Software: MINDFIT

MindFit is a computer program that has been specifically designed for adults who wish to actively maintain a vital, agile and vigorous mind. The program is designed for use on a Microsoft Windows based computer; it is easy to use and requires minimal computer knowledge. MindFit is based on scientific studies of the adaptability of the adult human brain which have shown that training can bring about an improvement in mental abilities. The software is geared to the adult population and instructions are given both as written directions and verbally. There is a self-assessment section followed by a training section with varied, challenging tasks.

The self-assessment takes about one hour and is divided into three sittings. The results of the assessment are compared to norms to determine the strengths and weakness of the user. It must be emphasized that the whole process is anonymous for maximum protection of the individual’s privacy.

The Individualized Training System (ITS)
The “brain” behind the program is the Individualized Training System (ITS). This is an interactive system that “learns” about the users through their performance and offers an individualized training schedule and responds to user performance both during and at the end of the training. As the training progresses, The ITS adjusts the level of difficulty of each task depending on the user’s specific performance.

Each practice session lasts for about 20 minutes and is made up of three tasks. It is recommended to train 3 times a week. The complete training program includes 24 practice sessions which are then repeated two additional times in their entirety. At the conclusion of this almost nine-month training period the user is then provided with a task pool for lifelong brain training and fitness. In addition, MindFit provides the user with information about the cognitive skills being exercised in each task and their relevance to every day functioning.
With the recent development of technology and brain imaging devices it has been shown that active brain function results in an increase in blood flow to the areas of the brain involved in carrying out a task, bringing with it, “food for the cells.” In addition it has recently been found that stem cells that are found in the brain concentrate in the areas where there is greater brain activity and learn to function in the same capacity as the surrounding cells, so that in essence they replenish areas of the brain that may have aged.

A great deal of behavioral research has shown that practicing cognitive skills encourages their preservation and development even at a very advanced age. Research into cognitive reserves found that the more education people had and the more their minds were occupied, the less they suffered from age-related decline. Research on “successful aging” has shown that people, who remain intellectually active and engage in hobbies, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by one third. All of these facts show that cognitive training – exercising your brain – may “immunize” your brain against decline in memory, concentration and information processing.

MindFit and Back on Track exercises have been developed by a professional team of psychologists and computer specialist. They are all based on the most recent research into brain function and brain plasticity, which show that computer based training can improve the cognitive function of people of any age.

Hardware Requirements
A PC system with the following features is needed for ensuring a stable performance:

CPU Pentium III 1000 MHz or higher (Software does not currently support Macintosh family of computers)
Operating system: Microsoft Windows 2000 SP4 or Windows XP SP2
RAM Memory: 128 MB
CD-Rom Drive
Sound card: PCI 128 bit (speaker or headphones are required)
Graphics card: 16MB (support 3D graphics)
Screen resolution: 800X600 minimum (16 bit min. or more)
Internet connection: Recommended
Internet Explorer: Version 5.5 and up
Free hard disk space:
Typical installation – 500 MB free space on hard disk drive
Compact installation – 100 MB free space hard disk drive
The touchpad integrated with most notebook computers is not adequate for testing of hand-eye coordination. If your notebook computer does not have an external mouse, you will need one.

Software: MINDFIT $149