Maybe it is just the competitor in me, but I am looking for some meaningful way to judge my performance on these brain training games. Maybe it is just a lust to be the best at something or to feel myself superior to others, but, darn it, it seems meaningless to go on when you really don’t understand whether you are making progress or not. I look at the percentiles reflected on my “progress” chart and they don’t seem to change, even when I make progress on one game or another.
Here’s another thing: in some areas, my percentile ranking seems to drop with the introduction of new and harder tests. Why? I can understand, of course, why my score – my raw, absolute score – would diminish as the tests get more difficult. But it does not make sense to me that my ranking relative to every other test taker would drop as I take on harder testing. It seems like the increase in difficulty would affect everyone. It’s also very frustrating to keep working and see the percentile numbers drop.
I’m still bought-in and I think I have already started to notice some positive changes. It may be autosuggestion – I do read the testimonials, over and over – but I find myself concentrating a little better, a little longer, and I seem to be sticking with the work of remembering the name of some character or even the actor who played that character in some old movie. My recall is often not immediate, but since the training, I seem to be more determined to stay with it and I have found that the effort here is often rewarded. That is, I do finally remember the actor or character’s name after a longer effort that I would have expended before.
I think I am perhaps a little more attentive in conversations, too, and maybe in a brighter mood, generally.
But I still want to know more about how to do this the right way. The best, most productive way. Again, is twenty minutes an ideal session? That’s what they give me, day by day. Is that because thy find that that is the best for training or because they find that it is best for their marketing. Those two goals may not be met by exactly the same2 program length.
Many of the testimonials speak of a kind of “aha” moment, when things “clicked” and the trainee was able to perceive what a wonderful difference the training has made for them. But they don’t say how much training they had completed before that happened. How many weeks and months and how many hours and minutes per week?
I am in my early sixties and I can do 65 pull-ups in three sets. I don’t know where that would put me in terms of percentile ranking for my age group, but I think I’d be way up there. Point is, I would not be doing that many if someone at the gym had not taught me that I had been doing too many sets and too few reps per set. I changed my way of going about it, based on that advice – went from doing five sets to doing three sets, and I have in fact gotten stronger. The progress has not been what I would call dramatic, but it has been steady and real.
This is the kind of progress I am hoping for with this brain training and I am looking for advice analogous to what my friend in the gym gave me about the pull-ups. Again, the difference between those folks who are serious about physical workouts and those who do not is so obvious and, to my mind at least, so meaningful. Will brain training make the same kind of difference?
One last note: I have been surprised at how uneven or varying my percentile rankings have been from category to category. But the physical analogy is obvious here. What muscles have I neglected in my life – and how long and how much real effort will it require to get those areas into top shape and what will the dividends for that work and improvement actually be?