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Teen plays Stroop test on his smartphone

Mental Strength

The mind of a warrior is an enduring weapon that cannot be seized, stolen or appropriated

Mental Drills

The following apps can be used to experience cognitive strain, gain more awareness of your internal environment and/or practice mental skills.

  1. If you can feel cognitive strain, then you are actively growing your brain. If you mix cognitive strain (e.g., dual n-back, Strooptest) and physical strain (PT), you can grow new neuro connection and increase your number of neurons (brain cell). More brain cells and brain connections = faster processing speed.
  2. While you are engaged in a drill, notice where your mind goes when you make mistakes –do you waste time thinking about what you did or what your going to do instead of focusing on the task at hand. The more awareness you gain, the more consistent your performance can become.
  3. Use the drill to practice refocusing or task switching to help you automate mental skills like Flush-it Focus.

These mental drills can also be used with your family to encourage both mental skill refinement and family connection through shared experience. Children 6-10 may find some of the apps difficult or boring, kid friendly apps indicate apps that might suit this age range.

Working Memory Trainer:
Dual N-Back, N-Back, Nback
Dual N-Back, N-Back apps

3 apps that do the same thing. This app should be used once a day for as many rounds as you want to engage. Don’t feel like you need to do 20 to get training benefits. If you work out –strain your brain –a little every day, you will see improvements.

N-Back app

nbackapp allows for you to make more selections to make the task more difficult than other two apps

Larger working memory capacity is linked to:

  • Higher fluid intelligence –you can learn new stuff faster
  • More creative thinking
  • Better pattern recognition, problem solving, focus, & reasoning
  • Faster decision making
  • Less likely to choke under pressure

Dual N-Back is available on iOS and Android.

Decision Reaction Time & Impulse Control Trainer:
aa and aa2 by General Adaptive Kid Friendly
aa and aa2 apps

These apps give you a way to make a quick motor movement in an effort to hit a target. With practice you can refine your processing speed and motor control. These games force you to focus, choose when to shoot and execute that motor movement (tap). Though this is a tap not a trigger squeeze, you are exercising the same brain process as a shoot-no shoot situation.

aa is available on iOS and Android.

aa2 is available on iOS and Android.

Reaction Time Trainer:
Reaction Time Tests For Science
Reaction Time Tests For Science app

This app gives you a lot of different options for refining you decision point reaction time with congruent and incongruent information. This will force you to focus your attention, control your impulse and assess the information while also trying to react quickly. Choosing tasks with incongruency (the test is giving you irrelevant information you have to block out) is an additional cognitive strain and is a good idea to force your brain to focus on relevant information ONLY.

Reaction Time Tests for Science is available on iOS and Android.

Focus, Scan and Target Discrimination Trainer:
The Impossible Letter Kid Friendly
The Impossible Letter app

This app forces you to scan a lot of irrelevant information/distractors for one relevant piece of information as fast as you can.

This would be a good app to use as a part of physical training. Do a physical set, then see how many “boards” you can get through in 30-60s rest interval.

This will help you build the ability to direct your attention where and when you want.

The Impossible Letter is available on iOS and Android

Attention Control/Blocking out Irrelevant information:
Stroop Test & Stroop Effect Kid Friendly
Stroop Test & Stroop Effect apps

These apps forces you to ignore irrelevant (not important) information in order to see what’s important. You will be asked to report on the color of the font used in each word flashing in front of you.

This would be another good app to use with physical training.

Stroop Test is available on iOS and Android.

Stroop Effect is available on iOS.

Problem Solving and Attention Control:
Mastermind app

This game is a logic puzzle that could be used for task switching training. Do a physical task, then spend 1 minute on this task, then got to other task. The idea is to simulate interruptions and practice coming back to tasks with little to no lost time.

You can play one of several Mastermind games on iOS and Android.