In Brain Bender, pay attention to the color of the words not just the words themselves. The Stroop Effect (see below) throws your brain for a loop!
To begin, click the Small, Medium, or Large link, Very Large button, or HTML5/Mobile link under the picture at left. This opens the game in a pop-up window.
Note: The HTML5/Mobile version Right Color is an HTML5 game. It does not require the Adobe Flash Player. It is a similar game by a different game developer.
Four buttons are shown on the screen: Blue, Green, Red, and Yellow. Click the button that corresponds to the color of the word flashing on the screen.
Your goal is to get as high a score as possible by clicking the correct button at the correct moment.
HOW TO PLAY. Click the "Play" button to begin the game and start the 45-second timer. Each correct click increases your score by one.
This is tricky, because the flashing word is the name of a different color than the one you are supposed to click. You need to click the color of the button that matches the color of the flashing word.
That's what makes this a brain game! You have to separate in your mind the meaning and the color of the flashing word. That's the cognitive control part of it.
The reaction time part is trying to do it faster and faster without making too many errors.
Each time you click the wrong button, you lose a point. So if you try to go too fast and you lose your concentration, your score will go down.
See how high a score you can get with Brain Bender. If you like this game, you might also enjoy Pattern Memory.
There's a lot of science behind Brain Bender types of games. The games may go by different names, but what they tap into is a feature of the brain called the Stroop Effect.
First described around 1930, the effect illustrates how multiple locations in the brain may be accessed when our mind attempts to resolve input.
A conflicting input such as the name of a color displayed in different-colored text is not resolved by a single structure in the brain.
In the brain game above, you're required to quickly identify two features of the displayed term. First, the color of the text; second, the meaning of the text.
These two aspects of the word are processed by separate brain structures, primarily the anterior cingulate cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.
In terms of practical benefit, regularly engaging in Stroop-type challenges such as Brain Bender may help strengthen neuronal connections throughout the brain. This happens through the well-documented process of brain plasticity.
Specifically, improving your "cognitive control" means to increase your ability to suppress automatic reactions to stimuli. In other words, you get better at following the directions rather than simply reacting to what is shown on the screen (which in this game are two different things).
"Reaction time" is more obvious. Improving reaction time means you learn to react quicker to things that happen on the screen. This translates to quicker mental reaction time in your everyday life.
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