Sharpness starts with the senses.
Our eyes, ears, and other sensory organs constantly send information to the brain. Our brains use this information to construct our experiences and memories, from the magnificent — a loved one’s face, a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, a wedding proposal — to the mundane — an acquaintance’s name, a grocery list, a drive to a nearby store.
The better we absorb this information, the better we can respond to it and store it, so that we can remember it and use it later.
That’s what mental sharpness is all about— having strong brain function that supports a variety of cognitive skills.
Our brains successfully absorb a lot of information. But for most of us—including almost everyone over age 40—our brains could do better.
Over time, the brain changes in ways that impede its ability to take in information as quickly, accurately, and clearly as it once did. These changes have widespread effects on thinking, focus, memory and much more.
Posit Science Brain Fitnessprograms increase the quantity of sensory information the brain takes in and improves the quality with which the brain processes and records this information.
This improvement has a ripple effect, improving “higher” functions of the brain that work with that information.
Think of it like a tree: healthy roots able to absorb plentiful nutrients and water make for a stronger trunk, shinier leaves, and more fruit. Posit Science programs strengthen the brain from the roots up.
This approach is different from many others, which provide compensatory strategies, teach the brain “tricks” to remember, or drill the brain on memory tasks.
Many scientific studies demonstrate that such a focus on caring for the fruit while ignoring the roots has limited benefits.
Beginning after age 30, three core trends begin to affect brain function. Over time, these have noticeable impacts on our memory, thinking, and focus.
1. Speed: Slower processing
Our brains gradually slow down—but the speed of information (sights and sounds happening in our life) coming in from the senses does not. Over time, the brain begins to miss details, making it more difficult to react to and remember what you saw or heard.
2. Accuracy: “Fuzzier” processing
Like the grooves of an old record, the brain’s neural pathways often get fuzzier, scratchier, or even distorted. When the brain records the static along with the important sensory information, memories are fuzzier and more difficult to process in higher cognitive functions.
3. Recording: Fewer neuromodulators
The brain uses chemicals called neuromodulaters to determine what information is important to record and process. With each passing decade, our brains produce fewer neuromodulators. A deficit of neuromodulators hinders the brain’s ability to record new information—in other words, its ability to learn and remember.
At first, people don’t notice problems in the moment because they (unknowingly) use context to fill in what they missed. In other words, we draw on our extensive life experience to “fill in the blanks” and make sense of information that is incomplete.
Although this compensatory behavior helps us in the immediate situation, it doesn’t improve the quality of the recording (the memory).
As the years pass, the gaps can become too big for context to fill in. When this occurs, it can be hard to catch and respond to the information even at the moment.
Caring for the roots
Posit Science Brain Fitness programs (and the SAAGE protocol they are built on) are designed to reverse these three root problems.
Their primary goals are to:
1. Speed up brain processing
2. Sharpen processing accuracy
3. Stimulate the neuromodulatory machinery that controls recording
Where does neuroplasticity fit in?
Our programs harness the brain’s inherent plasticity—its ongoing remodeling throughout life—and direct it in ways that enhance overall performance.
Given that the brain is the most complex machine on earth, this is no simple task.
Posit Science has invested in a Scientific Advisory Board of more than 40 scientists from leading universities because each one brings his or a unique expertise to the team.
Their collected contributions enable our programs to work on several levels, so that the brain changes in ways that contribute to a better functioning—and ultimately, better quality of life.
Generalization for a better life
The Posit Science roots-up approach emphasizes “generalization,” or the extension of benefits beyond the trained task. Here’s an example: Using a program in which you practice remembering a grocery list may help you get better at remembering grocery lists.
With Posit Science programs, you may not ever practice grocery lists. By exercising the roots of memory, however, you will likely find that not only can you remember grocery lists better, you can also remember conversations with your neighbor, deliverables at work, a movie you saw over the weekend, that word that is on the tip of your tongue and where you left your keys better.
These “generalized” changes are what improve quality of life.
Clinical Results in Healthy Adults
The results shown below come from studies in which the participants were healthy adults. Please note that additional studies are underway—check back for new benefits!
The Brain Fitness Program for Auditory Processing and Memory
* Increases auditory processing speed by 131%
* Improves memory by the equivalent of 10 years
Perhaps the most meaningful result of all is that 3 of 4 people report positive changes in their daily lives.
DriveSharp a Visual Program for Driving Safety
* Cuts crash risk by 50%
* Speeds up reaction time—drivers traveling 55mph can stop 22 feet sooner
* Reduces unsafe driving maneuvers by 36%
* Helps people keep driving over longer distances, under difficult situations (such as at night or in traffic), and with high frequency
* Helps drivers stay on the road longer
Study data also show that the DriveSharp technology is more effective in keeping drivers safe that classroom or behind-the-wheel driver safety training—and that improvements last longer.
Driving safely and with confidence has one benefit you might not expect: being a driver extends life expectancy. In fact, one study showed that older non-drivers were 4 to 6 times more likely to die than drivers over a 3-year period.
InSight for Visual Processing and Memory
All of the benefits described for DriveSharp also apply to InSight—DriveSharp’s “parent” program. In addition, clinical studies show that InSight:
* Directly changes how the brain works by increasing activity in the parts of the brain responsible for controlling attention
* Speeds up visual processing in 87% of people who train
* Helps people maintain their health-related quality of life (studied over 5 years)
* Helps people keep up with the demands of daily living (such as counting change and finding a phone number), improving their ability to maintain independence (studied over 5 years)
* Helps people maintain their zest for life by reducing the risk of depressive symptoms (studied over 5 years)
* Reduces the risk of tripping and falling
If you’d like information on the studies that came to these results, view our source list [on the site].
Purchase programs direct from Posit Science Brain Fitness.