I completed Posit Science’s “Brain Fitness Program”, now part of BrainHQ, about a week ago, and have been alert to possible changes that I might be able to attribute to it. Two stand out. I have been writing a book, and had written a chapter in which the reader surveys their neurological status by conducting a series of simple, self-administered assessments. As I worked on the development of these tasks, I “invented” a speech fluency assessment, and as a part of that development measured my own abilities. Because I perceived gains in speech fluency after BFP training, I re-tested myself. Overall fluency scores had more than doubled.
A second relatively objective measure of improvement came about by accident. On a flight from Mexico to Houston, not long before landing, I completed about 3/4ths of the crossword puzzle in the Continental Airlines magazine. It’s a pretty good 441-square puzzle. After a 2-hour stop-over in Houston and another 2 hours in flight, I completed the book that I was reading and picked up the puzzle in another copy of the magazine, determined to complete it. I discovered, to my surprise, that I could almost completely fill in the part of the puzzle that I had completed earlier that day, landing the right words onto about 300 squares without any reference to the puzzle clues. This achievement was unequivocally beyond my delayed recall memory abilities before I completed the BFP. Again, it confirmed a strong belief that the BFP training had sharply improved my spatial memory.
We attribute that faculty of keeping enduring memories mapped out in place and in time to the hippocampus. It’s very nice to know that my obviously-formerly-rusty hippocampus has been tuned up a little!