Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Training My Brain

Yesterday, 'cb' at Fighting Monsters mentioned the brain training experiment that the BBC are running, and being a curious person late yesterday evening I had a look at the relevant pages on the BBC website and decided to join in.

I've decided that I will try to take part in this experiment for as long as possible. Not for me, the training three times a week for six weeks. No, I shall try to stick it out for the year that the experiment runs, and I will try to do the training every day.

I suppose that I have a vested interest in whether this training really does help in keeping the horrors of dementia at bay. I live on my own, I already have mental health problems, and I like to think that I have an active mind and a useful memory. But as I get older I am already finding that my memory is not quite what it was. It takes me longer to put names to faces and vice versa, and the frequency with which I think that I must do something and then forget what it was that I was supposed to be doing is increasing.

I have already been a little surprised at how I have fared at some of the test that I have done. I fully expected anything that involved the manipulation of numbers to be difficult; I have significant problems with numbers and I know that I do. However, that does not seem to have been a particular problem so far, and I have managed to carry out all of the tests (whether they involve numbers or not), except one, with relative ease.

It will be interesting to see whether my scores improve over time; with some of the tests I think that the testing is not so much about training the brain as one's level of manual dexterity. Will the days that I am more depressed make a significant difference to how I score or are there sufficient variety of tests for my 'personal type' to counteract any influence that this may have? The questionnaire that you complete before embarking on the experiment is more in-depth than many that you may come across, and it is significant that mood over the recent past represents a significant proportion of the questions.

I believe that this is a worthwhile piece of research that all of us over the age of 18 who have regular access to a computer and the Internet should take part in. It will be interesting to see the results of the experiment and see if there really is any evidence to show that brain training works.

1 comment:

cb said...

I've also been doing the Brain Training as I think it'll be interesting to see the results - and I thought the questionnaire was comfortingly thorough!