Free ADHD Brain Training

Brain training can improve the attention, memory and processing speed problems of ADHD. Brain or cognitive training may also change the neurotransmitter functions in our ADHD brain for the better. The emerging field of brain plasticity has been studying the effects of brain training on the anatomy and physiology of our brain and has discovered some remarkable findings.

Cognitive training will not only make our ADHD brains function better, it will also fine tune our brains for better future functioning.  Scientist used to report that we were born with only a limited number of brain cells and as we aged we lost more and more cells and the thought was that this cell loss led to eventual memory loss and dementia. What we now know is that the brain is just like the muscles in our bodies. You only lose brain function if you do not use your brain.

We are finding out that we must "use it or lose it" but that there are many ways to strengthen the connections and improve our ADHD and ADD brains. We know that cognitive training helps but we also know that doing puzzles, learning a new hobby, conversing with people, reading books or learning a new skill or language also helps.

There is not one good way to strengthen our brains, there are many ways. Aerobic exercises such as brisk walking and anaerobic exercises such as weigh lifting have also been found to help our brain function. Our memories function infinitely better if we have slept for at least 8 hours, the food we eat will affect how well we think and a diet rich in anti-oxidants is ideal for optimal brain functioning.

For people with ADD to function at their highest level, cognitive training should be added to the regimen of:


  • Daily Exercise
  • Proper Sleep Hygiene, and
  • A well rounded, anti-oxidant rich Diet

Some of the areas of ADHD brain weaknesses that cognitive training can help are as follows:

• Attention/Concentration, the ability to screen out distractions and stay on task
• Memory: The ability to recall short or long term information.
• Processing Speed: The ability to handle and process information quickly.
• Reading comprehension, phonemic awareness and Visualization (seeing a problem in the mind's eye before attempting to solve) can also be problematic

Below is a list of online sites with free cognitive or brain training exercises. I have tried to describe the areas of brain strengthening that each exercise helps.

http://www.brainmetrix.com/memory/
This game from Game Metrix is the classic memory puzzle but it is timed and you need to complete in less than 90 seconds so it works on both working memory and on processing speed.

http://www.brainmetrix.com/concentration.htm
This game requires strategy, focus and concentration and it is fun to develop strategies to enable you to "zero" out the graph. Start at the 'huh duh' level because it is not at all easy!!

http://www.sharpbrains.com/teasers/
This site has several areas that are helpful for the ADHD brain. I would focus on the memory game section, attention game section and visual brain teasers section is where I would start on this page.

http://www.braingle.com/mind/home.php
Both the mental aerobics section and the memory section of this site are helpful for the specific brain differences in people with ADD and ADHD.

http://brainworkshop.sourceforge.net/
This site has the Dual-N-Back game. According to this site, "A recent study published in PNAS, an important scientific journal, shows that a particular memory task called dual n-back may actually improve working memory (short term memory) and fluid intelligence."  They also report that, "Anecdotal evidence suggests that the dual n-back task also enhances focus and attention and may help improve the symptoms of ADHD/ADD."

The instructions on how to play the Dual N-Back game are at:
http://brainworkshop.sourceforge.net/tutorial.htmlet/

I found this study on Fluid Intelligence to be important and applicable to the specific problems seen in the ADHD brain but there are many other, well researched, studies that also point to brain training improving cognitive functioning.

Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory
Susanne M. Jaeggi , Martin Buschkuehl, John Jonides, and Walter J. Perrig
Columbia University, New York, NY, March 18, 2008 (received for review February 7, 2008)

Abstract

Fluid intelligence (Gf) refers to the ability to reason and to solve new problems independently of previously acquired knowledge. Gf is critical for a wide variety of cognitive tasks, and it is considered one of the most important factors in learning. Moreover, Gf is closely related to professional and educational success, especially in complex and demanding environments. Although performance on tests of Gf can be improved through direct practice on the tests themselves, there is no evidence that training on any other regimen yields increased Gf in adults. Furthermore, there is a long history of research into cognitive training showing that, although performance on trained tasks can increase dramatically, transfer of this learning to other tasks remains poor. Here, we present evidence for transfer from training on a demanding working memory task to measures of Gf. This transfer results even though the trained task is entirely different from the intelligence test itself. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the extent of gain in intelligence critically depends on the amount of training: the more training, the more improvement in Gf. That is, the training effect is dosage-dependent. Thus, in contrast to many previous studies, we conclude that it is possible to improve Gf without practicing the testing tasks themselves, opening a wide range of applications

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3 comments:

  1. Here are more brain teasers for you :
    http://www.pedagonet.com/brain/brainers.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks so much!! The more the better!

    Tess

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for your highly informative website! Keep adding more info, if there is.

    ReplyDelete