March 23, 2006 4:56 PM PST

Online test calculates brain speed

As some researchers examine brain functions with advanced imaging technology, other scientists are measuring brain speed with the click of a mouse.

San Francisco-based Posit Science unveiled a program in recent weeks that tests how fast a person's brain can process information, based on his or her hearing speed.

"Auditory processing speed is important because much of the information we receive each day is communicated through sound--especially speech," according to Posit Science, which has developed software that promotes brain fitness. "The faster we can take in information accurately, the better we can keep up with, respond to and remember what we hear."

The 10-minute online test, at the company's Web site, measures how fast and accurately the test-taker can detect different sounds, by having the test-taker click on arrows. Once finished, the test-taker will receive a measurement of his or her brain speed, down to the millisecond.

In your 20s, the average speed of auditory processing is 68 milliseconds. That number jumps to an average of 87 milliseconds in your 40s and 106 milliseconds in your 60s.

Focus on brain research has been heightened in recent years with advances in technology that make it possible to determine everything from brain speed to emotional responses to Super Bowl ads. Posit Science, through its founder, neuroscientist and software entrepreneur Mike Merzenich, is concentrating on developing software programs that promote cognitive fitness and reverse the effects of aging.

Recent research findings show its brain fitness software, a computer-based training program, is having positive effects on elderly people. Seniors who participated in an eight-week training study with Posit Science showed improvement in neuron-cognitive function and memory, growing younger on average of auditory memory and attention by 10 years.

Still, the software to improve brain speed and memory isn't cheap. It costs about $500 for one PC. Or people can buy it bundled with a Dell Dimension 1100 computer for $1,000.

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32 comments

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Bain Speed Test
Small problem with this test is the differencec is people who have trained fast-twitch muscle responses, versus those who have not trained them.

This test simply checks ear-hand response without taking into account any disabilities, limitations and, most importantly, because it is being done online, net lag-times.

In other words, as any kind of valid neuromuscular response test - it's worthless as it is online, even if there is a ping relational test built into the signal/response timer. Lag can and will still confound it when one is measuring in milliseconds. And that's to say nothing of the lag time in processing that a person's computer might have due to overhead computing in the background due to other tasks, spyware, etc.

This "test" conforms to the 90% section of Sturgeon's Law.

Lee Darrow, C.H.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.leedarrow.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.leedarrow.com</a>
Posted by mstrhypno (49 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Well, did you test this????
I did.
The test doesn't check how fast you click the boxes, rather it tests how fast you can HEAR the changes and tell what the changes are.

To be sure, I left in the middle of the test, ate lunch, and came back, and got a better result than the first time.

So, I would suggest checking things out first.
Posted by Kaeles (1 comment )
Link Flag
That's what I thought at first too
I was clicking like a madman at first until I realized that it was checking whether you can differentiate between increasingly rapid bursts of escalating and descending pitches, not how fast you click the buttons.
Posted by nhandler (79 comments )
Link Flag
did you even take the test? dumba$$
there is no hand/brain response time
Posted by baswwe (299 comments )
Link Flag
100% wrong
you really don't have the slightest idea of how this test actually functions otherwise you would have realized that the speed is referring to the sounds in the test not how fast you are able to click... moron
Posted by joecef (2 comments )
Link Flag
100% wrong
you really don't have the slightest idea of how this test actually functions otherwise you would have realized that the speed is referring to the sounds in the test not how fast you are able to click... moron
Posted by joecef (2 comments )
Link Flag
What kind of brain speed does it take to spell?
If you access the site with a Mac, it says that the test is not
"compatiable" with Macintosh.
Posted by David McCarthy (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
spell?
I dont see it? I have a Mac, I got to the page. Maybe they fixed it. I dont like the fact that they dont have a Mac version, but your attempt at trying to be funny is weak at best. Just sounds petty.
Posted by a204801 (1 comment )
Link Flag
????
This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard about or tried. What about comprehension... isn't that more important... up down down up... waht a silly meassure.
Posted by yardbird420 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
silly? you must of not got too far in the test..
I couldn't keep up..
Posted by baswwe (299 comments )
Link Flag
????
This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard about or tried. What about comprehension... isn't that more important... up down down up... what a silly meassure.
Posted by yardbird420 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Post Scores here - 83 ms
83 ms, after lunch, tired, lots of my mind, age 32.


I'm going to retest in the morning, and then also retest another time with a good jolt of CAFFEINE.
Posted by baswwe (299 comments )
Reply Link Flag
59 ms , 2nd time, after coke Zero
practice or the caffeine?
Posted by baswwe (299 comments )
Link Flag
28 ms
I'm not bragging, that's the real result. My age's average score is 70, with top performers at 35. And it's 2:00am, and I haven't had caffeine. 8-]

So am I some sort of super-genius, or just a reeeealy lucky guesser?
Posted by kingskippus (9 comments )
Link Flag
25 ms second time though
8-/ I'm starting to feel really good about myself...
Posted by kingskippus (9 comments )
Link Flag
34
No joke! :)
Posted by DynaWerx (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Oh yeah, I'm 38 years old
:)
Posted by DynaWerx (4 comments )
Link Flag
29 milliseconds!
Score: 29 milliseconds
Age:27
Sex: Male
Occupation: Electronics Tech - Audio/Video Specialist
Time of test: 11:14pm 3-25-06 with headphones
Current "state of mind": 1 miller lite, 2 rum and cokes and 1 "special" cigarette.
Additional comments: I think it's a combination of my attention to sound frequencies as part of my occupation, in addition to my focus due to my current "state of mind". I will try again during other conditions to compare.
Posted by slacker43210 (1 comment )
Link Flag
you must enter a title for your message
Speed: 31 ms
Age: 21
Posted by quirK (53 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Score 32 at age 36 after fifth of Jagermeister
I scored 32 and I am 36 as of January and have drank almost a 750 ml of Jagermeister before taking the test. Yes I am very computer literate. But I think the average score is way to high unless these peaple are just about brain dead.
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
41 at age 64
Should have done better! But not bad for a geezer!! I wonder if musicians do better on this test?? I would think so.
Posted by motorgypsy (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
25, aged 29
I'm kinda surprised to have scored 25ms, right the first time I took this test. I don't know what this proves exactly, but I can tell you that it doesn't AT ALL mean that I have a memory to be envious of. I have to read books twice before they stick (same goes for movies), when people introduce themselves to me I immediately forget their names, and I get lost easily because I can't remember if I've been at a certain spot before.
Posted by P-Null (1 comment )
Link Flag
The scientists are actually very reputable
Using the net to measure response time seems gimmicky, and the
actual benefit to real life may be questionable, but the guys who
did the research and software design are very highly respected and
know their stuff.
Posted by mgreere (332 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Essentially a copy of Fast Forword....
... a Scientific Learning product which has focused on improving
auditory signal processing for the last 10 years. The exercises
are almost exact copies of Fast Forword's exercises. Fast
Forward uses an internet connection to the home office to
evaluate progress and schedule the appropriate next set of
exercises after each session. The copy seems satisfied with
letting the CD program control the operations.

Can't get a whole lot excited over a 'me too' program, especially
when the original does it better.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What's the difference between Hooch and Good Scotch?
Time. Shoot from the hip, ask questions later. Sounds like a great idea (if you're an idiot.)
Posted by spothannah (145 comments )
Reply Link Flag
this is stupid
this is stupid. why dont we all just take the Wonderlic?
Posted by davaal (74 comments )
Reply Link Flag
lol
I got 33. But I am 15, so I guess it is normal?
Posted by everwanted2 (28 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I got a 15 at my best, i'm 19 years old... think it's pretty ok :P
Posted by Joackim88 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Another cool brain test...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qOVZ0Zq2Hg
Posted by Thomas320 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
 

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