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So I did my first official Brain Age training thing this morning. According to Nintendo and Dr. Ryuta Kawashima, I have a brain age of 36. This isn’t too bad, considering I’m 31. (For those that don’t know, a lower score is better because a higher score indicates a sort of brain atrophy.) This was before my morning coffee, so I do not know if that would have positively or adversely affected the score.

I was actually expecting worse. Going into this, I knew that I have a great capacity for logic, spacial relations, and abstract thinking. These are the sorts of skills I use every day at work. Brain Age, on the other hand, generally tests things like memory (short and long term) and simple calculations in quick succession. These are the things I suck at–the stereotypical Fred McMurray Absent Minded Professor with swiss cheese memory who can intuit boolean algebraic transforms in his head but takes 15 seconds to come up with the answer to 7×9 [by counting on fingers] and can’t remember which night the dinner party is on.

I rather liked the Stroop Test and like how they used voice recognition for the answers. (The Stroop Test is a sort of test where they give you things like “green red black” and you have to say the color of the words, “red blue yellow” and not what the word says.) I just wonder if slightly blurring your vision so that you can barely read the words is cheating? I discovered that I almost always have a bit of a brain hiccup in recognizing the color blue.

I did not particularly care for the “reading a passage aloud” test. Speaking out loud to a little white plastic box while sitting alone in the room repeatedly pushed my uncomfortable-self-conscious button. Kim was in the other room and thought I was on the phone.

The memory sort was great. They basically have numbers on the backs of cards arranged in a pattern on the screen. The cards get flipped over for half a second (literally!), then are hidden again. You have to click the cards in ascending numeric order. I didn’t do too badly, but I didn’t do too well, either.

Memorizing a word list was gruelling. Two minutes to stare at a list of words, then a few minutes to write down all the ones you remember. After a minute of staring, I got bored. I really wanted to come up with mnemonics or pairings or some other sort of memory crutch, but just fell flat.

I would be nice if I could continue with this regime every day. I would be nicer if my memory improved.

Also: in Animal Crossing, I think I need a shovel.
Also also: in Animal Crossing, twice I have seen a package suspended from a balloon floating across the sky. I have tried following it, but it eventually floats outside the bounds of my little city-state. Neither the butterfly net nor fishing rod seemed to be able to grab it.

Posted in: Games

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