Human brain keeps surprising scientists even these days. We, as a human race, kind of have an idea of how it works and we have a definite understanding of how certain parts of it are connected, but no honest person would ever tell you that it is one hundred percent clear. Isn't it fascinating? We, as a generation, may never find out in our lifetime what it is all about. Maybe that's where the answers to all philosophical questions are waiting to be discovered. This article isn't dedicated to neuropsychology, however, as you might've assumed, but rather to brain trainers. I'm also trying to evaluate how appropriate it is to claim that a brain can actually be trained.
We all have been through some learning in our lives, otherwise you wouldn't be able to even read these words and instead would simply keep staring at a bunch of symbols put together for some reason without having any idea as to what to do with them. The knowledge we acquired in high school and college is not necessarily useful at every single moment of our mundane life, but it still may benefit us in the long run. Isn't it fun to indulge in the nostalgia of those young and simpler high-school times, where your only worries were today's homework and math problems? If you've never tried that, I highly recommend you do so. This would be just one use of brain trainers — the opportunity to test your knowledge. There are also other options, which may appeal more to adults since they are designed to help you improve your memory and do not necessarily depend on your motoric skills. Let's start off with a game I found to be the easiest and the simplest, and then work our way up to more interesting ones.
BrainSpeeder is a game with simplistic design and not too many features. Although it includes both «online» and «offline» modes, I couldn't compete with other players online and received a message with the closest tournament date instead.
When you start the application, you see a menu with a couple of options including language choice (I chose English, of course). Then you choose the game type from the list:
Arithmetic game lets you choose a mode from common arithmetical operations (substraction, addition, etc.) or a random combination of those («Standard» mode). Other modes are pretty fun too, but when the game starts you might get a little confused as the preview displayed during the first seconds really looks like the game has already started. The program is very light and easy to setup so you can at least give it a try.
This game struck me as a difficult one. I didn't try to adjust the difficulty level though, so that may have been the reason. The above image of the main game's window pretty much covers all the modes that you can choose.
Logic puzzles are pretty interesting and are aimed to make you think rather than use some previously acquired knowledge or skills. You may be asked to discover a pattern in a sequence of numbers or shapes and choose the proper one to extend that sequence.
Memory trainers are either crazily difficult or I really lack the short-term memory abilities. The other modes (mental calculation and verbal analogies) are pretty much self-explanatory.
My overall impression from this app was quite pleasant, although it is hard to admit that a game is good when you struggle to get even a mediocre score.
The last one I tried was pretty awesome and intriguing, it even managed to capture my attention for quite a while. The competitive part of me woke up; and even though my only competitor was the scoreboard, I did try to beat my own high-scores every time.
This game is supposed to help you improve your memory and attention, and is even recommended for people with ADD or ADHD. These conditions are often claimed to be artificial or made up, but you don't need to call the lack of your attention names, just know that if you feel that you have it — try this one out.
Your goal here is to watch blue squares show up on the grid accompanied by a sound of a letter and press either «a» or «l» on your keyboard if the square had the same position or you hear the same letter.
I won't be surprised if my description doesn't really «sell» the game, but trust me — if you try it once, you will spend quite some time playing.
All these games are fun; however, I liked the Brain Workshop more than others, but you may find the opposite to be true. Have a nice brain workout!