Want a safe way to hack your brain? Try BrainHQ. BrainHQ is software (available via desktop computer and mobile app) to help train your brain.
Brain “hacking” is all the rage right now. The idea of brain hacking is that you can boost your brain capacity and become smarter and more competent through various type of brain “hacks.”
Some brain hacks involve taking pills, herbs, supplements, or stimulants to boost brain function. Others might include some seemingly odd practices, including electrical stimulation of the brain.
If you are looking for a safe, non-invasive way to improve your brain function, using software such as BrainHQ is one way of doing that. Certain games – electronic or otherwise – that are specifically designed to help make you smarter have been shown to help improve intelligence and memory.
How Does BrainHQ Work to Improve Brain Function?
BrainHQ offers a series of games that test and train your brain’s capabilities. The games are short, approximately two minutes or less, and they are designed to be fun and entertaining.
You do not compete against other people, only yourself.
You can manually choose which games you want to play, or you can let the software decide what the next best exercise would be for you, based on your previous performance.
According to Posit Science, the company that created BrainHQ:
“...the Posit Science technology in BrainHQ not only improves key standard measures of cognitive function (including speed and accuracy of processing, attention, and memory), they also improve key standard measures of quality of life (including health-related quality of life, feelings of control, depressive symptoms, and functional independence).”
You can access BrainHQ from your desktop computer or though an Android or Apple app.
Similar to guidelines for physical exercise, Posit Science recommends that you use BrainHQ at least three times per week for 30 minutes each time.
The 6 Different Types of Brain Exercises Offered by BrainHQ
BrainHQ offers six different categories of brain exercises. You can choose to focus on one type of exercise, but BrainHQ recommends that you work in all of the different categories. This is because improving your cognitive ability in one area can help support cognitive improvements in another area.
In fact, the categories often overlap. To have better memory, you need to be paying attention to what is going on around you, for example. And many of the People Skills exercises are really about improving memory.
The 6 different areas targeted by BrainHQ are:
We live in a world that in many respects encourages distraction. This is why learning how to improve your attention can help so much with school and work. Attention-building exercises in BrainHQ include: Divided Attention, Double Decision, Freeze Frame, Mixed Signals, and Target Tracker.
2. Brain Speed
Brain speed exercises are all about helping to train the brain to handle and process all the details coming at it as quickly and effectively as possible. BrainHQ has five different types of brain speed exercises, some of which focus on visual information and some on hearing: Eye for Detail, Fine Tuning, Hawk Eye, Sound Sweeps, and Visual Sweeps.
According to BrainHQ, when your memory fails, it is not because you don’t know how to remember things, it is because your brain needs to process information more clearly. Memory training helps to teach the brain how to more clearly record information for better retrieval later. Memory exercises in BrainHQ include: Hear, Hear; Memory Grid; Mind’s Eye; Rhythm Recall; Scene Crasher; Syllable Stacks; and To-Do List Training.
4. People Skills
What do “People Skills” have to do with improving brain function? Well, consider that being able to remember faces and names is all about memory as well as being able to distinguish between different but similar types of faces. Being a good conversationalist includes the ability to remember details of stories that you can then share later. The exercises under People Skills include Face Facts, Face to Face, In the Know, and Recognition.
According to BrainHQ, intelligence involves “the ability to call up, compare, and manipulate multiple pieces of information very quickly, all at the same time.” These games help you practice remembering and processing information quickly. The games to build intelligence include: Auditory Ace, Card Shark, Juggle Factor, and Mind Bender.
Navigation brain skills involve more than just reading maps. They include the ability to recognize and respond to hazards, following a sequence of instructions, and being able to process spatial dimenions in your head. BrainHQ’s navigation games include: Mental Map, Optic Flow, Right Turn, and True North.
Is BrainHQ Worth It?
While you can try out a few of the exercises for free, the full BrainHQ program has a fee, which is either around $15/month or around $95/year. This is a significant cost for an online app, so only dedicated brain hackers might want to use this program on a regular basis, despite its fantastic benefits.