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Like everything else about yourself, you can improve how your brain functions. These brain training and analyzing apps show just how dumb you are, and teach you to sharpen your mind.
We aren’t going to debate brain training games and their neuroscience. These apps will analyze your brain to give you an idea of which areas you really need to work on. Others give you exercises to improve those functions. And one app shows you how the human brain is easily tricked into making bad decisions.
Cambridge Brain Sciences (Web): Free “Brain Health” Analysis
Canada-based Cambridge Brain Sciences (CBS) is the go-to app if you want to analyze how healthy your brain is right now. It’s even used by researchers and academics for basic cognitive function tests, and were the prime tests for our analysis of what happens when you stare at a screen for 48 hours.
Sign up for the free service and you can access these tests, split into reasoning, memory, and verbal. Each test is an online game with simple instructions, like the one in the video above. The more answers you get right, the more difficult the game gets. There’s a timer for each turn, and three wrong answers ends the game. Get as high a score as you can to raise your brain health.
At the end of the test, CBS calculates an overall brain health score and shows how you ranked compared to others who took the same tests. It’ll also break down your reasoning, memory, and verbal skills to show how you did. This is a good indication of which part you really need to work on next, with the help of other apps.
NeuroNation (Web): Long-Term Brain-Boosting Courses Based on Analysis
Much like CBS, NeuroNation offers its own exercises to create a profile of your current brain health. But it doesn’t just stop there. NeuroNation also provides a series of courses for free.
There are six courses for different aspects of brain training: memory, concentration, intelligence, equilibrium, primus (ability to learn faster), and memowork (memory, reasoning, and learning). Each course is a few weeks long and is tailored based on how you do on the brain test at the start.
Some of the courses or games are free to begin but will ask you for payment to continue. This can range from $20 to $60.
Note that NeuroNation is primarily a German app, and there are aspects of the test that require language skills. So if you want to take an English test, please make sure the URL says “en” and your browser doesn’t ask to translate the German page to English at any time. Taking the German test would give a false result and the test would suffer.
Brain Errors (Web): How Your Brain Makes Silly Mistakes
The human brain is far more powerful than any supercomputer on the planet. But unlike those supercomputers, our brains can make silly mistakes. It’s hard-wired in us, as scientists are discovering.
Brain Errors is a website that explains the most common ways our mind trips over its own feet. Each error is presented as a question you have to answer. It doesn’t matter how right or wrong you are, the analysis explains how the brain abandons logic in common situations. Each error includes research papers to find out more about it.
Brain Errors is a classy way to find out more about the inner workings of the mind. Try all 12 experiments, it’s fascinating. And if you find this interesting, you might want to check out these fantastic TED talks that explain how the brain works.
Brain Workshop (Windows, macOS, Linux): Dual N-Back Brain Training
There is still a lot of debate about whether brain-training games help or not. But what everyone agrees on is that playing Dual N-Back games boost short-term memory and fluid intelligence, which we commoners call smartness.
What is Dual N-Back? Let’s say “N” is two. You’ll be shown a pattern, while at the same time a letter of the alphabet is said out loud. Then you’ll get another pattern and number. And so on, infinitely.
If the current pattern or number matches the pattern or number of what was shown two (N) turns ago, you need to act. If the number repeated, click the number button. If the letter repeated, click the letter button. The video above demonstrates a simple version of the free Brain Workshop game,
The brain constantly has to discard something from the memory and add something new to it. It sounds difficult, but try it out, and you’ll get better at it over time.
If you don’t want to install anything, try a free web version of the Dual N-Back game.
Brainturk (Web, Android, iOS): Cheapest Brain Training Games App
Brain-training apps are a hot commodity with big names like Lumosity and Peak. So why should you look at Brainturk instead of these amazing brain exercise games for mobile? Because the price is right.
Most brain-training apps force you to buy a monthly subscription to unlock all games or give you a few for free. These costs can end up costing a pretty penny. And it’s a bit annoying when most of these games are similar anyway. Brainturk also makes you pay, but it’s the cheapest option among all these apps.
For three dollars, you get over 40 games that you can play endlessly. Use the CBS test to find out what you need to work on, and play games from that category to slowly improve your cognitive functions.
In fact, if you play Brainturk on the web, you don’t even need to pay anything. Sign up and start playing all the games for free.
5-Minute Exercises For Your Brain
These apps will help you appreciate how your brain functions, and even level-up your mind with repeated usage. But apps aren’t the only solution to better mental capabilities. In fact, there are a series of proven 5-minute exercises for your brain that can make you smarter over time.