Do you enjoy word games? There are many to pick from : crossword puzzles, letter jumbles, word searches, etc. Word games are a fun way to pass the time, and many of us play word games regularly as a way to keep the brain sharp.
Does doing the daily crossword puzzle really improve your memory? The answer is: not was much as you might think.
Word games tend to be stimulating for the brain when you first start doing them. Crossword puzzles, for example, help to improve your vocabulary and challenge your brain to think about language in terms of letter count, abstractions and comparisons.
The novelty you experience when first doing crossword puzzles is a good recipe for brain exercising. But something happens after doing crossword puzzles for a little while as you start to become good at them! You start remembering all of the three letter words; you develop strategies and recognize repeating patterns. Your brain naturally adapts to the task and because of this, the task becomes easier.
Unless you diligently challenge yourself with harder and harder crossword puzzles, you are unlikely to experience the same kind of vigorous brain work out you received when first starting.
Posit Science has created a free word game called Word Wanderer that is specifically designed to overcome this issue for brain fitness. Word Wanderer’s key difference versus other word games is that it uses intelligent adaptive measures to ensure that you train at your own personal threshold, the uppermost edge of your skill level.
Word Wanderer is designed to adapt quickly to your skill level, so that you do not waste too much time working at skills that are either impossibly challenging or trivially easy. The game increases the difficulty so that you are typically training at threshold which means that you are constantly working your brain. As soon as you master a task, the program makes the task more difficult to encourage your brain to build stronger and more refined neural pathways. [To play Word Wanderer, click here]
You might compare the process to lifting weights. Imagine that you begin to lift five-pound weights. At first, it seems difficult, or even impossible. But after a week or two, your arms grow stronger and lifting the weights becomes easier.
Soon, it is no trouble at all. At that point, you have to switch to heavier weights to build even stronger muscles. Similarly, in Word Wanderer you start with four letter tiles. As your brain gets better at the task, you are challenged with additional letter tiles; at the highest level you must use seven letters before time runs out.
The key to engaging the brain machinery is learning. The brain must constantly be challenged with new tasks in order to forge or strengthen these neural pathways.
Word Wanderer is not only fun, but designed to engage the brain in a way that encourages positive change by keeping you at your own personal threshold during every turn. This adaptive component is critical in promoting brain fitness and not routinely found in online word games.
To play Word Wanderer, click here.
This article was written by our friends at Posit Science – a leading brain fitness company providing effective, non-invasive tools that engage the brain’s natural plasticity to improve brain health.