Puzzles with a Purpose
Puzzles with a purpose!
Our digital brain games target specific parts of the brain to strengthen weaknesses and create new brain pathways – think of it as cross–training so that you use all of your brain power.
Your brain is constantly exercising, but how much exercise and what type is key. Your brain trains through experience and builds its own “muscle memory” – habituates new patterns of behavior. When you don’t work it, you forget things you once knew, and when you really exercise it, you strengthen what you already know and develop and create new capabilities. We use puzzles because they are not threatening – they allow you to play and explore without pressure. And we use visual puzzles because unlike verbal puzzles, they let you rehearse concrete systems to build critical thinking skills.
Our digital brain games are effective for individuals struggling with post-concussion syndrome and stroke.
For reference, you may remember when I was playing the paper version of Mind Mazes I wasn't satisfied because of how much of a logical conversation I had to have with myself. I had to very consciously think through what the options were for matching each time. I had to think very methodically about each shape in an order to see if I could connect with a line. I felt like I often got into a repetitive and non-constructive pattern. I'd continue to ask myself the same questions for two patterns, not quite remembering the other options I had already gone through, which ones I already determined matched, if it for sure wasn't a match. I generally would force myself to give up after a while, just look at another set of patterns for matches, but not really certain I'd ruled out the option of the two I'd been focused on.
Great news is that at least for this game I've broken that behavior. I played the app periodically while in Chicago on Saturday after our Friday appointment and got to level 50 before getting home Saturday night. I continued to play for 10-15 minutes a few times a day and had gotten to level 125 by by about the end of the week, so playing the app in total for about a week or less. I continue to play level 125 once a few times a day and am averaging about 1 minute or less to finish. It just feels right now.
It all seemed to "click" around levels 30-50 the Saturday after our appointment. At that point I started to better understand what I expected of myself, why I was frustrated by what I described above, even though you felt like I was doing fine, having a conversation with myself, going through logical steps, etc. When it "clicked" it’s almost like my subconscious took over the processing. I didn't really need to go through a conscious logical process. I would just look at two shapes and "know'' if they shared two characteristics. If I stopped to think I could quickly describe (to myself in my head) what two characteristics matched.
Sometimes I'd get caught up with one or two of them and spend a minute fixated, but for the most part just move from pattern to pattern. Also great is that I can count on one hand the number of times I made a mistake caught during submission.
This is the first time doing your puzzles I've gone at the speed I expect of myself. Where I don't feel like I need to logically think through what process to follow to get the right answer. I don't know if I'm saying this right but it sounds like my subconscious almost just takes care of it. It's kind of crazy that my brain still expects this level of processing, that I get frustrated not having it, after 8 years of being level-set backwards after the accident. I guess that's just how the brain works though.
I'm currently living in Denver, Colorado, as a mixology instructor. A student asked about "my story" I told her how depressed I was and going to you changed my life and the impact you had on me and how happy I have been since. I felt like I had to share that with and give you an update on my status. I'm just enjoying life right now and am excited about this new adventure I'm on.
Thank you again.
Great for speech therapy as well
I am a speech therapist, and I downloaded this app and the Rocket 123s. I have been using them for an adult patient with a reading impairment (alexia) and a vision impairment (field cut). It has been fantastic. The format is simple enough that she can understand what she’s supposed to do and the graphics are well done but not too immature for adults. She really enjoys it. If I were working with a child learning his/her letters, I would definitely recommend it as well since teaches them to identify the letters in a variety of contexts/orientations.
All images, text and games are Copyright © 2020 Design for Strong Minds™
and may not be used without permission. All rights reserved.