July 20, 2020


If you’re a BrainHQ user, you might have wondered about some of the exercises. Why do the syllables sometimes sound strange in Memory Grid? Why do you tap on the wrong images in Freeze Frame? Why does telling which bars go in or out in Visual Sweeps help exercise your brain?

If you have a question like this about any of the exercises, check out this section of our website. There’s a dedicated page for each exercise detailing the scientific purpose and design. You can find the answers you’re looking for there!

Best regards,

Jeff Zimman
Posit Science

Breakthrough in Alzheimer’s Diagnosis
Scientists have developed a promising—and simple—blood test for accurately diagnosing Alzheimer’s, something doctors have long wanted. What’s more, the test can detect changes in the brain 20 years before outward symptoms appear. While the test probably won’t be available for a few more years, this research represents a real step forward in the fight against Alzheimer’s. As one scientist noted, “you can’t treat the disease without being able to diagnose it. And accurate, low-cost diagnosis is really exciting.” Learn more.

Some Words Are More Memorable Than Others
Scientists have discovered that it’s easier for people to remember certain words in memory tests. But why would words like “tank,” “pig,” and “doll” be easier to remember than “street,” “cat,” and “cloud”? Find out.

Physical Stress at Work Affects Brain Health
The average person spends a lot of life at work—so perhaps it is no surprise that the type of work we do can affect brain health. In a recent study, researchers found that physical stress at work—things like lifting heavy boxes—was associated with poorer memory and faster brain aging. Learn more.

Protect Your Brain with Flu Shots?
Two new studies show something pretty surprising: that getting flu shots and/or a pneumonia vaccine may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. The studies looked at thousands of people and matched them for other lifestyle factors. Those who had gotten flu shots reduced their risk of Alzheimer’s by 17-30%, while those who had the pneumonia vaccine before age 75 reduced theirs by 25%. Learn more.

Rethinking Mental Illness
For decades, doctors have classified mental illnesses into distinct categories, like “depression” or “obsessive-compulsive disorder.” But increasingly, psychiatrists are coming to the conclusion that categorizing mental disorders in this way doesn’t work, because the lines between the disorders are far too blurry. How are scientists rethinking the roots of mental illness for a better framework—and better treatment? Find out.

Book of the Month
From Here to There: The Art and Science of Finding and Losing Our Way (2020)
By Michael Bond

In this “beguiling mix of storytelling and science,” author Michael Bond explores the neuroscience of navigation. From early Homo sapiens to Polynesian sailors to modern-day hikers, Bond shares stories that highlight how humans use “cognitive maps” to navigate their world—often successfully finding their way, and sometimes getting dangerously lost. Both experiences have something to teach us. Learn more or buy on Amazon.