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Lisa Shea
BellaOnline's Computer / Console Game Editor


Brain Age Walkthrough -

I really really dislike his inane tips. They aren't bad the first time - but the 100th time they are REALLY annoying. Especially when you are trying to just get through 10 minutes of training before you have to catch a bus or something, and you waste half the time paging through his tip you've heard numerous times before.

1 - Your belly needs food doesn't it? Well so does your brain! And breakfast is key! A morning meal helps your brain run better. Your brain is usually at its best in the morning. So let's make sure it has the energy or carbohydrates that it needs! [Lisa comment - This tip SUCKS. I am a low carber; I know many diabetics. They can't HAVE carbohydrates. Your brain doesn't need carbohydrates, it needs fuel, which can come just as nicely from scrambled eggs and sausages. He's saying you can only eat Frosted Flakes?? Plus, he says your brain is at its best in the morning? Surely he's read the studies that show that many people are far more active and alert in the evening. This tip really, really bugs me.]

2 - You brush your teeth when you wake up, right? I hope you do! While you brush your teeth, try counting all the brushstrokes. This will help to wake you up and warm up your brain! [Lisa comment - OK this tip sucks too. We have an electric brush as do many of our friends, because they're better than manual brushes for keeping your teeth clean. Shall we count the buzzing noises? :)]

3 - The daily commute is a great brain training opportunity. Try to read all of the billboards and signs as quickly as you can. Doing so will help to activate your prefrontal cortex. But make sure to keep your eyes on the road if you're driving! [Lisa comment - OK, so only people who "ride" to work can use this one, which is, what 1% of the population? :) So far NONE of these tips apply to me or to many people I know. For someone who is brain-smart, you'd think he'd start with tips that all of us could actually use.]

4 - Look at people on the street and try to guess how they are feeling, then put those feelings into your own words. Speaking imagined ideas puts many areas of your brain to work. [Lisa comment - Finally! A cool tip that applies to everyone! That only took them 4 tries :)]

5 - If your train or bus is so crowded you can't even open your newspaper, try reading all the advertisements instead. See how many you can memorize in thirty seconds. This is good general training for your prefrontal cortex. [Lisa comment - OK we're back to tips that only apply to people living in Tokyo or maybe New York City ...]

6 - Listen closely to the news on the TV or radio, and then try to summarize all the stories in three to four minutes. [Lisa comment - I read all my news online :) I suppose I could read all stories on CNN's homepage or something like that ...]

7 - Look around you and count all the numbers that you can see, then add, subtract, multiply, and divide them until you get an answer of one. Performing simple aristhmetic really wakes up your brain. [Lisa comment - ummmm, I'm not sure what type of a world he lives in, but the only numbers I see anywhere around me are 1:24, because it happens to be 1:24am. Luckily I can use 4 - 2 = 2, then 2 - 1 = 1. I guess I'm lucky!

8 - Walking around can also present brain training opportunities. Try counting the number of steps you take as you walk. Counting uses both the left and right prefrontal cortex hemispheres. [Lisa comment - Aha! I knew I was wasting money when I bought that pedometer!]

9 - Say, do you try to work or study with the radio or TV blaring away? This kind of multi-tasking splits your brain's focus and lowers efficiency. [Lisa comment - another over-generalization which is not always true. Now, when I try to work on writing articles while Bob watches Law & Order in the living room, I do get distracted because I begin to follow the storyline. However, when I listen to quiet classical music, it helps me stay rested and relaxed and I do my coding much more easily than without the music.]

10 - It's only polite to make eye contact when speaking to another person. Eye contact does two things. First, it improves your communication. And secondly, it gives your brain more information to work with. [Lisa comment - interesting thought. I'm shy so I don't tend to make eye contact. He forgets that there are a whole slew of social messages you give with eye contact, and that it might come across as flirtatious or even hostile if you stare at someone too much. Eye contact shouldn't be used as a mental game tool :)]

11 - Cell phones and e-mail have made our lives more convenient, but you can't rely on those tools alone. You must seize every opportunity for conversation! By engaging in dirct conversation with many people every day, you will be forced to use words and gestures that stimulate the brain. [Lisa comment - What if you're not a gesturing person? Some societies don't gesture much at all. As far as using words, heck, I know many people who have really intense discussions on the cell phone but don't have people locally they can talk to in the same way. I'd rather have a long meaningful discussion on a cell phone than to randomly talk about the weather with a local :) I do agree that live conversation whether by phone or in person is far more fun and engaging than email ...]

12 - Before you start to work or study, take a moment to prioritize your goals for the day. Such prioritization is actually very good brain training! [Lisa comment - Yup I do feel to-do lists are very helpful in life.]

13 - Imagining an image and then creating it is good for the prefrontal cortex. Painting a picture, for example, or sculpting something out of clay. Make sure that you create what's in your mind. Don't use a model! [Lisa comment - this is pretty fun, and I really do enjoy their drawing games that come up randomly in the game.]

14 - Think of the names of all the things around you, and then try to think of as many related verbs as you can. So, for the word "Pencil" you might think of "scribble" or "roll". [Lisa comment - interesting ... is a pencil roll like a Californian roll?]

15 - Even a large and noisy dinner party presents training opportunities. Try shutting out the loud hullabaloo of conversation and concentrate instead on the voice of one specific person. [Lisa comment - I suppose I do this all the time, it is a fun test of hearing.]

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