N-Back training is a memory training game that supposedly increases your IQ.  There have been many studies on this, but they all seem to show different results.  Overall, It appears that there is no conclusive link between N-Back training and increased IQ, but it does help working memory capacity.  Although this tool turns out to not deliver the magical IQ increase, it still seems worth the effort to increase your memory with will help you learn in general.

For those who don’t know, the game tests your memory back a few in a sequence.  So it will test if you remember, for example, the color two steps back or three steps back and so on. (N times back, you set the level)  This helps you practice holding things in your working memory longer.

(For more detailed information on the Metastudy on N-Back training Click Here.)

Just like any mental exercise, the more you push yourself, the more you’ll grow in ability related to the exercise.  I personally want a better working memory, so I train with an N-Back game regularly (a few times a week, just until I feel my mind is stretched hard).  There are many apps and programs available for free out there.

The app that I use is:

N-Back Brain Game by funcode

I like this specific one because it allows your to use different modalities (sound, color, position, etc.). You can choose to use one or more modalities at the same time.  And of course, you can extend how far back it tests you for.  It tracks your progress and you can see your improvement on a graph.  Even better there are times when you watch intently with a round that there are no matches to the criteria. (rare) This helps keep you on your toes.

The metastudy did show one helpful tidbit though.  Although it is inconclusive about whether “N-Back” training helps your IQ, it is clear that those training their minds in the study showed a moderate increase in IQ.  The question is whether it was N-Back or just training itself that caused the improvement.

So if you want to improve your abilities, memory training is definitely a tool that you should consider. N-back just makes it more convenient and fun.


Leave a Reply