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Posit Science Insight: final assessment

July 20, 2010

Master Gardener (visual memory) 68% best improvement

Bird Safari (visual precision) best improvement 81%

Road Tour (UFOV) 83% best improvement

Jewel Diver (divided attention)34% best improvement

Sweep Seeker (visual processing speed) NO CHANGE!

Interesting final results on the Posit Science Insight program! And rather unexpected. Absolutely no change on the Sweep Seeker exercise. Every other exercise shows that I have made substantial gains on the practiced tasks over time, but no movement in the basic exercise at all.

Visual Processing Speed

The Sweep Seeker exercise measures visual processing speed: a grid of varied widths and colours is flashed on the computer screen at decreasing exposure times.

I telephoned Posit Science to get some indication of their view of my final assessment results. I have trained for 43.5 hours and it seemed odd that there is absolutely no change in the Sweep Seeker results (my favourite exercise!).

A 41 ms baseline. The brain that won’t change itself?

It appears that the 41ms. which I commenced with is ” fast” and I shall need much training “to break through that barrier”. Is it a ceiling effect or could there be  performance improvement with even more practice? What is missing at completion of the program is access to age related averages as has been provided for the Jewel Diver exercise. The support page at Posit Science says several people have requested age related averages  and the topic is under consideration.

You can see that I have had a different number of assessments in the various exercises. I think that if you follow the prescribed program they provide three assessments at appropriate intervals. I tried some extra assessments just to see what would happen. It seems that once I had reached a particular level in all the exercises my performance remained pretty stable.

Auditory processing Speed

I have looked again at my results in the other Posit Science Brain Fitness Program. I  made some progress in Auditory Speed of Processing. The first  assessment and the final one were both 29ms. My best was 25ms – a 15% improvement. However my result on the auditory Brain Speed Test was 31ms, which with others of my age puts me on the same level as some 20 and 30 year-olds!  But remember I had done the Brain Fitness Program before I took the test! However looking  at the scores of some of the 30 and 40 year olds you can see that they are functioning at lower level. There are clearly very large individual differences, but it can change with steady practice.

For me working memory is still the issue.

Gain or maintenance or decline?

Speed of processing and plasticity seem to be the primary themes of the Posit Science programs. Memory and attention, visual and auditory acuity and other complex cognitive processes are engaged at the same time as the brain speeds up its processing capacity. Some scientists consider processing speed to be fundamental to prevention of decline.

Interesting to see what happens the second time around! Gain or maintenance or decline?

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