In this activity you will do some interactive tests to help find out what's unique about your brain. Everyone has different abilities and these tests, such as the ones on the Cambridge Brain Sciences website, are used by scientists to assess cognitive function.
They are rigorously tested and scientifically proven tests of memory, attention, reasoning and planning. All of the tests have been used in scientific studies of brain function and have been described in more than 150 scientific publications in leading academic journals.
Many of the tests have been used in functional neuroimaging studies to show how cognitive functions relate to specific regions of the brain (a field known as ‘brain mapping’). In other studies, these tests have been used to investigate why some of these cognitive functions become impaired in Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia, and after traumatic brain damage caused by injuries to the head.
Try these tests and find out what your special skills are. Are you an excellent planner? Or do you excel at grammatical reasoning? Or is your memory better than a monkey’s?
To start the tests go to Cambridge Brain Sciences.
You can try a test from each category without registering your details. If you register your details then your results may be used anonymously in MRC research. It is understood that these tests are provided for public use with no guarantee of validity or accuracy of the results, and are not to be interpreted as diagnostic or indicative of any illness or disability.
Now compare your test results to those of your classmates and discuss what these might tell you about your and your classmate’s performances.
Did you notice any gender differences between the scores on the tests?
What do you think would happen if you did these tests every day?
Research has shown that the region of the brain called the hippocampus is larger in some London taxi drivers' brains when compared with other people's. Why do you think this is? Hint: You’ll need to do some research to find out what function the hippocampus is responsible for.
Go to main page of Teacher's Resource - A window on the brain