Michael Merzenich on Sharpening Perception and Memory, and Increasing Speed of Thought on Google Tech Talks:
Michael Merzenich on rewiring the brain on TED Talks:
There is also a whole host of articles on Merzenich’s Blog that you can dive into.
I haven’t had a chance to get through all of it – the video of Merzenich on Google Tech Talks is an hour and half and I have yet to find the time to get to it among the 101 other things on my “to do” list. However, if you skim through it all, I think the bottom line is simply brain training.
So I’ve been looking at various brain training programs available online and on the iPad/iPhone and here are some that I found.
Directly affiliated with Merzenich himself, I guess you can be pretty sure that this brain training program will deliver the goods. Only thing is that it costs an arm and a leg. The auditory program is $395 and the visual program is also $395. Bought together, they cost $690.
Amongst the other brain trainers (excluding MindSparke), Lumosity was the next best program after Posit Science and it only costs $80 a year and $130 for 2 years. They also have a lifetime membership, which I recall was about $300.
Lumosity also has an app for the iPhone that offers a taste of a sample of their brain training exercises. If you want full access, you will need to sign up for membership on their website. However, membership on the website grants you free access to the app so you can still train your brain on the go.
In terms of results proven by independent research, only Posit Science and Mindsparke are linked to external scientific research. Lumosity research are all done in house by their own scientists and may potentially be “biased”. The benefits of Mindsparke over Posit Science, however, is that the program improves fluid intelligence, provides absolute measures of cognitive gains, and it offers personal training and coaching.
In terms of pricing, Mindsparke falls in between Lumosity and Posit Science with membership costing $160 a year and $345 for life.
Mindsparke also has an app for the iPhone (I have yet to try it so I can’t write much about it at this time). The downside to Mindsparke brain training is that you will need an uninterrupted 30 minutes of training time to complete their exercise – something I am finding hard to allocate.
This is a free website offering brain games to keep the cogwheels turning.
This is a list of several brain training apps for the iPhone and iPad that I have discovered and am using currently.