Play for your brain
It's not just the muscles that need regular workouts, but the grey cells too
Working memory is our capacity to temporarily hold information that can be used to take quick decisions, calculate and solve problems on the fly. Brain training aims at strengthening this part of our brain. While large studies are still underway to prove training's utility in improving our working memory, some smaller published studies have already found it to be beneficial in certain age groups such as children and senior citizens. So, it doesn't hurt to give some of these games or exercises a try.
Train on the web
Braingle is a wonderful site full of little tests, memory puzzles and more. The site also has an IQ test which can give you an idea of your mental capacity. I particularly liked the mentalrobics section, where you can work on improving your mental capacity. It even has a forum where you can post games you found or discuss your test results with other participants or play social games like chess and checkers. However, you will have to register to get access to this, the basic account is free. You can also try Games For the Brain and Brainturk, which host a similar array of brain training games.
Train on your phone
Left vs Right is a great brain training app available on both iOS and Android. The games are designed to challenge and improve your awareness, precision, reflex, adaptability, reasoning and patience. Left vs Right has 51 games. However, non-paid users can train in only 3 out of the 6 categories for free. Paid users have access to their analytics and unlimited access to games in all the categories. There is a free seven-day trial that you can try out.
Train on your computer
Gbrainy is a free application that lets you practice and improve your logic, mental calculation, memory and verbal skills using a series of test questions. The application then uses the results to give you a progress report and point out where you struggled. If you don't want to solve the problems on a computer, then you can also print the questions in the game on paper.
Dual n back
Dual n back was created to test working memory and short-term memory. The game involves the user tracking audio and visual signals that happened two steps back, and if they were repeated you have to indicate if it was the visual or the auditory signal. The game is maddening, but some research indicates that it could strengthen working memory. You can find Dual n back games on your app store, but I feel those are not as intuitive as having this PC version and a mouse handy. If you want to learn the game, watch the 'how to play' video to make sense of it all.
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