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If you discovered an exercise that could increase your muscle strength 30 percent in just a month, I bet you’d be pretty excited.
If so, it’s time for some brain training.
That’s right… your brain has to be trained just like any other muscle in order to work optimally — because a strong brain is all about a sharper mind, better cognition and higher chances of maintaining your faculties as you age.
So, don’t let your doctor or anyone else convince you that losing your memory is just a part of aging. You can keep your memory sharp and your attention focused for life just by giving it this effective workout shown to improve memory as much as 30 percent…
Targeted brain training
In fact, that’s exactly what research from scientists at John Hopkins University shows.
Let’s take a look…
While scientists trying to determine if brain exercises improve cognitive performance have had mixed luck, the Johns Hopkins research team suspected the problem wasn’t the idea of brain training, but the type of exercise researchers chose to test it.
They decided to compare the two leading types of exercises and measure people’s brain activity before and after training.
Participants were separated into three groups and given a battery of cognitive tests to determine their baseline working memory, attention and intelligence as well as an electroencephalogram (EEG) to measure brain activity. Then, everyone was sent home to practice a computer task for a month.
One group used dual n-back, a leading brain exercise, while the second group used complex span, another brain training program. The third group practiced on a control task.
Everyone trained five days a week for 30 minutes and then returned to the lab for another round of tests to see if anything about their brain or cognitive abilities had changed.
The researchers found that the group that practiced the dual n-back exercise showed a 30 percent improvement in their working memory. That was nearly double the gains made by the group using complex span.
Even better, the dual n-back group also showed significant changes in brain activity in the prefrontal cortex, the critical region responsible for higher learning.
How dual n-back works
You’re probably wondering how dual n-back works. Here it is…
Dual n-back is a memory sequence test where you have to remember a constantly updating sequence of visual and auditory stimuli. In simple terms, it’s a program where you see squares flashing on a grid while hearing letters.
You then have to remember if the square you just saw and the letter you heard were both the same as one round back. As the test gets harder, you must remember squares and letters two, three, and four rounds back.
According to the researchers, the reason it worked better than complex span is because it requires you to constantly update items in your mind while complex span only involves remembering items in a sequence.
You can even download a dual n-back app to play on your phone.
Your goal should be 30 minutes per day, five days per week for a month — at least starting out to give you the same brain training workout the participants in the study did. After that, maintenance is key, but doing the exercise as often as possible would likely yield the best results.
Use the science of brain training to keep your brain and memory strong and your attention focused by using the dual n-back training program to exercise your brain just like you exercise your body. After all, if you don’t use it, you lose it.
Editor’s note: 38.6 million Americans take a single drug every day that robs their brain of an essential nutrient required for optimal brain health, and it’s taking their memories. Are you one of them? Click here to find out!
- What training exercise boosts brain power best? New research finds out — Johns Hopkins University