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Online Test Measures Speed of your Brain 256

KingSkippus writes "According to CNet, a company named Posit Science has produced an online test using Flash that uses sounds to measure the speed of your brain down to the millisecond. According to the company, the test 'measures auditory processing (listening) speed—one of many measures of brain function...The faster we can take in information accurately, the better we can keep up with, respond to and remember what we hear.'"
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Online Test Measures Speed of your Brain

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  • Problems (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Saturday March 25, 2006 @05:38PM (#14994936) Homepage Journal
    Problem: The linked test only works with Windows...... So, never mind.

    Seriously though, this title is in a way, kinda bogus science in that it does not measure brain speed per se, but is more a measure of efficiency (a subtle but important difference). Basic central auditory response curves should be identical for most folks unless there is a processing delay like a developmental abnormality in one of the auditory nuclei or unless there is some pathology like Multiple Sclerosis (MS) which could bias the test and not be indicative of cognitive performance. Also, this test could be biased by damage to the cochlear hair cells that reduce ones frequency perception, but this apparent deficiency would have no real bearing on "brain speed" either.

    If they are using this test to determine cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer's Disease, they should have some disclaimers present that explicitly point out that even mild hearing loss could compromise the results of this study among other causes.

    And yes..... IAANS (I Am A NeuroScientist).

    And it also appears that the author of the software is trying to sell it to "help people reduce the effects of aging", to which I say pffffft! Just stay physically and mentally active. Go running/walking/swimming/riding a bike and read books or hell, for your brain and auditory processing, even play video games (just make sure you get the physical exercise too and please continue to read books/newspapers). All of that is lots cheaper than forking out $500 for this software and likely more effective?

  • Re:I guess (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Adult film producer ( 866485 ) <van@i2pmail.org> on Saturday March 25, 2006 @05:48PM (#14994977)
    Deaf can always just turn up the bass
  • Re:Score (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 25, 2006 @08:27PM (#14995647)
    Hmm, such accuracy, yet presumably based on stimulus from a display with a 100Hz or less refresh rate; or audio subystems with unknown latencies!

    100Hz means 10ms for one cycle, so they can't meaningfully claim accuracy better than that size increment.

    27ms - thats 2 x 13.5ms = 74Hz ... suspiciously close to 75.
  • by Breakfast Pants ( 323698 ) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @09:08PM (#14995766) Journal
    "According to CNet, a company named Posit Science has produced an online test using Flash that uses sounds to measure the speed of your brain down to the millisecond"
    I thought this was hilarious simply because I'm aware of latency to the soundcard due to buffering for mixing output, etc. and it varies on machines by hundreds of milliseconds.
  • by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @09:54PM (#14995921) Homepage Journal
    Oh, really? Installing gplflash allows you to run Shockwave applets?
  • by AlterTick ( 665659 ) on Saturday March 25, 2006 @10:11PM (#14995973)
    Why would this require using a mouse to click on two icons placed next to each other when that takes time itself? Wouldn't it make a lot more sense to map the input to two keys on a keyboard? I have to wonder about the validity of any kind of intelligence test that lacks common sense like that.

    Well, first, it's not an intelligence test, but a test of auditory processing speed; and second, it doesn't matter how fast you click the arrows, only whether you click them in the correct order. Did you even read the instructions?

    Anyway, I question the seriousness of a test that's clearly there as a marketing aid for some dubious $500 "Brain Fitness" training software. Also, the fact that the best score they have recorded on their graph for ANY age group was 32, and I, a 37 year old Army vet with permanent "artillery ear" tinnitus, got 23.

  • Re:Problems (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Oxen ( 879661 ) on Sunday March 26, 2006 @12:04AM (#14996323)
    I have no doubt. The brain, just like any biological system, gets "better" with use/reinforcement.

    Funny, my liver seems to get worse every weekend.
  • by Indras ( 515472 ) * on Sunday March 26, 2006 @04:35AM (#14996961)
    The scary thing is, this is exactly how the Church of Scientology recruits. They administer a free "Personality Test" to anyone who wants to take it. The test results ALWAYS have some "critical" flaw that is causing you to be unstable. If you don't fix it right away, you might just go insane. Fortunately, the Church has a remedy for your mental disease, if you just sign up for one of our free classes...

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.