B recently installed a Brain Training app on our iPad. I hate those things. They always make me feel stupid. This was only reinforced by the fact that B pronounced his results to be ‘terrible’ and yet when I did it, I got a lower score than him! What does this say about me? (please don’t answer that).

This was sparked by B’s desire to test his short term memory and concentration skills, which he feels have suffered since the surgery. When he first mentioned this, I excitedly got together a version of the childhood game where you fill a tray with objects, show it to the person for 1 minute, cover it up, then they have to write down as many things as they can remember. He remembered almost everything, which didn’t seem to indicate any problem to me.

Then I thought of a game my sisters and I played as children. It might have been called Simon Says or Simple Simon or just Simon, I’m not quite sure.

The coloured shapes light up in sequence, which you need to remember and press in the correct order. As the game goes on, the sequence gets longer and faster. Clearly this game is far too boring and mundane for today’s kids, as it can only be purchased as a retro collector’s item for hundreds of pounds. But it CAN be played online, which isn’t quite the same in my opinion.

B got a score of 15 on this, the same as me. At this point I got a bit irate. His abilities are on the decline – they’ve slid down to my level! How tragic for him.

However, as we kept playing it, I continued to get around 15 but B only got 5 or 6. It therefore seems to be a concentration over time issue, not a problem with memory or intelligence. It’s interesting and gives him the opportunity to practice and improve. Maybe it also explains why his eyes glaze over after a while, when I go into ‘nagging fiancé’ mode. Or perhaps it doesn’t.


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