If you had a supercomputer that governed your entire life — every thought, emotion, response, and action — would you invest in making it the ultimate supercomputer ever? If you could, would you increase the downloading and networking speed? Would you be up-to-date on all the best programs?
Well, guess what? You do have this supercomputer. Hint: it’s between your ears and behind your eyeballs.
Guess what else? It does govern your life and you can make it the best supercomputer it can be. How? Well, there are many ways, but our favorite way is via brain games.
That’s right. However, unlike with normal computers, updating and improving your brain’s supercomputer doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, it can be a whole lot of fun — addicting, even.
In this article, we will explore our innate supercomputers by answering the following questions:
- What is cognition?
- What are the cognitive functions and skills?
- What makes a smart person so… smart?
- How to remember things better
- 8 Fun brain games to optimize your supercomputer
What Is Cognition?
Ahh, cognition. It’s a word we hear almost every day. What exactly is cognition, though?
Simply put, cognition is our ability to process information. However, that is too simple; the actual reality of cognition is far grander and much more complex.
You can try to imagine every single tiny thought going on inside your head, yet all of those conscious thoughts just barely skim the surface of the role cognition plays. We are completely unaware of most of our cognitive functions.
Cognition runs the show behind all of our endless thinking processes: from perception to problem-solving, to memory, to language, to knowledge acquisition, all the way to our ability to judge.
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That’s a lot. Cognition plays an unexplainably huge role in our lives. If you’d like to learn even more about what cognition is, check out our article, What Is Cognition And What Skills Does It Involve?
What Are The Cognitive Functions And Skills?
What excites us most about cognitive functions and skills are that they are processes that we can improve over time (even into our old age), if we desire to.
So, what exactly are they?
Since cognition is such a huge topic, there is no one answer that fits all scientists’ varying perspectives.
However, one of the most popular interpretations is commonly referred to as Carl Jung’s Cognitive Functions. Carl Jung initially had cognition boiled down into two main functions: perceiving and judging. Although, what he soon realized after was that even those two functions can each be broken down into 4 different attitudes, making a running total of 8 different cognitive functions. You can learn much more about his theory in our article, What Are Carl Jung’s Cognitive Functions And Why Are They So Exciting?
A solid definition of cognitive skills is quite similarly debated. However, there is a common consensus that cognitive skills include at least thinking, remembering, learning, reading, reasoning, and sustaining attention. . . All of which are things we get to train and strengthen.
What Makes A Smart Person So… Smart?
Okay, now that we have discussed cognition, let’s explore intelligence. What exactly is intelligence? What makes a smart person… smart?
Webster’s Dictionary defines intelligence as follows:
1 a: The ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations. b: The ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one’s environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (as tests)
2: mental acuteness.
However, Albert Einstein claims that intelligence is simply imagination, while Stephen Hawking defines intelligence as our ability to adapt to change. . .
So what’s the right answer?
They are all the right answer. Linguistic intelligence, emotional intelligence, analytical intelligence… They are all intelligence. Someone may be very emotionally intelligent and can read people like a book; however, that same person may be horrible at math. Are they intelligent? Yes, they still are.
Even without a precise definition of intelligence, we all know where we are intelligent and where we would like to improve (luckily, we have brain games to help us do this).
If you’d like some tips on how to become more intelligent, overall, you can check out our article on how to improve intelligence. Until then, read on to find out how to improve your memory, how to train your brain, and the best brain games to play to begin doing so.
How To Remember Things Better
No, memory is not as much about genetics, time, or repetition… It’s about intent.
Memory expert, Jim Kwik, boils our memory process down to three main parts: motivation, observation, and mechanics — MOM (awe). The first two are up to you to withhold, that’s where the intention comes into play. However, we are happy to help you out with the mechanics part. If you’d like a detailed guide on these mechanics, check out our post, The Ultimate Guide On How To Improve Memory.
As we mentioned above, though, games are the best way to train your brain to be the ultimate supercomputer. For that, we have created another more detailed guide on How To Remember Things Better — The Fun Way, which also includes a list of fun memory games you can play alone or with your loved ones.
How brain training exercises strengthen your brain
So, we’ve done a thorough job at explaining how our brains work like a supercomputer but have we mentioned that they also work just like a muscle? That’s right, the more you train (or exercise) your brain, the stronger, quicker, and smarter it gets.
In our article, How To Use Brain Training Exercises To Rewire Your Brain we dive much deeper into the neuroscience of this extremely handy process and provide brain training exercises to increase your brain power tenfold. Hoorah!
8 Fun Brain Games To Optimize Your Supercomputer
Now, without further adieu, here is our comprehensive list of brain games that can greatly help you to supercharge that brain of yours.
Lumosity — Your brain, just brighter
Website and app
Offers monthly membership
Lumosity is probably the highest touted brain game in the world. They’ve spent decades researching how to use games and tasks to measure and increase cognitive abilities (including but not limited to: concentration, memory, and overall processing speed). Now, their scientists and designers work side-by-side to create the best brain games that are not only challenging for people of all ages but are fun, engaging and motivating.
You can test out some of Lumosity’s games for free to see for yourself, but a full membership is a small monthly fee; however, customers review that it is definitely worth the price.
Memorado — Your gym for the brain
Website and app
Memorado is similar to Lumosity, but it’s free! They use assessment testing to personalize games so that you stay challenged. Plus, they take into consideration your individual training goals — this aspect makes it another of our favorite free mind games. Do you want to specifically learn names better? Memorado will match you with games that will help you remember the names of everyone you meet!
Personal Zen — Where science meets wellness
Website and app
Personal Zen gets it. That’s what makes them one of our favorite free mind games. Scientifically-backed, they understand how brain training works. They understand how to leverage these techniques to help build positive habits, such as how to greatly reduce stress and anxiety on a daily basis.
This mind game is interactive and imaginative — it’s a journey through the lands of Personal Zen that have been affected by negativity. Your objective in this unique mind game is to restore the land back to its serene beauty and calmness. This attention to positivity and how it beautifies the world around you begins to reflect in your real-life experiences.
NeuroNation — Scientific brain training
App and website
Offers monthly and yearly memberships
With over 12,000,000 users worldwide, NeuroNation brain games focus on improving your brain’s performance by scientifically designing games that challenge your working (short-term) memory. In only 10 minutes a day, these personalized mind games strengthen your ability to remain focused, think faster, have a better memory, and achieve success in all areas of your life.
Happify — Overcome stress and negative thoughts. Build resilience
App and website
Offers monthly and yearly memberships
Happify cares about how you feel. They also understand your ability to take control of how you feel. For that, they have scientifically designed every brain game to help you to take control of this personal power and step into emotional wellbeing.
Elevate — Brain training personalized for you
Offers yearly subscription
Voted Apple’s App Of The Year, Elevate aims to boost your productivity, mental clarity, and confidence in learning areas all across the board. Scientifically designed, Elevate motivates by allowing you to track your progress as well as compare your skills against other players (if you are the competitive type, this is appealing).
Cognifit — Your brain can tell you a lot about you
Website and app
Offers monthly memberships
Cognifit helps you to identify potential cognitive deficiencies you may have, then creates a personalized training program to help you hone in on those particular deficiencies. Hence, you can target areas such as depression, insomnia, memory, and even sports coordination.
FitBrains Trainer — Fun brain training games
Offers monthly, yearly, and lifetime memberships
By the makers of the famous Rosetta Stone (not the ancient one), BrainFit focuses on fun. They offer a huge variety of over 60 fast, fun, and competitive brain games focusing on everything from speed to language, to logic. In addition, FitBrains Trainer claims to be the only brain game app that improves both your IQ and your EQ.
What is your favorite brain game? Share with us in the comments below!