Let’s follow Isabela as she plays one of our “Memory” activities, “Memory Match It!”
Isabela sits down and turns on her iPad. She taps on the “Memory Match It!” icon and starts a session.
The app asks her to do a quick recall exercise where she has to try to remember 3 words.
This preliminary recall quiz ensures that the initial difficulty level is calibrated to the player’s level of functioning on that day at that time. From this initial difficulty level, the app will then automatically adjust to how the player is doing throughout the session. For instance, harder rounds are presented if the player is doing well, and easier rounds are presented if the player is struggling.
Then, she’s asked to choose which theme she likes: Nature, Space, or Cars. She’s always been a science-fiction fan, so she taps on the Space button.
The app will now give her a session with a space theme. She’ll see moons and planets and spaceships, and she’ll hear ethereal background music. All of the activities in the session will be related to space.
Allowing the player to pick a theme they like makes every session of our “Memory” activities that much more personal and tailor-made. Every person is different. Some folks like space, others prefer cars. And, even the same person might be in the mood for something different each time. Space on Tuesday morning, cars on Thursday afternoon, and nature on Saturday - why not?
Isabela just picked Space as her preferred theme, and now the first activity she sees is an intermediate-term recall exercise.
The screen displays 3 words: Rocket, Solar Flare, and Light-Year. She’s encouraged to try to remember these 3 words because she’ll be asked to recall them at the very end of the session (30 minutes or more later).
This is an example of a memory exercise that asks the player to keep something in their memory for around 30 minutes or more. They do other activities before being asked to recall what they memorized.
Our “Memory” activities provide a range of memory exercise types. This encourages the use of various memory mechanisms and activates diverse parts of the brain. Variety also keeps things fresh and exciting, throughout a single session and between sessions.
Now Isabela is presented with the main activity, in this case “Match It!” She taps on the moons to reveal the space objects underneath. When she uncovers a matching pair, success! The round is completed when all pairs have been matched.
Note that a “Skip Round” button is always available for when a round is so difficult as to cause frustration or stress.
Each main activity is a different type of memory exercise. In this case, “Match It!” Is a short-term recall exercise. Combined with the intermediate-term memory exercise (where the player is asked to remember words/items from the beginning of the session to the end) and with the long-term memory activity “Think Back,” our “Memory” activity apps provide a comprehensive memory activity session.
About a third of the way through the main activity (“Match It!” in this case), Isabela see the first Think Back moment! It encourages her to think back on a day in her life. She’s asked to recall specific people, events, and emotions that might relate to that day. Since she picked the Space theme, Isabela is asked to think back to the day of the first moon landing. She smiles as she remembers how excited and proud she was watching it on television. She’s specifically prompted to recall more details: Where was she? Who was with her? How did it make her feel? She spends a good 10 minutes or so thinking back, and sometimes - she’s not afraid to admit - she even talks to herself out loud as she happily remembers how her family huddled around the TV that amazing day.
Think Back moments help connect a player to people, places, events, and feelings from their deeper past. This can help provide grounding and enhance meaningfulness in a player’s life.