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Subject: A game to improve "working memory"? rss

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Scott Petersen
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My wife mentioned that she would like to improve her "working memory" and would be willing to try a game to do it.

The definition of "working memory" is very specific--I'm not sure if typical memory games apply(?).
Wikipedia Working Memory
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Rob Robinson
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dylan parker
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Sherlock not sure if thats what your after doesnt make much sense to me
 
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Jeff Thompson
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Would "working memory" equate to "brain burning" games? I say yes but didn't see any concrete explanation of the "training" mentioned in the articles.
 
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Mark Schlatter
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Not that I like the game, but Galaxy Trucker might be a good choice. You use your short-term memory to analyze upcoming cards and build your ship accordingly. You may also use working memory to analyze what ship pieces are currently out or built into your ship or haven't been seen yet. That information isn't used from round to round, so it's a new chance to work on short-term memory each time.

Now that I think of it, wouldn't any quick game that rewards card-counting (e.g. bridge, hearts, etc..) also work?
 
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Marshall Miller
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The Warren is a roleplaying game about intelligent rabbits trying to make the best of a world filled with hazards, predators and, worst of all, other rabbits.
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Because this is a theoretical construct that involves information manipulation rather than "worldly knowledge", most card games should work this type of memory. With card games, the relevant information changes from hand to hand but you have to remember, short-term, the cards played, what is trump, etc. and make decisions with the information "at hand." I'd recommend Tichu or Sticheln (because I think they're fun).

[edit] Almost all games load on (use) working memory, so which game isn't really so important if she just feels she should use it more. What single game loads most heavily on working memory is another matter.
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Ralph T
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Hmm... How about Mamma Mia! or Wool Rules? Both have memory components, Mamma Mia's is much stronger. Chicken Cha Cha Cha has the strongest memory components of all.
 
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Rebekah B
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Based on this:
Quote:
Working memory tasks include the active monitoring or manipulation of information or behaviors.

I would suggest games that involve rapidly changing states to which you have to react quickly, like Blink. In Blink, you have to remember your always-changing 3-card hand while responding to center piles that are also changing.
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J Knoerzer
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You are looking for games that one needs to take in and regurgitate ever changing information in fast way. Your best bet is a game called Rock the Beat. It is game were you need to quickely identify yourself and the someone else through preassigned hand gestures. Memory is important due to the speed you need to make the indenties (you don't have to time to look at what there call signs are). It focuses on working memory (short term memory) because most turns players change there identifing gestures, so you are unable just to commit each persons identity to long term memory.
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Chris Ferejohn
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Scanning through the Wiki article, the most cogent thing it says about *improving* working memory is:

"In Torkel Klingberg's 2009 book The Overflowing Brain, he proposes that working memory is enhanced through exposure to excess neural activation. The brain map of an individual, he argues, can be altered by this activation to create a larger area of the brain activated by a particular type of sensory experience. An example would be that in learning to play guitar, the area activated by sensory impressions of the instrument is larger in the brain of a player than it is in a nonplayer."

It sounds like making your brain think in new and different ways may be important, which makes me think:

1. You/your wife should try lots of different games that work in dramatically different ways.

2. You should focus on games that force you to think "differently". SET comes to mind immediately as a game you can train yourself to play well. Also the process of internalizing the symbols in something like Race for the Galaxy may be effective.

Of course, this is all based on a paragraph of a Wiki article and IANANP (I am not a Neurological Psychologist).
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Holly Petersen
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Problem solved: dual n-back iPhone game. I think things like that (think Brain Age for the DS) will be more helpful than a board or card game. I'm playing solely for the purpose of self-improvement and don't need or want the competition of others.

Love you, honeeeeeey!
 
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Marshall Miller
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hoppybunny wrote:
Problem solved: dual n-back iPhone game.

That sounds challenging, depending on what n equals. (n-back tasks show you a sequence of items and you have to respond to each with the item n number of items previous)

hoppybunny wrote:
I think things like that (think Brain Age for the DS) will be more helpful than a board or card game.

Why do you think one medium would be better than the other? I would think it would have more to do with the type of information than the way its displayed; though certainly electronic media are more regimented and could be ratcheted up to be more taxing.
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Marshall Miller
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The Warren is a roleplaying game about intelligent rabbits trying to make the best of a world filled with hazards, predators and, worst of all, other rabbits.
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Marshall is a Boston-based researcher and game designer.
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scottredracecar wrote:
I'm not sure if typical memory games apply(?).


One thing to note is that cognitive psychology/neuroscience make a distinction between working memory and spatial working memory. The classic memory game where you match pairs of cards laid on a table could incorporate spatial working memory (in which location is each item you've seen) while card counting would incorporate "regular" working memory (what cards have been played thus far). Just something to add to the discussion.
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