Let the brain games begin

brain1-150x150May 10, 2013 – Around age 10, my son began asking the most bizarre question before he would eat anything.

“Will this cause brain damage?”

My response was always the same. Why would I give you anything that would cause brain damage?

This went on for quite some time, and I decided to place a special message on his birthday cake that year: ‘Happy Birthday! This cake will not cause brain damage.’ I thought it would save us both some time.

Since labeling all of the food in the house is not practical, I am glad he stopped asking this question. However, he is still concerned with brain function and health, and stays away from antiperspirants or pots, pans and other cooking tools made with aluminum, which may link to Alzheimer’s disease.

Of course, I am concerned about my brain health, too. Recently I visited lumosity.com, the site that claims to help you achieve your brain’s full potential and signed up for their “brain training program”. It piqued my curiosity because television ads claim it is the Web’s #1 program. If available years ago, perhaps my son would have learned that eating broccoli, meat loaf, or pasta would definitely not cause brain damage.

Lumosity features “exercises” that also keep your brain in shape, and is part of a groundbreaking program created by neuroscientists based on extensive research in the field of neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to act and react in ever-changing ways. I tested some of the exercises on the site and started my workout plan yesterday. The program begins with a series of questions, and based on your responses, the site creates a training program that works out the brain functions you want to improve.

The results told me that on average, someone who wanted to improve the skills I checked off, and who is in my age group, should visit two days a week, spend about 15 minutes completing the exercises on each visit, and expect to see an 87% improvement in brain function within three months. I am not sure if the time they estimated for me is good, bad, or average since I am not aware of anyone else’s scores. Still, an 87% improvement in brain function is remarkable, so I have decided to stay with it.

I completed my first session by playing “match” type games that are supposed to improve my overall memory. The minutes went by fast, and I was entertained. By the end of my three-month journey, I expect to spout off mathematical theories as if they are simple arithmetic problems. I will understand everything better than the scarecrow in “The Wizard of Oz” once he received a brain, and I am bound to receive a nomination for a Nobel or Pulitzer Prize within the next year. In other words, you will soon regard me as a genius. Not a bad return for three months’ work.

I will keep you posted on my progress.

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2 thoughts on “Let the brain games begin

    • You should join. It is fun. I’m only doing the free portion now, but I like it enough that I just may join for a few months because it’s reasonable enough. I saw it advertised and I thought Mom might enjoy something like this. It’s great for seniors. Maybe she will give it a try if I talk it up enough. Who knows, it could be a family affair. Roland just emailed me and said he’s been a member for the past three months, enjoys it and is trying to get Linda to sign up!

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