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I had never consciously played a brain game before. I had no idea such a thing existed, until issued the challenge to play one. After going to the Brain Games page at Prevention.com, I saw that the science behind the games is posted. Since I love to do research and learn all I can about a thing, this intrigued me. The science of brain games explains that we have to work our brain, as we do every other muscle in our body, in order to keep it fit. That’s all I needed…one more thing to exercise, as if all the jiggly parts of me weren’t enough.

I prepared to exercise my small amount of brain matter. “This shouldn’t take long!” I said to myself. I was ready to go. “The game Split Words sounded good to me. I love Boggle, Scrabble, and other word games, so this sounded fun. I was to make words from fragments of words that were displayed on a grid. All of the words fit into a specific category. The science stated that by learning to retrieve words from our memory would help us to use them in conversation or writing. Agility of vocabulary, that’s what they call it.

I clicked on the start button. Languages was the category; as in languages of the world. Being as I can barely speak Tennessean, it wasn’t pretty! The only words I was able to retrieve from my memory from this lame game were “dumb,” “and,” and “dumber.” I am not a quitter so I tried again, using a higher level of difficulty. Go figure my logic. I found that I knew a little more about commerce than I did about languages. This game bored me, so I moved on to a new one.

Secret Files was the next game. It didn’t take me long to find the drawers that I was to file the words in, but they wouldn’t fit in the drawer. I couldn’t grasp why they thought it so important to put like words in like files. It wouldn’t allow me to put the word “jitter-bug” in the same file as the word “exterminator.”  It made perfect sense to me.

Pandara’s Boutique intrigued me. I love to shop, so this should be a cinch. Concentration, executive function, and visual spacial skills were the skills that this game would sharpen. Bingo! I made 100%. No surprise there. I could spot the sale tags in under a second, find cracked pots, and match Bonsai Trees to my matching kimono’s content.

Street of Dreams teaches you to match categories of words. You have to put a car into the house that matches the word on the screen. Some houses are labeled by category and some are not. You have to guess what category the non-categorized houses are, and place the car in the right one. For every one that you get correct, you get to add on to your dream home. Mastering this skill is supposed to enable you to compose lists in your memory, such as grocery lists, what to pack for vacation, etc. I already have those ingrained in my brain. Ice-cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, and cherries for the former, and swim suit, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a good book for the latter. However, if you need help with this game, I can get you a beautiful car with an artichoke in it.

What I learned from three hours or so of playing brain games is that they are addictive, that I can organize things in my brain, have great executive skills, that I need to learn a few more languages, and that I need to hire an assistant to do my filing.

For more health and fitness tips go to http://www.buzz.prevention.com/community

6 thoughts on “The Amazing Brain Game

  1. Pam, my husband and I have always wanted to try these brain games. Your report encourages me to go from thought to action! Thanks for the first-hand share.

    Happy Weekend,
    Joyce

  2. Thank you, Pam!
    My poor old brain could use a few games to get it kick-started. I’m losing names and words and, as I often say, the synapses aren’t firing like they used to. So, I’ll head over to Prevention and get my noggin tuned up!

  3. Pam,

    It is interesting to find this post as my sister and I were just discussing games to keep the brain active as we age physically. We were thinking in terms of Mom, and some of these may be helpful for her, but we should also be thinking in terms of ourselves, I’m realizing.

    Great post!

    Claudia, the Happy Nutritionist

  4. I have to say that Dr Sally was right, those games are hard more than they look. However, they are fun especially when you are bored and have nothing to do and you dont wanna go out. Among my personal favorites are split words and Pandara’s Boutique (The panda bear make it looks like an easy game).

    So guys and gals, enjoy this brain workout and make your brain sweat.

    -John

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