What's in a game? Just like at the gym where we work out different parts of our body, Active Memory brain games are designed to exercise specific brain functions (memory, flexibility, attention, and knowledge).
The program presents training in stages. As you move through the stages, you'll establish your baseline cognitive strengths and then play through a personalised mix of games that will exercise the areas of your brain that need it the most.
Train your own way
Active Memory offers you two types of game play.
There's Training mode, which takes you through a structured set of games that exercise your core brain functions. Here you'll collect reward points and track your performance with progress charts.
You can also try Free Play; a more relaxed space where you choose your own games, in your own time. The program will suggest which games are of the most value to you, but the choice is yours. Free Play games will also contribute to your training scores and progress.
To get the most out of Active Memory, we suggest you aim for three 20-minute training sessions per week.
Target cognitive functions
The overall training program focuses on four core cognitive functions of the brain that are central to everyday mental tasks and problem solving. These are:
Active Memory focuses on short-term memory, visual-spatial short-term memory, and working-memory. Our short-term memory stores small amounts of information for a short period of time. Once this information is sufficiently rehearsed, it becomes part of our long-term memory (knowledge). Working Memory is the workspace where the contents of our short-term memory are brought together with our knowledge for processing.
We use our flexible processing capacity for reasoning and problem solving. Flexibility tasks require memory and attention. For example, figuring out the murderer is Colonel Mustard in the library with the rope, or noticing a pattern in a series of images.
This is how much focus we can give something and our ability to quickly allow some responses and inhibit others, such as when we stop at a red light, but carry on through green. Attention is important for memory.
Crystallised abilities, or knowledge, captures not just facts we know (Paris is the capital of France), but also things we know we can do (change a tyre). The acquisition of knowledge requires memory, flexibility and attention.
Improve your mental capabilities
Each of the program's 16 games (and counting) targets the above functions in different ways. Some games will combine two or more functions to give you a 'complex' challenge that exercises the brain in multiple ways at the same time. Others will predominantly train a single brain function. Game types include:
Span games challenge short-term recollection. You'll be presented with a number of items, asked to remember them, and then asked to select them either in their original order, or in a new one. You may be shown other stimulus to create distraction.
This complex challenge requires historical sequence-matching. You'll need to remember things from a certain ‘number of moves' (N) previously (back), while inhibiting distracting information.
The clock is ticking. Race games require you to strike a balance between accuracy and a swift response.
Continuous Performance Tasks
The challenge here is not to respond to 'incorrect' stimuli. For example, you might be presented with a row of playing cards one at a time and need to respond as quickly as possible to red cards that do not follow a joker. Sometimes a red card will be shown after a joker in an attempt to catch you out.
Quiz games require retrieval and recital of your knowledge of facts, as well as how these facts might be used.
One of the more complex game types, Puzzles present you with a problem that needs to be solved using rules that are either provided, or that you have to figure out for yourself.