Dual N-Back Task and Focus

Blog on Brain Training

Dual N-Back Task and Focus

2014-01-28 11:56:26

One of the biggest challenges for me while doing the Dual N-Back task has always been a lack of focus.

Well, not always.

The first weeks of training were almost perfect. The brain was fully loaded and I didn't have a millisecond of time to think of anything else other than the letters, the blue squares and theirs positions.

I can't believe I was doing it on 3 seconds per trial speed (feels so boring when I try it now).

But the the brain got accustomed to the task. The more time I spent on it the more irrelevant thoughts began to occupy my head during the exercise. That's why I stopped doing the Dual N-Back - there was just no sense in doing it in background, the progress has stopped.

But there was a feeling I still can benefit from the N-Back task, only if I could maintain the focus during the exercise. Today I tried again the asynchronous N-Back and was surprised with the forgotten feeling of novelty of the exercise. Especially interesting was the auditory asynchronous task. I only used 1-Back for asynchronous stimulis, so I think doing the Dual 3-Back with 2-Back auditory stimulis will also be much more exciting.

What do you think of the asynchronous N-Back? Do you find it challenging? What else can you advise to maintain focus during the task?

PS You may enable the asynchronous mode in the game type selection dialog. Check the "async" checkbox that is to the right of the stimulus type and select the desired asynchronous level.

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02 Mar 2014 at 11:16

I've tried again the asynchronous n-back today, it's a real challence, you can change the levels to provide some difficulty for both your kinds of memory (yes, I'm proud of my async n-back idea :)). I always try to have the same amount of errors for each category, and increase the level when the number of errors is too low. I currently tries the 4S3A dual n-back.

Some things I also tried to improve difficulty: doing n-back while listening music; it forces you to focus harder on the sounds.

Additional features could be: providing alternative sounds (words (maybe with a very large set of words)? music notes? random sounds?), rotating the grid, making a grid with moving tiles, that would exchange their positions, poviding different grid shapes, ...

n-back is like love: you must always imagine new ways to spice it up, or it will become mindless routine...

09 Sep 2019 at 00:10

maybe you could do it a lot faster, to not allow time for other thoughts.