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Child Neuropsychology A blog by Dr Jonathan Reed
  • Playing with working memory-Memorise

    I have just created a new game that involves working memory as part of the play.  The game is called Memorise and is available free on iTunes .  Memorise allows you to test your visual spatial working memory and to see if you can improve it over time.

    Working memory is the ability to hold information in mind in the short term and manipulate it.

    The reason I chose to develop a game involving working memory is the increasing body of research that shows that working memory can be improved with training and that improving working memory can have a wealth of other benefits.

    Examples in the research include:

    Working memory training can change brain function – see Olesen, Westerberg and Klingberg 2004

    Improve Fluid Intelligence (IQ) see Jaeggi et al 2008

    Reduce some symptoms in ADHD  see Klingberg et al 2005

    Help improve academic achievement see Holmes and Gathercole 2009

    and help individuals with brain injury see Johansson and Tornmalm 2012

    Developing visual spatial working memory seems to be particularly important and is associated with increased brain activity in Frontal and Parietal areas in childhood and similar brain network in adults

    Working memory training basically involves repeated practice at holding information in mind.  This can be boring but with Memorise I have tried to create a fun and motivating game that also produces benefits.  Memorise has some built in rewards to encourage your brain to carry on playing.  Memorise also adjusts according to your level, which reduces the sort of frustration seen in many similar games.   You can download the training report to monitor your performance over time and to see if you can improve your working memory ability.

    Memorise is a fun way to test your working memory and try and improve.  It is not a medical treatment.  If you have a medical condition and want a more detailed and clinically focused approach I would recommend trying the Cogmed program.

    Have fun and let me know how you get on.

    1 Comment

One Response to “Playing with working memory-Memorise”

  1. This is an interesting area of research-but there’s a lot of conflcting data out there. For example my research into cognitive overload suggests that working memeory is subject to limited visual/spatial and auditory activity if knowledge transfer is to occur. Also we simply cannot multi-task with WM-that’s one of the main reasons when we undertake any note-worthy activity like driving a car-we cannot text and drive at the same time! I know of no studies which contradict these findings; and the ones noted on this site all have to do with the of training the mind. The idea that one can train working memory to hold greater amounts of information is erroneous , as this isn’t how WM works.

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