View Full Version : Working memory training programs


msl123
05-14-12, 01:56 PM
Hey,


I was wondering if anyone has used working memory training programs like luminosity or cogmed. If so, what kind of improvements did you see in your daily life?

Thanks,

Matt

stitches
05-14-12, 03:48 PM
Have not used either of these. I'm more interested in neurofeedback programs and hope to try one soon. Unfortunately they are rather expensive and require the assistance of a trained professional.

tortilaman
05-14-12, 04:35 PM
I wasn't even aware these existed, I'm slightly intrigued. sorry to not be of any use to the topic, but I'm going to have to go acquire these and try them out.

PookDo
05-14-12, 04:55 PM
I've been training with Lumosity for a little over a month and I like it. Ive never heard of CogMed but I will check it out. I can't say if Lumosity has done a lot for me yet but oddly I think the combination of doing that daily and playing the video game I like playing ( God of War) has helped my focus if nothing else.

I tried something called Mind Sparke once and it annoyed me so I haven't done it again

musiclvr2675
05-14-12, 05:13 PM
I just started Luminosity on Friday haha I read a thread on this forum somewhere about brain games and so I looked some up. I don't like paying for it but I figure it can't hurt if it does end up helping. I can't say at this point if it's helping me.

PookDo
05-14-12, 05:22 PM
I just started Luminosity on Friday haha I read a thread on this forum somewhere about brain games and so I looked some up. I don't like paying for it but I figure it can't hurt if it does end up helping. I can't say at this point if it's helping me.

$15 a month isnt bad.

fracturedstory
05-14-12, 07:49 PM
I use the Stargate DHD memory game on my phone.

I can remember up to five glyphs at once, so I can almost dial to another world.

PookDo
05-15-12, 02:00 PM
as of today I have trained with Lumosity for 40 straight days. I did notice yesterday that I feel a lot more productive. Not sure if that's related to the training or the fact that I finally got some good sleep over the weekend.One nice thing though that I needed to contact the IRS about some past due taxes and unfilled returns and today I finally did it

Dizfriz
05-15-12, 02:51 PM
What we find with these kinds of programs is that they may help a few but not enough to be considered as validated treatments for ADHD.

Some of them are rather expensive so if you can easily afford the outlay then some of them might be worth a try but otherwise I would recommend caution.

That does not mean that some of them do not show some promise because they do but in reality, it is mostly a case of you pay your money and take your chances.

Dizfriz

Aphexx
05-19-12, 03:35 PM
I used Luminosity consistently for about two months. It really helped with my short term memory-- remembering where I put things, doing math problems in my head, etc. It's actually kind of fun. The only hard part was finding time to use it everyday.

Halcyon
05-19-12, 03:46 PM
These types of services are literally "self-help" in the sense that you are training yourself to cope better with your symptoms. Thereby, it is extremely reliant on yourself, I have seen various people go through these types of services, many will swear by it, but all tell me that it always breaks down when you stop using it. There is a deeply rooted trade off, consistent use leads to consistent improvement, but just like medication the benefits will vanish rather quickly when you stop or are outside of your therapeutic window. The last thing I'd like to add is that, for those people where it truly clicks, they ENJOY doing it. They find it challenging/engaging/motivating, if you're open to it, try it, and bow out if you don't get the results you expect. Hope this helps :)

msl123
05-20-12, 11:15 AM
I'm curious about this decrease in benefit after stopping the program. I'd never heard or read about that before. I'd like to hear from anyone who has anyone started Luminosity or a similar program, seen improvement, and then seen the gains diminish after stopping the program. How quickly does the progress fade? What does it take to get it back?

Aphexx
05-20-12, 03:02 PM
Last time I logged on was on February 19th and I have not noticed a substantial decrease in benefits. Of course the effects aren't quite as sharp as when I used the program everyday, but my memory/focus has still been improved in comparison to before I started the training.

musiclvr2675
06-29-12, 10:49 AM
$15 a month isnt bad.
Actually it's less than that. You pay for the whole subscription up front, I didn't opt for a month to month plan. It was about $80 which broke down to $6/month and that seemed more cost effective to me.

musiclvr2675
06-29-12, 10:54 AM
I used Luminosity consistently for about two months. It really helped with my short term memory-- remembering where I put things, doing math problems in my head, etc. It's actually kind of fun. The only hard part was finding time to use it everyday.
Agreed, I haven't been consistent with it because I don't always find a good stopping point where I won't be disrupted from co-workers to do it. I'm not crazy about the memory games because they're immediate. My memory is fine with immediate things like what they're asking it's when I get a list of instructions or I've read an article I don't retain the info which makes me question my comprehension ability.

ConcertaParent
06-30-12, 10:12 PM
So the subscribers that took the 40-session Lumosity ADHD (http://www.lumosity.com/courses/lumosity-adhd) course found that it helped their child's ADHD (or their own) many months later? Lumosity (not "Luminosity") has no good studies unlike Cogmed, Jungle Memory, etc. Last time I logged on was on February 19th and I have not noticed a substantial decrease in benefits. Of course the effects aren't quite as sharp as when I used the program everyday, but my memory/focus has still been improved in comparison to before I started the training.

greygreygrey
07-01-12, 04:55 PM
Alternatively, there is a cognitive task that can be played for free online (brainboffin.com) or downloaded for free as a program (called Brain Workshop). It is called Dual N-Back. There have been a number of studies conducted examining the efficacy of playing dual n-back regularly for cognitive benefits. Those interested in reading further about these results should look for the work of a researcher called Susan Jaeggi. So far, the evidence seems mixed, but there have been results suggesting working memory improvements.
Be warned-it's very hard!

hanikamiya
07-01-12, 05:15 PM
I have a dual n-back program but it's so boring that I can't make myself use it regularly. )=
If you do use such programs, how do you motivate yourself? The thing about dual n-back is that you *don't* level up after a couple of tries, you stay at the same level because that's the one you need to train at ... and it's simply not motivating to practice at n=2 for half an hour and think how much there might be you still need to master before your working memory is something like normal. It feels like repeating the first level of a game with hundred levels over and over until you have a perfect score, before being allowed to enter level 2.
(ETA the game actually shows me how much I rely on chunking in everyday situations and having to suppress my attempts at chunking or have them fail also makes it difficult and frustrating.)

greygreygrey
07-01-12, 05:33 PM
I have a dual n-back program but it's so boring that I can't make myself use it regularly. )=
If you do play such games, how do you motivate yourself? The thing about dual n-back is that you *don't* level up after a couple of tries, you stay at the same level because that's the one you need to train at ... and it's simply not motivating to practice at n=2 for half an hour and think how much there might be you still need to master. It feels like repeating the first level of a game with hundred levels over and over until you have a perfect score, before being allowed to enter level 2.

I have only gone through brief phases of playing regularly, though I want to keep at it for a longer period. However, my longest period of playing regularly was using Brain Workshop, which gives you a chart showing your progress. Although I felt like I was not making any improvement (I kept shuttling back and forth between levels), the chart gives you your average score to the hundredth decimal point and showed me that mine was, in fact, increasing.
You may find it more motivating to use a program that can give you an indication of your gradual progress, so that you don't have to move up a whole n-back level to feel like you're accomplishing anything.
That said, it is really hard to stick with it. It's kind of like going to the gym, where the longer you spend away from it, the harder it is to start again.

ConcertaParent
07-05-12, 06:28 PM
Aside from Brain Workshop (http://brainworkshop.sourceforge.net/), another good free brain training site is Brainturk.com (http://brainturk.com/) (need non-IE browser). The owner was nice enough to offer adding tasks that I need for my child, but I just paid for a month of AttenGo.

What is a good site to numerically measure ADHD severity and/or working memory before and after trying a treatment?
Alternatively, there is a cognitive task that can be played for free online (brainboffin.com) or downloaded for free as a program (called Brain Workshop).

Caleb666
07-06-12, 11:08 AM
There was a meta-study recently that pretty much said that these "brain workout" apps do nothing more than to improve you skills... on those specific apps.

Here's the study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22612437

So I don't think there's a point wasting your time on these things.

Candlewax
07-06-12, 11:09 AM
I have a dual n-back program but it's so boring that I can't make myself use it regularly. )=
If you do use such programs, how do you motivate yourself? The thing about dual n-back is that you *don't* level up after a couple of tries, you stay at the same level because that's the one you need to train at ... and it's simply not motivating to practice at n=2 for half an hour and think how much there might be you still need to master before your working memory is something like normal. It feels like repeating the first level of a game with hundred levels over and over until you have a perfect score, before being allowed to enter level 2.
(ETA the game actually shows me how much I rely on chunking in everyday situations and having to suppress my attempts at chunking or have them fail also makes it difficult and frustrating.)

I just downloaded brain workshop a few days ago, not through this thread though. it's too short to say I notice anything, but I think it's fun. don't know if it will stay fun, but I think the promise of improving my working memory will really motivate me to do the exercises. I don't really care that I stay at the same level the whole time (dual 3-back) because I do notice very slight improvements. like yesterday the highest score I got at 3-back was 44%, today it was 50-something percent. you can't expect to get better at something in a short time. if I have to do the same boring task for 30 minutes everyday to see any benefits in the long term than that's worth it to me.

I don't know, I don't see it as frustrating. either you go through the supertedious work and improve in the long term or you don't and you stay at the same level.

Candlewax
07-06-12, 11:13 AM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304432304576371462612272884.html

scientific study that says the dual N-back exercises might increase IQ

Caleb666
07-06-12, 11:30 AM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304432304576371462612272884.html

scientific study that says the dual N-back exercises might increase IQ

I wouldn't hedge my bets on that. What it might increase is visuo-spatial working memory so you might end up doing better on matrix-based IQ tests like Raven's Progressive Matrices (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raven's_Progressive_Matrices), but it might not translate to actual problem solving skills, or different types of IQ tests.

Candlewax
07-06-12, 12:07 PM
ok then don't do the training ;)

ConcertaParent
07-14-12, 10:46 PM
What it might increase is visuo-spatial working memory so you might end up doing better on matrix-based IQ tests like Raven's Progressive Matrices (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raven's_Progressive_Matrices), but it might not translate to actual problem solving skills, or different types of IQ tests. What is a better test than Raven's Progressive Matrices to see if one's intelligence has really improved?

ConcertaParent
08-11-12, 10:15 AM
Did anybody else receive an email from Lumosity about the free gift card and that you can "use your prize on any Lumosity subscription"? I tried to use the $20 prize for the one-month membership, but it still tried to charge me $14.95. All it did was apply a $20 discount to the inflated prices of the 6-month to lifetime memberships, which are much higher than the regular 35% discount they keep spamming me with.

If there is no way to apply the gift cards to the one-month membership, Lumosity's promotion was useless and misleading. :mad: For example, they spammed me a few days ago for a $195 membership, but with the $20 gift card today, the price zooms up to $280!