New to BrainHQ, and want to know more? Below are some of our most frequently asked questions.
What is BrainHQ?
BrainHQ, the interactive brain training program built by Posit Science, is your online headquarters for working out your brain. Think of it as a personal gym, where you exercise your memory, attention, brain speed, people skills, intelligence and navigation instead of your abs, delts, and quads. Just as our bodies require care and exercise over the course of life, so do our brains—especially as we age. BrainHQ provides the exercise your brain needs to be at its sharpest.
The BrainHQ exercises grew out of earlier award-winning Posit Science brain fitness programs, including the Brain Fitness Program and InSight. While the BrainHQ site is new, the exercises are uniquely proven in 100+ studies in healthy aging on healthy aging.
Who is Posit Science?
Posit Science is the company that built and runs BrainHQ. The company was founded by Dr. Michael Merzenich, a neuroscientist at the University of California at San Francisco. Its staff includes multiple experts on the brain and an advisory board of dozens more. Learn more about the science behind BrainHQ.
Posit Science’s original products include the Brain Fitness Program for auditory processing and InSight for visual processing. Drivesharp, a brain training program focused on the cognitive skills essential to safe driving, is offered by several auto insurance companies partners to their customers.
What benefits can I get from using BrainHQ?
Improving your brain’s performance has the potential to bring countless benefits to your everyday life. Both science studies and customer stories show BrainHQ speeds up thinking, sharpens attention, and enhances memory—and these benefits lead to myriad others, from safer driving to feeling more confident in conversations. If you’d like to read about benefits our customers have seen, visit our proven in lives section of the website. Learn about the 12 of the most common benefits of BrainHQ. For a description of science studies and their results, visit our published research section of the website.
How does BrainHQ achieve these benefits?
Cognitive scientists from around the world have brought their best ideas to BrainHQ and look to make each part of every exercise as powerful as possible. More than 100 patents cover the technologies in the BrainHQ exercises, so explaining how they work in a comprehensive manner is daunting.
Simply put, however, the exercises are based on a handful of powerful ideas. Unlike previous cognitive training, they do not try to fix a problem by practicing it—they don’t improve memory by practicing memory. Instead, the exercises start with elemental cognitive function by first improving the speed and accuracy of your sensory perceptions. This becomes the foundation for improved attention. Improved attention is the building block of working memory, and working memory is the building block of much else—immediate memory, delayed memory, episodic memory, executive function, reasoning, speech and language, visual-spatial skills, and so on. No one has taken this complete bottom-up approach to cognitive training before.
In addition, our scientists are experts in brain plasticity, the ability of the brain to re-wire and change. Each exercise draws on what experts have learned in recent years about driving change in the brain. Training must be focused on improving speed to meet real-world conditions; it must intensively and progressively improve accuracy; it must adapt continuously and minutely (by thousandths of a second) to each person’s performance; it must be designed so the task gradually generalizes to real-world experience; it must be engaging in a way that stimulates neurotransmitters (chemicals in the brain that enhance attention, learning and mood) and that brings you back to do the exercises again and again.
Is BrainHQ proven to work? Have studies been published?
Yes. Dozens of journal articles report the impact of Posit Science brain training exercises on normal aging adults. These indicate that the Posit Science technology in BrainHQ not only improves key standard measures of cognitive function (including speed and accuracy of processing, attention, and memory), they also improve key standard measures of quality of life (including health-related quality of life, feelings of control, depressive symptoms, and functional independence). The studies meet the gold standard for study design: they were blinded, randomized controlled trials (the same study design used in drug trials), had statistically significant results, and have been published in peer-reviewed journals. The vast majority were conducted by independent researchers with no financial support from Posit Science. View these studies in our published research section of the website.
This level of proof is unique about brain fitness companies. While other companies sell brain training products, few have undergone any clinical testing, and, to date, no others have been subjected to these multiple independent, peer-reviewed studies. Additional studies are currently underway.
How much does BrainHQ cost?
You can use the first levels of select exercises in BrainHQ absolutely free of charge. You can use them as often as you like, for as long as you like. However, if you’d prefer to access the full range of BrainHQ’s exercises and benefits, you may pay a monthly charge of $14 or an annual charge of $96. To purchase a subscription, click here.
How much time does BrainHQ take?
BrainHQ is designed so that you can spend as little as two minutes to as much time as you like in it at any given time. Any training is better than none! A good rule of thumb is to follow the basic guidelines for physical exercise: use it at least three times a week for 30 minutes each time.
How do I know which exercises to use in BrainHQ?
Think about what you most want to improve: your Memory, Attention, Brain Speed, People Skills, Intelligence, or Navigation. Start with the exercises in that category. Please note, however, that the exercises are complementary, and working in one category will likely enhance benefits in another domain. We often recommend that people begin with Brain Speed, since increasing the speed with which the brain can work with information is the foundation for all other cognitive skills.
What are the BrainHQ exercises?
There are many BrainHQ exercises, separated into six categories: Memory, Attention, Brain Speed, People Skills, Intelligence, and Navigation. To learn more about these categories and the individual exercises in them, click here.
How do I know when I’m done with BrainHQ?
It’s all about your personal brain health. When you reach your goals—whether that’s a better memory, sharper focus, more self-confidence, or something else—you can take a break from BrainHQ. Studies show that positive effects can last as long as five years! As soon as you feel like you need a refresher, go back to BrainHQ.
How do I know if BrainHQ is right for me?
Almost all adults can improve in the brain functions that BrainHQ trains. The program’s exercises adapt dynamically to skill level, so your brain is always challenged to improve.