Monday, September 5, 2016

Rosetta Stone Fit Brains Trainer among Top Brain Training Applications

Fit Brains Trainer helps you “enhance your memory, focus, and brain speed” by giving you access to more than 360 games and puzzles. The app is smartly designed to get more difficult as you get better, so that you always have a challenge in front of you and are never wanting for a way to give your brain a positive workout. Fit Brains Trainer is available for free on Google Play and the iOS App Store.

Why Brain Training?

Recent studies reveal the importance of exercising your brain
- The Western World’s average IQ has dropped significantly
- The average person forgets 4 things every day
- A goldfish has a longer attention span than the average American
- 90% of top performers have high EQ
- Americans with higher EQ make $29,000 more

Benefits & Features

Fit Brains targets all 6 major areas of the brain: Memory, Speed of Thinking, Concentration, Problem Solving, Language and Visual-Spatial. Plus, it targets EQ, Emotional Intelligence, the ability to recognize and manage your own and other people’s emotions, in 4 key areas: Self-Control, Self-Awareness, Social Awareness and Social Skills.

- 60+ games (35 in iOS app, 60+ on website): fun, rewarding, adapts as you progress
- In-depth performance reports: identify where to improve & compare scores against others
- 500+ customized daily workouts, training reminders
- 24/7 access across Mobile, Web, Apple TV, Apple Watch
- Plus more, download & see for yourself!

Science of Fit Brains

Fit Brains is designed by neuroscientists, game and education experts to make training fun and challenging. Dr. Nussbaum is a leading brain expert in clinical Neuropsychology and our Chief Science Officer.

Brain Games

Check out some of our fun brain games and brain teasers even before you sign up for a Free Trial! Browse this selection of games to see what some of our most popular games look like.

From games that train your memory, to others that challenge your language and communication abilities, and even visual-spatial skills that stimulate creativity and problem-solving, you will feel as mentally stimulated as you are entertained by our brain games!

Stacked Discs

Visual-Spatial Games: From depth perception to directional ability and even driving skills, these games work practical skills! Stacked Discs (pictured here) is one of our most popular games, and works your visual-spatial abilities.

How to Play? Compare the stacked discs from the top view versus the side. Select the side view that matches the same order of discs as shown in the top view. Speed counts too!

Matching Pairs

Focus Games: Want to hone your focus and attention skills? Matching Pairs is just one of our fun focus games that stimulates your brain and prepares you to sort complex information in your daily life.

How to Play? Find one or more pairs of the matching tiles as quickly as you can!

Speed Sort

Speed Games: Discover our selection of games that will stimulate speed of thinking! Speed Sort is a fast-paced game that will challenge your ability to think and respond quickly.

How to Play? In this game you’ll be challenged to sort the different objects in the appropriate category as quickly as you can. It’s fast-paced, fun and stimulating!

Mahjong Match

Memory Games: Explore our fun games designed to work your memory in a variety of ways. Mahjong Match builds on the popular Mahjong tiles, but is designed to challenge your memory in a fun way.

How to Play? Eliminate all the Mahjong tiles from the board by finding and clicking on the matching tiles.

Visual Sudoku

Logic Games: Fit Brains offers games designed to train your logic and problem-solving ability. One example of a popular logic game is Visual Sudoku, which helps work your ability to envision complex patterns.

How to Play? Click on an empty square to fill in a highlighted object without duplicating objects in any row or column.

Grow Words

Language Games: Check out Language games that will challenge and train your Communication skills! Grow Words, shown here, is one of our popular language games, which helps you recognize words based on fragmented stimuli, which can help you when learning new words.

How to Play? Spell a word with only the available letters at hand. Challenge yourself by forming words as quickly as you can!

DigitalTrends Professional Review

If you’re not actively assigned to do activities that are supposed to be designed to broaden your knowledge, do you stop learning? Do you get dumber? I find myself wondering this about myself regularly. As someone who thought most of the homework assignments I got were kind of dumb anyway, have I really missed out on anything or lost a step now that I am no longer going to classrooms every day? My sentence structure hasn’t devolved into cro magnon-style dialect, but sometimes I have to look up words I thought I knew I’ve definitely noticed some lag in my ability to do math equations. Then again, it could just be my brain saying “defer to the computer that you carry around with you, it’s literally built for doing things like this.” If I’m using my phone and tablet to look things up, couldn’t I just use it to get smarter?

Ever since Nintendo released its brain training games years back, tons apps have come out claiming to improve your brain function. They all generally claim to have some sort of proven scientific backing, and I don’t question it. There’s plenty of science that I don’t understand but trust is true. For example, did you know that fire can be extinguished with sound waves? I have no idea how it works, and neither do scientists, really, so technically I think that makes me as smart as a scientist. Still, I’d like to be smarter – or at least feel smarter. So I went into the App Store and grabbed the app that seemed best equipped to increase my brain to Brainiac proportions. Fit Brains Trainer seemed to be the best bet. It came with thousands of positive reviews, the top spot in the education charts for 80 countries, and endorsements from the New York Times, CBS, Women’s Health, and Discover Magazine. $10 bought a year’s worth a brain exercises.

One of the things I liked best about Fit Brains Trainer had nothing to do with the activities in the app. The promises in the app description are so shamelessly brazen that you’d think it was less of an education app and more of a miracle drug. “Our users have reported the following benefits: Improved memory and recall, deeper concentration, clearer and quicker thinking, stronger problem solving skills, positive mood changes,” it claims. You’ll be smarter, happier, grow several inches, get a raise, suddenly have six-pack abs, and always smell like a warm spring breeze! What could possibly go wrong here? This is already the best $10 I’ve ever spent and I haven’t even started my training.

Before diving into Fit Brains Trainer, I thought it was only right to test my intelligence objectively elsewhere. (The app has a tracker built into it that will show you have much you’ve improved, but it’s difficult to survey it in any way outside of the app insisting it’s making you smarter.) To attempt to be scientific, I took an IQ test online, which I can guarantee is entirely accurate (I really can’t). After answering some questions about numbers and how to make different shapes out of hexagons and spelling things backwards, I received my score: 121. How accurate that is, I don’t know. But when the website asked for an email address, I gave it a fake one and when it tried to get me to purchase a “Complete Personal Intelligence Profile,” I clicked “no,” so I can’t be that dumb.

Fits Brain Trainer never told me I was an idiot. But it let me know that I needed some work. After my first go at a few training games – matching pairs of shapes, identifying an object by its shadow, and determining which grouping of coins was more valuable – the app delivered my scores to me. Points are split among five categories: concentration, problem solving, memory, visual, and speed. You add up your score from all five and you get your total. Through my first play through of every category, I was sitting at a total of 330 points. I was particularly good at visual cues and impressively bad at everything else. Memory was my weakest, followed by problem solving.

I would have guessed concentration to be my weak point. I mean, I started writing this article, then got up for a bit to check where the cat was. If a bird flew by, I’d never finish.

If you look at Fit Brains Trainer as a game – and to some degree that’s what it is – then it’s really a grind. You do the same activities over and over, usually producing similar results, and incrementally adding points to your score. Those points add up might-eee slowly. Even an exceptionally great performance – setting personal high scores in every training category – only gained me a whopping 29 total points to my brain index score. The scale goes to 1,000, and swinging scores in the 20 range was far less common than a 5 to 10 points gain. Needless to say, maxing out your score may be less of a work of intelligence and more one of endurance.

There are a total of 10 games in Fit Brains Trainer: Matching Pairs, Coin Calc, Missing Pieces, Shadow Shapes, Quick Blocks, Spot the Difference, Paint Drops, Stacked Discs, Speed Sort, and Perfect Patterns. Every game has three difficulty levels: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. You unlock an increased challenge by performing particularly well in a the game. None of them get to the point of overwhelming difficulty.

These aren’t like carnival style games that are made for you to keep spending money until you eventually receive a prize that isn’t worth 1/10th of what you spent; These games are designed for you to win. After my week of brain training, I reached the advanced level in two categories, both visual related. I never passed beginner in any of the concentration games and fell short of reaching intermediate in a speed and memory game as well.

If anything, I felt like I got worse at a few of the games. Like those homework assignments that I didn’t think were helping me, though, it was the games that I didn’t care for that caused me the most struggle. You’re not playing anything for long in Fit Brain Trainer – just 60 seconds at a time – but there’s a threshold for how interesting counting drops of paint can be – yet more proof that my concentration score was artificially inflated.

Other games I definitely noticed an improvement in, but I started to wonder if I was cheating at them to some degree. There’s a memory game that flashes several objects, then shows you more objects than the initial flash and asks you to pick out which ones weren’t there before. The first few times I played this game, I tried to remember what objects I saw first. Then I noticed that the original objects don’t move so I just had to remember where they are not what they are. Either this means I outsmarted the game and therefore should be receiving bonus points or I was totally over-thinking things initially. It felt like I found a loophole in the game’s logic.

According to Fit Brains Trainer, though, I showed improvement every time I played. So much so, in fact, that the app finally gave me an actual ranking: Average. I didn’t notice this until looking back at the screenshots, but if your score is below a certain level the game just tells you to “Train All Areas.” This is the game’s way of calling you stupid.

By the end of my week of training, I increased my Fit Brains Index to 447, a 113-point increase. Visual tests continued to be my strong suite, memory got a significant bump and increased by over double my original score, my problem solving and speed increased considerably, and concentration almost stayed exactly the same. (It takes a special kind of concentration to remain so steadfast, I’d argue.) Except for the stagnant concentration score, I improved my totals in every category. According to Fits Brain Trainer, I was finally sufficiently average.

Even though my score went up according to the app’s internal scoring, it’s hard to say if I accomplished anything. For the most part, the games felt like menial tasks. I got better at the challenges, sure, but rarely am I asked to identify numerical patterns. The only other place that I had been asked to do that recently was my IQ test. And now that my training was complete, I could return to the test and see if I improved. If I were to receive any of what I was initially promised, I’d either score a little bit better or I’d do the same or worse but feel better about it because of Fit Brains Trainer’s ability to provide positive mood changes. It’s a win win.

Returning to the site where I took the initial IQ Test, I went to re-take the exam and was denied because I already took it. This website would have scored highly in the memory category of Fit Brains Trainer. No matter, after (cleverly) opening a Chrome Incognito tab, I was able to take the test again. The only problem was that the questions were exactly the same. Because I never paid to see the full results, I didn’t know what the right answers were for sure, but I had already done the match on the difficult questions and remembered what some of the answers were (a surefire sign my memory had improved, no doubt). I went through with the test anyway, just to see what would happen. I finished with a score of 129 on my second go round.

So did Fit Brains Trainer actually make me any smarter? It’s hard to say, exactly. By the measurements provided in-app and by the third party test that I took, yes, I am somewhat smarter than I was a week ago. Even if the games aren’t all that fun, it’s hard to deny that challenging your brain to think in ways that it doesn’t normally probably has some sort of positive effect. It definitely didn’t make me feel any dumber (commentators on this article are sure to take care of that for me), but it doesn’t deserve points for that.

If the results are quantifiable in any real way, it’s this: After a week of playing with Fit Brains Trainer in hopes of getting smarter, I will likely continue to do a daily training session. It’s not particularly time consuming and it isn’t hurting anything. As someone who is usually pessimistic, this is a pretty positive outlook from me. Maybe this thing works after all.

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