By Rae Robinson
If you’ve ever wanted to increase your creativity … problem solving … or even memory — but you’ve always thought that your brain was “done growing” by early childhood — I have great news.
Just like you, scientists used to believe that your cognitive processing capacity was fixed after childhood. So if you had a poor memory or short attention span as a kid, you were doomed to be a forgetful and distracted adult.
Neuroscientists recently discovered that with a specific kind of training, you can significantly improve your brain function in memory, problem solving, focus, information processing, and creative thinking.
With the proper exercise over time, the brain begins to physically reshape itself to be more efficient during certain tasks. This process is called neuroplasticity.
For example, two separate studies were performed on medical students and new taxi drivers trying to learn massive amounts of new information. Brain scans showed the hippocampus — a brain structure involved in memory — became larger in both groups of learners.
So where can you get the specific kind of training needed to increase your cognitive processing?
Lumosity.com offers a wide variety of games designed specifically to work active memory, reaction time, attention, and even math skills.
I’ve been training with Lumosity for several months. At the beginning of the training, you tell the system where you want to train your brain. Every day, you’re given a new set of games designed to challenge those areas of your brain.
They’re entertaining, only take about 20 minutes to complete, and with daily practice you’ll really notice a difference.
A few of my personal favorite games include:
- Word Bubbles Rising. You have 60 seconds to create as many words as you can from a provided stem (like pre- or gu-). A real test of your active vocabulary!
- Penguin Pursuit. Race another penguin through an increasingly complicated maze on an iceberg … but beware, because “up” isn’t always “up”!
- Familiar Faces. You work the counter at a busy restaurant and get massive tips for remembering people’s names (and their orders!) from game to game.
It’s fascinating to watch your Brain Profile Index (BPI) grow over time. I always notice a difference in my focus and math skills when I play regularly. Playing games like Word Bubbles also helps my fingers and “writing brain” wake up when it’s time to get writing!
Try a few trial games today at Lumosity.com and see how you can start playing your way to better writing.