We often learn from the skeptical press that many brain training apps do not work beyond the effect of specific exercises for games. But it is clear from the steady stream of peer-reviewed cognitive neuroscience research that certain types of brain training Is Effective for increasing IQ and focus (Ref)

So what works? There are so-called brain training Transfer away Towards general cognitive ability (as opposed to a ‘narrow transfer’ of work very similar to the game you train with)?

Johns Hopkins N-Back Study: October 2017

Take a look This is the 17 October 2017 Johns Hopkins University Press Release About a study published that week Dual N-back training. The study was published Journal of Cognitive Enhancement And can be found Here The Johns Hopkins researchers suspected that the problem was not the concept of brain training that actually worked, but the type of training practice the researchers chose to use.

The training exercises that Johns Hopkins compares are commercial products that are generally available and not sold to consumers, but scientists rely on them to test the brain’s effective memory. Working memory is your ‘mental workspace’ – the amount of information you can focus on, update, and process ‘online’ for problem solving, reasoning, planning, comprehension, and decision making. An important sub-factor of working memory IQ, And full-scale IQ tests like WAIS-IV are tested directly

There were three groups in the study: trained with one group Dual N-backTrained with another work memory exercise called another group Symmetry span task, And a third (control) group trained with a challenging verbal logic task that did not involve work memory. Everyone took one round of cognitive testing, trained for 30 minutes five days a week, then returned to the lab for another round of testing – including EEG recordings of the brain – to see if anything had changed about their brain or cognitive abilities.

The researchers found that the team that practiced the dual n-back exercise showed one 30 percent improvement in their work memory. This was almost double the profit made by the group working with other work memory exercises. The dual n-back group also showed significant changes in brain activity The prefrontal cortexImportant areas responsible for higher education and IQ.

University of Tিনbingen Slip + N-Back Study: December 2017 / January 2018

Sleep has been known for some time to be important for combining memory and motor skills. This is a period where more Neurogenesis (Birth of new brain cells in youth)Ref)

This is the latest Neurobiology of learning and memory In the publication, researchers at the University of Tbingen wanted to know if sleep could be consistent with functional memory gain from N-back training demonstrated in Johns Hopkins research.Print here) Their study studied both adults and children. It compared the work memory gain after a small amount of N-back training (only 3 sessions) in two conditions: (1) where one night’s sleep after training (evening training); (2) where one day after training woke up (morning training).

The information is published as follows:

  • Overnight sleep facilitates training-based improvement in work memory (maximum N-back performance)
  • Both adults and children benefit from sleep in this way.

The researchers concluded:

Overall these results not only indicate that working memory functionality is subject to plastic changes but sleep is a state of the brain that can be exploited to improve such changes.


If sleep follows the training of functional memory, then the brain is able to function in a longer event sequence than after post-training waking.

When to train?

This latest study tells us when dual n-back training is best: late in the evening, 1-2 hours before a good night’s sleep!

Johns Hopkins has shown us that work memory from N-back training can significantly improve (30% of their research). Most of that study was done during the day, not before going to bed in the evening. So we expect more IQ gains from training before bed.

N-Back Meta-Studies – Bringing Everything Together

This latest study adds the message that the last 33 published, randomized, active-controlled dual n-back studies tell us: Practical training effects of DNB brain training In IQ (especially work memory) – getting better in N-back games out of placebo effect and through practice (Review 1, Review 2) So far there has been controversy over the transfer Fluid argument Capability from dual N-back training (also known as GF), but this debate does not cloud the results of showing long distance transfers Votxtvotx (Also known as Gwm) – General intelligence (G) is another key subfactor and a good predictor of many real life IQ-demand outcomes such as academic success.

And This most recent study adds to the message of multiple brain imaging studies (Reference 1, Ref 2, Ref 3) Showing Changes in neuroplasticity in the fronto-parietal network (FPN). It is also called the ‘control hub’ of the brain and the ‘executive control network’. It sends top-down signals to current task targets and controls flexibly biased data flow across multiple large-scale functional networks. FPN is a core network with inherently intelligent, goal-oriented actions and learning.

Conclusions from the research

In conclusion, Dual n-back training works. It improves IQ, and it does a useful amount (e.g., 30% improvement in work memory). These benefits can be improved if the training is conducted in the evening after bedtime.

And another tech-home for your training – reward it. We know from cognitive neuroscience (Ref), That is beneficial to learn only involving success and rewards. Make sure you choose a game mode in the apps that you can see progress within a week – ideally sleeping within 1-2 hours of training!)

Apps that work

Our IQ Mindware Apps (HiIcupro For applied IQ training, i3 Mindware For abstract IQ training) all Implement the original Johns Hopkins N-Back, And lab-based n-back games have been reviewed in the above-mentioned scientific meta-study. These are not slim down versions available in the App Store.

HighIQPro enhances this training with more advanced training options (Gated n-back) for those who may be ready for an accelerated evidence-based brain training program.

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