Application for improving cognition

Hello everyone, I am tempted to create my own app for improving cognition but I am sure there has to be something. My personal problem is that , there are tons of stuff person can do to improve cognition so it can be overwhelming to:

  1. Find high quality information
  2. How to apply it to life
  3. Figure out what works.

I would expect the app to be able to take some basic data like sleep, exercise, meditation practice from services like Apple health maybe combine it with additional data provider by user and create a plan for improving cognition with some test.

Closes I found is probably well know app

I am encouraged with success of apps for sleep or fasting like zero, which are relatively simple in functionality but provide value for users by providing good information and help with sticking to the behaviour.


I’ve been having similar thoughts!
But I haven’t tried quantified mind yet, so I’m going to do that first, before attempting to create my own :slight_smile:

This is a very useful resource:


Thanks @Agaricus.

@LNP great! What approach were you thinking for the app?

I haven’t thought much about the design yet.
I think it would include some common integrations, and custom tracking, and then it should be possible to do experiments on the platform and see correlations :slight_smile:
That’s my initial thoughts at least :slight_smile:

@LNP great let me know if you find something.

Hey @JBL - I did an experiment on Quantified Mind a while back on this, and found some interesting correlations.

  • Coffee has a huge benefit - alternative days with/without coffee in the morning.
  • Sleep - I had a basis band and saw some correlations with deep sleep, they weren’t strong, however. REM times I don’t think u can trust as wouldn’t be reliable on a wristwatch

I didn’t find any correlations with exercise (via steps), meditation, etc, although I wasn’t so rigorous with tracking those.

FYI - Yoni Donner, the developer behind Quantified Mind is very responsive over email - a few years ago anyway. He did a great podcast interview a while ago, definitely worthwhile listening to also:


Quantified mind measures many metrics, right? (Based on the tests)

Which ones did improve because of Coffee? :slight_smile:

there’s a ‘finger tapping’ exercise, how many taps on the spacebar in 10 seconds or something like that. That was strongly impacted. Not so useful, but interesting all the same :wink: Reaction times also improved.

I gave a talk in 2015 QS conference on it. Looks like the slides are online:

But I’m always wondering whether the scores on quantified are improving because you get better at the tests?
I guess taking the tests must be like practicing them, and then you get better? :slight_smile: looks like it hasn’t been touched for several years. Not sure the “coming soon” feature of downloading results will be delivered. Yoni’s LinkedIn profile suggests he started a job at Google AI almost 10 years ago,.

Initially, that’s quite possible, but over time your progress will flatten out; that’s when you can start experimenting!

I’ve just heard of studies that Ericsson conducted, where they trained someone to go from remembering 5-8 random digits, to remembering 80! (The digits were mentioned and he had to repeat them immediately after).
The participant stopped because he thought it was boring. (Or something like that)

For research on improving cognition through training short term memory, this FAQ from is valuable:


I have done it.

Or you could model the learning curve and get a second set of data.

See G. Sala’s work on transfer effect. He says there is none. Working memory transfers to other working memory tasks for a few months. I think Chess improves maths ability irregardless if its psychological or cognitive.

I’m not sure about what you mean when you say modeling the learning curve? And which second set of data should I get? Do you mean taking the quizzes again?

And what do you mean with the transfer effect? Does that tell anything about whether we will initially improve in the cognitive tests and that they thereby will be false?

Receive more data by modeling (finding math that describes just that part) learning curve. Transfer learning form one skill to some other.

Chess masters and expert musicians appear to be, on average, more intelligent than the general population. Some researchers have thus claimed that playing chess or learning music enhances children’s cognitive abilities and academic attainment. We here present two meta-analyses assessing the effect of chess and music instruction on children’s cognitive and academic skills. A third meta-analysis evaluated the effects of working memory training—a cognitive skill correlated with music and chess expertise—on the same variables. The results show small to moderate effects. However, the effect sizes are inversely related to the quality of the experimental design (e.g., presence of active control groups). This pattern of results casts serious doubts on the effectiveness of chess, music, and working memory training. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of these findings; extend the debate to other types of training such as spatial training, brain training, and video games; and conclude that far transfer of learning rarely occurs.

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I’m not sure I follow. Are you the developer and you’ve now implemented this feature? Or do you mean that you have downloaded data? I still get an error:

Yoni Donner is the developer. I don’t know how active he is with maintenance now, but in the past he’s been generous with responding to requests from Quantified Self users if not too complex/time-consuming.

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