The brain fitness program I have created involves buying and trying out, at this writing , four of the products currently on the market and seeing what they do for me.
Over the years of my personal and professional explorations, I have used a lot of Peak Performance kinds of tools, including EEG Biofeedback, (great for addictions), binaural beat tapes, subliminal programing tapes, relaxation tapes, Chi Gong, Open Focus, Heartmath, nutritional supplements, working out, and each of them has had a benefit, and their use is ongoing.
For example, I have been studying and learning about Chi Gong for the last nine years, and I cannot imagine not continuing.
I have been using Brain Builder 3.0, the Posit Science Brain Fitness Program, Martin Walter's Mind Sparke program, and the Lumosity online subscription program for brain fitness. (There are others, but I have not had the time or money to try them out).
This field is benefiting from the recent research that shows that neuroplasticity and neurogenesis are human capacities that can be developed.
That information overthrows decades of dogma in neuroscience.
So it is now time to design and practice our own brain fitness programs, and to my way of thinking, exercises like this should be part of our daily routine. They certainly are part of mine.
I was first introduced to Brain Builder 3.0 six or seven years ago at a Peak Performance workshop done in Chicago, Illinois by Rae Tautenbaum, who was using the program as part of her training.
I did not use it, until recently, when the publicity around Posit Science began to slowly break into my consciousness, so I dusted off the Brain Builder 3.0 and began to play with it.
It has a set of six activities designed to stretch my working memory by quickly learning strings of numbers presented to me either visually or auditorily. Regular practice has made steady progress possible. I usually do two of the activities daily, because I want to move quickly through them and when I make a mistake, this program will give me a second chance. That is a good thing for working memory, but a slow thing for your schedule, so I do not do all six each day. It also requires, on my computer anyway, that the CD be in the tray, which is different than the others.
I have also purchased the Posit Science Brain Fitness Program, which is a 40 hour program working with auditory memory. I really enjoy using it, but because of schedule constraints, like getting my 10 year old up for school in a few moments, I cannot often do the full hour workout at a sitting. But Posit Science will let me come back to the session as I please. I noticed an immediate improvement in my Brain Builder 3.0 scores when I started the Posit Science.
About two months ago, I subscribed to the online program developed by Lumosity, which has the benefit of being quick and hard hitting and available with the click of a mouse. There is a blog which routinely sends me interesting information about the field, and the program allows me to tailor my training and allows extra practice too. This program has really made me aware of how quickly I can switch focus, even between very rapid repetitions of trials, and what that does to my scores. It is reminding me that my brain fitness program should have my full attention, when I do it.
And the program which is making the biggest difference in my 60 year old noggin is Mind Sparke by Martin Walker.
I have done a teleseminar with Martin, and I am very impressed with his adaptation of the dual nback task. I know that Mind Sparke has made a huge difference in my ability to schedule my time, and I have been the victim of an ADD brain attentional style my entire life, lots of projects started, few finished.
I swear by this one, and you buy it online, it is right there on your computer, the research underlying the program is impeccable, and the researchers are not hawking the product, they are still in academia, and there are unlimited repetitions of the training available. Lots of indications of integrity. And my personal testamonial. It works.
For a link to the Mind Sparke page, and a wonderful program with no upper limit (do the first 19 days as regularly as you can, then practice every 2nd or 3rd day)to your growth, look in the right sidebar. Martin is saying that use of this program increases IQ. I know it makes me more effective and productive because I am staying on schedule. Fluid intelligence which is what Mind Sparke trains, is the ability to sort through competing noises, and still stay on task. (Remember, crystallized intelligence is the stuff we know we know, and use at work, for example, over and over).
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