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cognitivefun | 13 years ago Reply Link me
Profile updated (sort of)
You can now find some more interesting information about your overall test performance in the profile page. Along with overall scores for the tests (excluding the comparison tests for the dual n-back tests). The % difference is compared with an estimated baseline of untrained performance. A green background indicates % above average, and red for below. Thus, if it shows 15% green, then you are either responding 15% quicker and more precisely than the average.

Looking at the graph, the baseline is another estimate of the average, with the blue line indicating 100% of this average. A LARGER area indicates above average performance, and a SMALLER area means under. In short, then, you would want to increase this area as much as you can.

What is the reasoning behind the chart's groupings? The main ideas are covered briefly below; be warned, this may get boring.

The chart is divided into five axes: attentional, executive, perceptual, working memory, and item span. The astute reader will note that none of these areas are isolated tasks: improved attentional control and perceptual ability is expected to increase memory span and working memory, and the executive is responsible for pattern recognition as well as top-down memory control (pruning, if you will). It is impossible to simply work on one area at a time -- just as it is impossible to exercise one muscle, while ignoring the cardiovascular and respiratory impact (and pretty much the entire body), not to mention mental health!

I digress. In any case, the chart will provide you with an at-a-glance look at your performance across all the tests. Here are some test criteria (which you may guessed already) that are implicated with particular axes. Flanker and Go/no-go have top-down control elements, so they contribute to the executive. Reaction time obviously adds to attention. Digit span tasks adds to item span. n-back and PASAT add to memory, attention, and executive. Subitization/counting adds to perceptual. This breakdown is simplified, and is meant to give you an idea of how these tests are categorized.

I must reiterate that these numbers and figures are for your reference and (perhaps) amusement only. They will hopefully tell you something about your brain, but as these tests are done in mostly uncontrolled settings (you might have just got out of bed, or drank 5 cups of coffee), do not read these as any kind of conclusive measurement. I will not be held responsible for any resulting action if you do. By the way, any kind of measurement about the brain that seems to aggregate task performance across multiple mental tasks should be treated with a good dose of skepticism, no matter what they are called: x-quotient, y-index, z-point.
cognitivefun | 13 years ago Reply
How do you establish initial measurement? Just first result, or average (or minimum) of first (say) three?

In case of unfamiliarity with the task, the first result might be much worse than average of 3.
bovinebrain | 13 years ago Reply
That's very sharp of you. It's the average of up to 3. This also means that the average is an underestimation, which is actually the initial average, and not running average. This is so that people can see how much they have improved since they started.
cognitivefun | 13 years ago Reply

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