Monthly Archives: August 2013

Test Your Attention and the Focusing Effects of Brain Shift Radio

We are excited to announce that we have launched a series of game-like tests to show you how well you focus. And how much better you can focus while listening to Brain Shift Radio music.

Our tests are continuous performance tests (CPTs) designed to track sustained attention. These tests draw from quantitative measures used to research and diagnose deficits in attention. Two recent studies on BSR core techniques used these tests – read more here.

CPTs use a simple visual or audio cue that is presented for a short period of time. We use a visual cue since an audio cue would compete with the music.

For each cue presented, you either respond or not. Your accuracy and speed is tracked and weighted against the importance of each test parameter to give you a score. As we compile user data we will also be able to show you how you compare to others in your age and gender group.

Brain Shift Radio offers two types of tests

BSR offers two test types: Symbol (top) & Number (bottom)

Symbol test (top image): This test displays a series of 6 randomly colored squares. When a white square appears in the group, tap the left button or the left arrow key on a keyboard. When a black square appears in the group, tap the right button or arrow key. If neither white nor black appear you do nothing.

This test is easier than the Numeric test.

Numeric test (bottom image): This test presents a series of 6 numbers. If a 0 appears in the group, you tap the left button or left arrow key on a keyboard. If a 1 appears, you tap the right button or arrow key. If neither a 0 or a 1 appear, you do nothing.

This test is more difficult than the Symbol test.

Accuracy and speed both count for these tests, so it’s important to click as fast as you can without making mistakes.

Each test set is divided into three sections:

Test with silence. This test is roughly 7.5 minutes and gives us a baseline for your focusing ability. We ask that you not have any other music playing while taking this test.

Intermission. Right after the first test ends we start the Brain Shift Radio music. This music is chosen for you based on your answers to a short questionnaire. The intermission lasts for 4 minutes to give your brain a chance to respond to the music.

Note that we may increase this intermission in the future as previous research suggests that it can take longer than four minutes for the BSR music to begin having an effect for some people.

Test with music. The music we started during the intermission will continue as you complete the second portion of the test. This is the same length as the test with silence.

Raw Scores show you your errors and response times

Your receive two types of scores.

Once you’re finished with the test portion of the CPT, we tally your scores. You will find two graphs, each presenting different data sets.

Raw Scores (left). The first are your raw scores. Here you will see each error type – detection, commission, and omission – and your response times – fastest, slowest, and average.

This data can give you insights into your performance and whether you trend toward being inattentive or impulsive.

Weighted Scores (below). The second score is your weighted score. This balances your various errors against one another and your response times.

This graph shows you how you performed with silence compared to listening to BSR focusing music.

Weighted Scores show you how you focus with and without BSR music. Lower numbers mean better focus

The difference between these scores shows your performance  – and more accurately – the music’s ability to help you perform.

In most cases, you should see a lower score for the music portion of the test, showing fewer errors and faster response times.

We worked very hard to make the tests accurate.

We made sure the test is simple enough that there is no need to develop skill to perform well. This means that you won’t see improvements because you got better at the required task.

Each test is long enough that it forces you to focus. One of the keys for these tests is that you do them long enough that the novelty wears off, requiring you to work to stay attentive.

We randomly varied the presentation of objects. This ensures that you can’t memorize or predict the pattern while also keeping the various elements balanced.

The Brain Shift Radio CPTs are for more than just showing you how our music can help you focus.

We are also using the data to help us understand how you focus so we can better choose great mixes for you. This data can be stored in your profile if you wish and we will draw from it whenever you choose the Focus or Brain Boost categories in Auto Select mode.

If you log into your account (trial or subscription) when you take the test, we’ll keep track of all your results and you can periodically take the test again to track your progress and make sure you’re getting all you can from BSR.

Because we are primarily a research institute, we will use this data, in anonymous form (no identifying user data attached), to conduct and eventually publish the largest study ever completed on the effects of music and auditory stimulation on sustaining focused attention.

Note: Data used for this study will be anonymous and will comply with IRB and HIPAA requirements for client privacy and research integrity. If you don’t want any of your test data saved, simply don’t login to a Brain Shift Radio account when you take the test.

This test is compatible with both web and mobile devices.

Click here to see how well you focus