FREE App for Cognitive Training
CogniFit Brain Fitness for iPhone and iPad is an app designed to target a variety of memory, attention and problem solving skills through the use of mini games within the app. These skills are especially important for an individual with higher-level cognitive deficits. It is intended for individuals over the age of 13 years.
Being a free app, one might think that it doesn't have a lot to offer. You would be wrong. This little app offers A LOT of skills addressed in fun and somewhat addicting games. Although presented in "game" form, this app does a great job at making you think and process information more quickly. Some of the games are ones you may be familiar with such as Sudoku, jigsaw puzzles or mahjong. The others were new to me.
Below is an overview of some games in the app.
Crossroads: In this game, the individual must prevent balls from colliding into one another as they approach the same intersection. To do so, you must click on that intersection as fast as you can to prevent the balls from colliding.
Fuel a Car: In this mini-game, you are managing a gas station. Icons appear on colored cars to show what each car needs. The individual must click on the corresponding colored equipment to select the service and then click on the correct car to complete that service prior to allowing the car thru the gate. This game becomes quite fast-paced as the cars continue to come up to the gate to be serviced.
Reaction Field: This is very much like the game "Whac-a-Mole" with an added challenge. You must click on the moles that appear in the garden which match the same color as the targeted mole that appears on the left side of the screen. With each click, the target color changes. In addition, some moles are wearing helmets and must be hit twice instead of once to break their helmets and then "whac" them. There are also some moles with dynamite strapped to their heads. These moles should be avoided for obvious reasons.
Word Birds: This game requires you to rearrange birds carrying letters to form words that represent a picture at the bottom of the screen. You can slide the columns and rows of birds to form the word in the highlighted central row. The faster you find words, the higher your score will be.
Word Quest: This game is a word search in which hidden words are formed amongst the letters in a puzzle. Each word is found by matching picture names to the corresponding words/letters in the puzzle as fast as you can. There are hints provided for this activity.
The Flowers: Little flowers are displayed and highlighted on the screen one after another in a specific order. You must carefully observe and memorize the order to reproduce the sequence when it's your turn. After you progress, an animation will begin to appear following the sequence for added difficulty with delayed recall.
The available games are meant to target the following skills: visual scanning, updating, focusing skills, spatial perception, naming abilities, divided attention, planning, working memory, eye-hand coordination and visual short-term memory, as well as other skills that are also inherently targeted during game play.
A tracking system of progress is also provided for individuals to assess their skills in each targeted area. There is also the ability to play against others.
As a therapist, I would like to have the option for multiple users to log progress. It would also be nice to be able to choose a level of difficulty to begin for specific activities targeting each skill. It is difficult to use for multiple clients in therapy when a "higher level" patient may progressively increase the level of difficulty for a given activity. I typically add this app to a patient's home exercise program or use only select activities during each session. At times, I may "play" through a given game poorly to re-set the difficulty level. Overall, I still think it is worth giving this app a try for cognitive training in therapy or for personal use. You'll be glad you did!