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Improve your fluid intelligence with BetterBrain Lite

Fluid intelligence is the ability to reason and solve new problems independently of previously acquired knowledge (see also the reference which shows that the memory task you can train with this program may improve your fluid intelligence). With this free iPhone app you can practice the dual n-back training task for this purpose.

What is new in this version?

  • Minor improvements

How to train

BetterBrain Lite in progress

When you push the Start button you will see a blue square randomly showing up on a 3 × 3 grid and simultaneously you will hear a random letter. Your objective is to push the Audio button when the letter you heard last was the same letter as the one you heard before the previous one. Your other objective is to push the Visual button when the square you currently see is at the same position as the square you saw before the previous one. See the example below for a typical sequence of events.

2-back task

Important: You need to detect the same letter or the same position of the square two steps back in the past, not only one! This is called the 2-back task.

Note that you might need to push the Audio- and the Visual button simultaneously - or at least before the next letter is announced respectively the square changes its position.

Your score

A counter in green increases whenever you were right, i.e. you pushed the button when it was necessary. A counter in red increases when you push the button when it was not necessary or you missed pushing it when it was necessary. Your total score is the sum of all green points you earn minus the sum of all errors (red points) you made or zero, whatever is larger.

At the bottom you see the following:

  • Your high score (High)
  • The training step (Step)
  • The success ratio (Ratio) showing the percentage where you gave the correct response
  • The remaining points that can be earned (Left)

Visual feedback

You will get visual feedback on the left part of the screen for the audio portion and on the right part for the visual portion of the training. If you push the correct button you will see a green check-mark flashing while for incorrect button pushes a red cross will briefly show up.

Settings and training channels

Please note that on the Settings screen you will only be able to change the audio volume for each level. Further changes are only possible if you upgrade to BetterBrain.

Also note that the lite version only features the standard Audio and Visual training channels.

With the Show button you can display various leaderboards and your achievements. With the Reset score button you can reset the high score and / or your achievements. BetterBrain Leaderboards BetterBrain Achievements

Exporting your results

With the Export button on the Settings screen you can email a log of your training sessions to yourself. The log is a table of tab separated values suitable for import to Excel so that you can analyze your training progress in more detail. BetterBrain Lite Settings

You can also copy the log file directly to your computer if you plug in your device to your computer and start iTunes. In the document section for BetterBrain you will find a file with the name betterbrain_export.tsv which you can save to your computer and process further.

Example

Step 1: You see square top left and hear the letter A.
You should touch no button, i.e. nothing.

Step 2: You see square bottom left and hear the letter C.
You should touch no button, i.e. nothing.

Step 3: You see square top left and hear the letter D.
You should touch visual button, i.e. Visual because in step 1 the square was at the same spot but the letter was different.

Step 4: You see square middle right and hear the letter C.
You should touch audio button, i.e. Audio because in step 2 you heard the same letter but the square was at a different spot.

Step 5: You see square top left and hear the letter D.
You should touch audio and visual button, i.e. Audio and Visual because in step 3 the square was at the same spot and you heard the same letter.

Step 6: You see square bottom left and hear the letter C.
You should touch audio button, i.e. Audio because in step 4 you heard the same letter.

Step 7: You see square middle right and hear the letter A.
You should touch no button, i.e. nothing because in step 5 the square was at a different spot and you heard a different letter.

Reference

Susanne M. Jaeggi, Martin Buschkuehl, John Jonides, and Walter J. Perrig: Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory

BetterBrain features

Upgrading to BetterBrain with the Buy Upgrade button gives you the following:

  • Enable n-back for n larger than 2
  • Make settings for each level fully customizable
  • Additional training channels (shape, color, audio-position, musical organ tone, ...)
  • Re-arrange training buttons by Drag & Drop
  • Ability to store settings in the iCloud for easy synchronization with multiple devices
BetterBrain buy upgrade

Troubleshooting

In case audio does not work, do the following:

  • Perform a restart of your device by powering it off and on again. This typically solves the problem. Otherwise:
  • Make sure that audio works in principle by trying it out in other applications.
  • Check on the settings screen that the volume is not zero. When you change the volume slider you should hear the default letter A.
  • In some cases earphones work while the built-in speaker does not.