Friday, November 15, 2013

My brain at 71

I have no idea what this illustration means.

So a few months ago, I signed up for Lumosity to improve my brain's neuroplasticity.  When I began, I performed with an earnest mediocrity.  As I said, I didn't think I would have been accepted into community college.  But I persevered and my scores are now, as Garrison Keillor says, "way above average."  I'm almost back to being "gifted," a term I have smugly thought as the correct description for what I am.  Not genius, just gifted.

Smugness is a sink hole if there ever was one.

So according to Lumosity, my brain BPI demonstrates "true mastery."  For my age category: 70-75.

And there's the rub.

One recent day in my endless hubris, I thought, wow, I'm still smart.  Then I did something I shouldn't have done.  I compared my score to those of a fifty-year old.  My score dropped right back to "Congratulations, you can be a successful cheese wrapper."  And comparing my brain to a thirty year old, I can still feed myself, but just barely.

So here's the thing.  Your brain grows older, duller, slower no matter what.  I play Lumosity so I can make a quick order at In-and-Out-Burger without stammering around like a dufus.  I play so I can stay attentive when I drive, so I can tell a bill from a scam, so I get the joke, so I can track what I'm reading and so I have some idea what the grandchildren are talking about.

And that's good.


  1. My prayers are earnest these days: please let me keep my mind. I forget where I put the keys; I can't find my car in the parking lot. Is this the slippery slope, another unanswered prayer or is this a symptom of being ADD at 60?

  2. I am 53 and in serious trouble. I went to Luminosity this morning. I have only been to this site one other time. I forgot my login email, and my password. Luminosity cheered me on: "You're doing great! Almost there!"

    I played a Find the Grackle and Remember the Number game. I earned four cards, to make a heron. Then I wondered if I needed to remember that it was a heron that I earned? Was this a trap? As I was musing this possibility, I missed the next two turns. And then I earned a card with 1/4 of a white bird's head. What kind of bird is that, I wondered. Oops. Missed another turn. Earned a card on next turn. Was that a goose? A bald eagle? I successfully earned all four cards to reveal an albatross. That made my mind go to Samuel Coleridge...

  3. PS - I thought those were diamonds in your photo, above. Apparently they are brains. Huh.