We rarely think of games as a form of workout, but it turns out that gaming can be useful for improving all sorts of cognitive skills. It makes sense; you're using memory, hand-eye coordination, executive functioning, spatial relations, and a host of other skills. That you're having fun while doing it is just a bonus.

CogniFit's premium brain training, available for $49.99 for a limited time, takes that to the next level, by pairing fun games with in-depth analysis to track your progress and keep your mind sharp while you play.

How It Works

CogniFit starts with a cognitive assessment to get an idea of your baseline. These can be specific, or they can be tailored to an age group, skill, or setting, such as academic cognition or driving.

Then, you dive into the suite of games that use specific cognitive skills, recommended based on your assessment. Number Lines, for example, looks at your visual scanning, short-term memory, and processing speed. The games are divided into five categories: memory, perception, reasoning, coordination, and attention. In turn, they're subdivided among specific skills, like visual short-term memory or processing speed. So no matter what, you're always cross-training your brain and learning how different skills emphasize different strengths.

You spend ten minutes a day playing the games, and, over time, CogniFit builds a profile of your skills and where to focus to improve, whether you want to generally be sharper or have a specific area like attention you need to focus on.

If you've got time to kill in a waiting room or before a meeting starts, you can practice your skills and have a little fun while doing it. Best of all, CogniFit can be used in a browser, on your iOS or Android device, or on Windows or Mac, so you'll never have to worry about having your phone charged up; the games are anywhere you've got a good internet connection.

Why It Works

CogniFit works because it starts with a scientifically validated model of your cognitive skills that can be applied in multiple situations, and not just for getting a sense of your overall acuity.

For example, the U.S. Navy was looking for a method to better assess fatigue in transportation crews. However, their methods didn't include an overall baseline to measure performance against; sometimes we all have a bad day, after all. The Navy used CogniFit as a Readiness Screening Tool (RST) to develop a baseline and learn each person's susceptibility to fatigue.

It's that baseline that's most important. Some of us are just going to be naturally better at some skills; if you're regularly playing sports, you'll have great hand-eye coordination, and if you're working in a busy environment with a lot to do, you need good executive functioning just to be effective at your job. That can make it difficult to detect declines in other skills, especially if you unconsciously use other ones to compensate for those deficiencies.

Similarly, as time goes on, our skills and competencies shift. The skills you used at your high school job aren't the same as the ones you're using now. The CogniFit profile will shift with you, so you can retain skills that you've developed in the past and keep away that "rusty" feeling.

CogniFit also adapts to varying settings and can even help you pick up different skills. Bright kids who simply need to practice focusing and paying attention can develop those abilities and have fun at the same time. If you're sick of breaking out the calculator app to figure out that tip, you can practice your mental arithmetic and leave the app closed. And at 58% off, it's a budget-friendly way to sharpen your facilities and have a little fun doing it.

Prices subject to change.

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