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The things that I enjoy in a game are repetition, speed and simple strategy. I guess that dnb has the first two. When I started playing it I think I found it 'intriguing,' as it felt so odd to play. What I enjoy about it now is the way in which it highlights my distracting thoughts and pushes me to disregard them - this can be relaxing after a tough day at work.

Yeah, sure - I couldn't remember what I may have said earlier.

I have been using the cognitivefun site and, more recently, which permits me to do more than 9-back. There is a multimodal version at that I also occasionally use.

I would use the downloadable Brain Workshop but am running an inflexible OS on decrepit hardware and do not have the wit to get it to work.

You may do, but you might end up including me twice, as I have posted similar thoughts elsewhere, under a different name (cev).

Hi, well this is just from personal experience so ymmv, but I've been playing the game off and on for the past two years and am convinced of positive effects.

I do know that, beforehand, I had never been able to study for protracted periods of time and enjoy the experience - for me, studying had always been a fight against intellectual and physical restlessness (=restless legs, itching, shifting about on my seat). DnB seems not only to permit me to sit down and focus for long periods, it actually makes me want to study - I feel compelled to learn and get annoyed if prevented from doing so. And when I do study, I can now put in serious hours (typically three or four chunks of 2 1/2hr blocks).

I'm sure that this sounds somewhat implausible, but there have been many occasions on which I have been overwhelmed yet again by the determined demons of dilettantism and distraction only to remember what I had let slip from my routine.

I would not be so sure of positive effects if, after having trained for a few days, I had suffered an exacerbation of symptoms, but this has not occurred.

The simplest explanation that I can think of is that it is the only activity that forces me to use the entirety of my attention, encouraging me to eliminate distracting thoughts (as in meditation?) whilst also providing a tightly-defined focal point (the stimuli in space and time) and overarching purpose (to find order (as organizing my impressions helps me remember)). Perhaps this is where my feelings of increased purposefulness come from: the game trains me generally to enjoy drawing connections, and I begin to want to organize the world around me.

Yeah, that looks fine.

After having suffered procrastination and possible ADD symptoms for a long while (I left revising for my Finals exams to the evening before each paper, two months after most others), I have recently begun to find some strategies that work for me. In fact, they work so well that I decided to quit my job for a year to capitalise on my new-found capacity for hard study and upgrade myself.

  • Think it, do it: as soon as I become aware of something that needs to be done and can be done (without major disruption), then I do it right away. This frees up working memory, saves on paper and, to an extent, cuts down on guilt (as that process by which things to do come to my conscious awareness is not taken to be under my control) +7

  • Monomania/monoidealism. If I want to learn something quickly, then I aim to do nothing but what needs to be done. Then it becomes very easy to spot off-task behaviour in myself. +8

  • Create addiction: monomiacal focus on something can lead me to become dependent on it, usefully so. +4 (this seems to work better with some activities than with others)

  • Create shame (of my lack of mastery). Can be stressful, but is useful for eliminating smugness and setting very high goals. I guess that this is a variation on being watched, except that I always imagine myself being observed by sneering experts. (it is always a pleasant surprise subsequently to meet the concrete instantiation of these experts and find that they are reasonably reasonable people) +6

  • Be my own guinea pig ('being Seth Roberts'?): I refer to my brain in the third person and aloofly set and assess the effects of programs of protracted periods of study. I can quite easily drive myself to the edge of burnout doing this (and consequently can now identify those feelings that anticipate it (in my case, feeling tearful, oddly-located headaches, mild disorientation). +5, as is reasonably high risk.

  • Perform like tasks. If I need to do slow, careful, focused work, then I avoid any work and play that is of unlike character. For instance, fast, careful, focused speed Scrabble is different enough to be deleterious. As for fast, haphazard, focused internet browsing, weeell... +6

  • Know what it is to 'work well'. I find it easier to get work done if I focus on maintaining the experience of working hard ie. immersion in the matter at hand, high cognitive load, high novelty and rehearsal rates, rather than consider the completion of tasks (as the latter can lead to drops in intensity, which undermines monomania/addiction). +6

  • Dual-n-back training. I can rely on this to drastically reduce anxiety, flightiness, improve concentration. It also seems to whet my appetite for intellectual work and increase purposefulness across the board. +8