FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here are a few questions that are commonly asked, if you don’t find what you are looking for, please feel free to contact us.
When one of my closest relatives stopped driving, their self confidence and motivation evaporated, they no longer savored the joy of life and shortly after their physical health declined and daily care needs escalated. It was a sobering reminder that as our life span is extended by years, we need a happy and healthy brain to continue to value and share in life’s opportunities.
Since then I have continued to learn as much as possible about the emerging evidence of neuroplasticity and ways to keep our brain happy, fit and healthy throughout life. I was able to bring to this search my professional experience in the fields of education, disability and leadership/ management as well as a long-standing interest and practice in mindfulness meditation. The programs available at Mindnasium have been designed to bring together the latest research in neuroscience and computerized brain training methodologies and evidence based activities from positive psychology.
Yes! Practically anyone – unless a person is in the later stages of a form of dementia, these programs can help anyone of any age who wants to keep their mind in top shape for work, for driving, for social interactions, stress management and much more.
Think of your brain as being like a muscle. In order to see results, consistency is very important. The research recommends doing programs from three times to five times per week, for 20 to 30 minutes per session over 8 – 10 weeks or after reaching 10 – 15 hours of practice. Just as you would see greater physical benefit with 3 or 4 physical workouts a week than with 1 or 2, the same holds true with your cognitive fitness.
Although we use computer based training exercises we also use meditation, wellness activities and some games that do not use a computer.
We understand that it is important to provide variety and novelty. So depending upon your goals and values we will share with you information on lifestyle factors you can use to build brain fitness and ideas you can use to promote mind fitness and well being.
No previous experience with a computer is required as the programs are easy to use and assistance will be available in sessions as needed.
Assistance to down load a brain-training program on your iPad, home computer or laptop is available, at a small fee, to cover cost of home visit
Some sessions will be conducted at community facilities, like the local library so there is access to a computer and the Internet.
Alternatively, a short-term loan of a computer may be able to be organised.
Joining a group at Mindnasium may not suit everyone’s situation, but for those who are able to join a scheduled set of sessions, benefits include:
Friendly assistance with selecting and getting started with an individualized program. Research indicates that when trying something new it can helpful to have a mentor or guide;
Dedicating a set time and place in which to practice. Studies show people are more likely to stick to, and therefore benefit when a program is undertaken in a dedicated time/place;
Social interaction and enjoying the company of others who are on a similar journey is also a key component of brain health, so you are benefiting your brain in more ways than one!
If you opt to have individual sessions you may like to invite along a family member of friend to share the program sessions and join in the fun.
It depends on the individual and where his or her starting point is, and it also varies by how closely he or she adheres to the protocols of the particular program. Some people report noticeable changes in as little as one month.
Yes. Research has shown that some benefits of some exercises can be maintained from 3 months and in some instances up to 5 years after the original exercises. Scientists think this is because once cognitive skills have been improved, a person is likely to use that skill more often than before, and that usage helps to preserve the benefits.
Naturally there is a lot more investigation to be made since many of the programs are relatively new and it makes sense that, just like physical fitness, if you stop training and become sedentary, over time you gradually loose the benefits of the training.
It is certainly possible to select games from the Internet, but not all games are of equal standing. In addition the benefits offered through Mindnasium programs, such as well being activities, add real value to building brain fitness.
The IT games used at Mindnasium are purpose designed brain fitness exercises from Brain HQ (PositScience) who have had their exercises tested by independent researchers over multiple locations, using large sample sizes. Many of the studies of PositScience’s exercises have used blind and double blind randomized control design and the results have been published in peer reviewed science journals. These Brain HQ exercises have been specifically designed to engage a set of neural circuits identified to be relevant to a real life skill (like speed of processing, executive attention or working memory); require effortful attention; provide a challenge, have incremental steps in difficulty in response to successful performance and finally the exercise sessions have a prescribed dosage, so you know what practice is needed to achieve results. It is possible to have confidence that these programs will deliver cognitive improvements so that you can think faster, focus better and remember more in your everyday life.
Challenging leisure activities do have benefits, however it does depend on what you want to achieve and the time you have available. A recent study at the University of IOWA found that Brain Training Exercises Outperforms Crossword Puzzles The study is known as IHAMS and it compared PositScience’s cognitive exercises against crossword puzzles. Researchers reported in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE that the group using the computerized exercise for just 10 hours had significant gains in cognitive function, while the group doing crosswords on the computer for an equal amount of time had no significant improvements.
If you find you enjoy the exercises, you may like to continue practicing in that program or try a new program. Since the exercises adapt to you, they never stop being an effective brain workout.
When you sign up for a program with Mindnasium you will have a dedicated license to access a brain fitness program. After completing the program with Mindnasium, you may like to purchase your own license for home use, to continue with that program or possibly try other programs.
Please give us a call at Mindnasium and we will do our best to answer your questions.