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Executive Function / Cognitive Games

Short Term Memory

Short term memory teaches you how to process information (both visual and auditory) and hold that information in short term memory long enough for recall.  This helps with not only following directions, but also things like remembering phone numbers, or names, or even a grocery list!

The initial screen shows four giant blocks of differing colors, (Blue, Purple, Red, and Green).   They are arranged like an upside down "T", with three blocks on the bottom and one block on the top middle.  The arrangement of these blocks exactly matches the arrangement of the up, down, left and right arrow keys on most computer keyboards.  Mind Maze is unique in that it uses the arrow keys to control the game, in addition to focus.  Indeed, as is true of all Play Attention exercises, Mind Maze is activated by attention, so once the student is in a focused mental state, a prompt will say "Activating Sequence", and the four blocks will light up and beep in a random sequence.  Once the student has been given the sequence, (the entire sequence), he or she is to use the arrow keys to give the sequence back, so to speak.  To put it another way, the student sees/hears a string of information, and they must hold it in short term memory long enough to mimic what they absorbed.  The more successfully the student can do this, the longer the sequences will get.  On Mind Maze Beginner, the game starts with sequences of two.

Focus is still a very large part of this exercise, since sequences are only offered if the student is attentive.  If a student becomes distracted or starts daydreaming, Mind Maze will pause and the word "Focus" will pop up on the screen until concentration is regained.

Mind Maze Intermediate looks exactly like Mind Maze Beginner, except that whenever a sequence is offered, a fifth block flashes at the bottom of the screen.  Whatever color this block is, (Blue, Purple, Red, or Green), is an "off limits" color.  This means that if that color appears in the offered sequence, the student must pass it over, (ignoring it when hitting the arrow keys). In this way, not only is short term memory sequencing still being developed, but now there is the added element of discrimination.  In the real world, this would allow someone like John to attend to the instructions he needs to be successful, while ignoring any unimportant or distracting "clutter".
Mind Maze Intermediate begins with sequences of three.

Mind Maze Advanced is identical to Mind Maze Intermediate, except that there is yet another distraction added in.  This time, when a sequence is offered, not only is there an "off limits" color, but there are also random blocks that will flash in either the upper right or upper left hand corner of the screen.  The blocks are purely a distraction, and thereby increase the amount of "clutter" the student must filter out.  Mind Maze Advanced starts with sequences of four.