and neurogenesis practice.
For an extraordinary brain fitness test and process, you must try this program. It is an incredible practice. You will be working and learning something called fluid intelligence which is so nice to experience. I have been amazed at what I have learned about my brain fitness through using this tool. Mind Sparke has taught me not only how to focus more effectively, but how fast I can switch gears. We switch our tasks very fast in our heads, and if I am working on learning focus, even though I have switched internally to another part of my work or life (not daydreaming), I have lost my focus. Such a thing can keep me paralyzed in my life. I know that sounds more like a testamonial than a test.
However the test is in the doing and the measurement of your progress, not in a diagnostic.
When I was beginning my personal growth journey, a wise person told me that when I was feeling resentful or afraid or sad, that I should remember the phrase "gratitude is the attitude" when I was ready to feel better. That phrase has helped me feel better tens of thousands of times.
Would you share what you are most grateful for? Your story could be just what another person is searching for to renew themselves? Thanks.
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