There are a number of experiments I want to do to attempt to improve my cognitive function, such as dual-n-back training, experimenting with nootropics, sleep patterns, etc.
How can this sort of thing be quantified? Are there tools available that don’t bias results (e.g. taking the tests more than once raises score by just making you better at taking the test)?
Thanks in advance. Really interested in the notion of “quantifying cognition” but am totally new to it.
Almost all cognitive tests you could do have practice effects. The simplest way is to take simple tests where the practice effects aren’t too bad, and to pre-test to saturate them until you’re not improving any more. Then start experiments to test your interventions. I of course will biasedly recommend http://www.quantified-mind.com/ for all your cognitive self-experimentation needs.
Whatever you go with, the general rule is that the further away from a base cognitive skill (like reaction time or working memory), the more practice effects the test might have.
Thanks, Nick. So to make sure I understand your recommendation, you’re saying practice the tests before starting the experiment until performance flatlines. Then do experiment, and the performance deltas will be reliable. Correct?
And thanks for the reminder about Quantified Mind. Just took a look and it looks useful.