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See what this brain game is all about and try it out yourself online HERE!

The Dual N-Back memory task involves two independent sequences are presented simultaneously, typically using different types of stimuli, such as one auditory and one visual. Letters or numbers are typically flashed in the sequences, the task requires the player to remind the location and whether the letter or number was repeated.

While I liked this no-bells-and-whistles straightforward exercise, my 13-year old son the other tester found the game too boring after only a few attempts. However, there are other dual n-back games FOR KIDS listed here.

recent study published in PNAS (a scientific journal) claimed that a particular memory task called Dual N-Back would improve working memory (short term memory) and fluid intelligence (gF). This finding is significant because fluid intelligence was previously thought to be unchangeable. The game involves remembering a sequence of spoken letters and a sequence of positions of a square at the same time.

It is thought that dual n-back tasks and training games will also enhance focus and attention and thereby help improve the symptoms of ADHD/ADD.

In addition to its ability to closely replicate the conditions of the original study by Jaeggi et al. (2008), Brain Workshop includes optional extended game modes such as Triple N-Back and Arithmetic N-Back. It also includes features such as statistics tracking, graphs and easy configurability.

Brain Workshop works on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Mac OS X and Linux.  PLAY an online version here or here.

If you are asking why is fluid intelligence is important? According to the Dual n-back website “Soak Your Head

“A person’s intelligence (as approximated by IQ or fluid intelligence-gF) is predictive of a person’s educational and professional success. People who score high on intelligence tests tend to do better in life. But strangely, before this research, intelligence hasn’t been conclusively shown to be affected by schooling or other social factors. This is surprising to most people. That isn’t to say that school isn’t important; it is crucial. It just doesn’t increase intelligence.” But the website says dual n-back training may improve a person’s intelligence.

History of Dual N-Back Training

The dual-task n-back task was first proposed by Susanne Jaeggi in 2003.

A 2008 research paper by Jaeggi et al. claim that practicing a dual n-back task can increase fluid intelligence, as measured in several different standard test. Science reported in 2009 that ’14 hours of training over 5 weeks’ led to measurable density changes for cortical dopamine neuroreceptors.


Brain Workshop websiteDual N-task

Jaeggi, S. M., Seewer, R., Nirkko, A. C., Eckstein, D., Schroth, G., Groner, R., et al., (2003). Does excessive memory load attenuate activation in the prefrontal cortex? Load-dependent processing in single and dual tasks: functional magnetic resonance imaging study, Neuroimage 19(2) 210-225.

Jaeggi,S.M. Buschkuehl, M. Jonides, J., Perrig, W.J. (2008) “Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memoryProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, (PNAS) vol. 105 no. 19

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