ADDition

Blog about personal experience with ADHD by Robert Dawson

MindSparke progress

Day 23. Thanks to piracetam, the slope of my score curve has increased, turning from a line into an upward curve.

MindSparke after 23 sessions After 23 sessions, an upward curve emergesI'm apparently (could be temporary) improving faster. Piracetam works. Or maybe Alpha-GPC. Or both. Or ALCAR. Or 5-HTP. Or all combined. Or playing more than once a day, as with yesterday. Although, you would think that a break helps, as it seemed to have helped after returning from vacation. But, then, I started piracetam then, too.

Whatever the cause or the case, this is good news, assuming the effect of playing MindSparke generalizes into everyday experience and boosts my productivity or speed. Actually, I'd settle for just a faster processor.

I just hope I don't suffer the fate of Charlie in Flowers for Algernon.

MindSparke progress

MindSparke extrapolation MindSparke extrapolationI'm making good progress with n-back exercises. Today, I averaged 4-back. Now, 2-back is way too easy and 3-back is nearly as effortless. The image above is my estimation of future progress. I expect to reach 5-back before my 40th session.

As for practical benefits, I can't yet say. My memory does seem better, but I'm not sure why that would be a short-term effect of improved working memory.

MindSparke progress

For eight days, I have used MindSparke to increase working memory. Working memory is how much information you can hold in your head at once. How does this help ADD? If you take more in, even with the same amount of attention, you have more to process and act on. So, maybe you get more done. Of course, you need to be able to process it all and have the motivation to act. But, together with Lumosity, I'm hoping to see improvement, which I gauge by my level of productivity.

Back to MindSparke, here is my progress.

My progress with MindSparke after 8 sessions My progress with MindSparke after 8 sessionsWhat does this mean? The exercise being measured is called n-back. You can also read the research that got all the attention connecting it to increased fluid intelligence. What the chart above shows is that my average n-back score has increased, from 2.6 to 3.5. Basically, where dual-back exercises strained me at first, leading to a real headache (a first for me with brain training), I'm now fairly comfortable with 4-back and find myself straining with 5-back. It feels good to improve at this, or anything for that matter. The question is whether I see transfer into daily activities. Again, for me, the biggest benefit would be productivity. Oh, and better planning wouldn't hurt.

My LQ and BPI at Lumosity

On July 7, I joined Lumosity. I joined to help with all areas of my brain, but mainly to see if, by improving my cognition in general, I could lessen ADD's destructive influence. Lumosity's games cover such factors of mental ability as processing speed, memory, attention, flexibility, and problem solving.

Today, I received an email and Lumosity is introducing something akin to IQ called the Lumosity Quotient, where, like IQ, the average is 100. I just took their small battery of tests and here are my scores and my resulting LQ:

Attention: 106
Flexibility: 132
Problem Solving: 123
Speed: 136
Memory: 138

LQ: 137

Of course, I don't know the percentile. And I wonder if I can retake the tests or if that would invalidate their study. Then again, if they don't either prohibit users from multiple attempts or discount those attempts, then their study isn't good!

I'm proud of my LQ, but I wonder what contributed to my Attention score being so low, especially given that my highest BPI (Brain Performance Index) is in the Attention category. It's 1407, which is higher than 97% of Lumosity members. In fact, my lowest BPI is in the Speed category, which is my second highest here. Here are my BPI scores and the overall one.

Attention: 1407 - 97%
Flexibility: 1351 - 92%
Problem Solving: 1191 - 83%
Speed: 1188 - 73%
Memory: 1376 - 90%

BPI: 1302 - 91%

So, to wrap up, the difference in ranking order between LQ and BPI scores are as follows.

LQ, BPI

Attention: 5, 1
Flexibility: 3, 3
Problem Solving: 4, 4
Speed: 2, 5
Memory: 1, 2

Maybe I'm in a speedier, less attentive state at the moment? It does seem like speed and attention scores could oppose one another, since more attention might coincide with slower reaction time and less attention might coincide with impulsively clicking.

Update

I retook the LQ tests:

Attention: 127
Flexibility: 138
Problem Solving: 121
Speed: 128
Memory: 149

LQ: 146

Attention went way up, speed when down, memory went up, and my LQ went up considerably!