Some kinds of puzzles can help you figure out how well you are processing information. Did you know that how well you do on word search puzzles is a pretty good indicator of how well your selective attention skills are working? In other words, how well do you pick out the relevant information in a situation without losing focus and getting distracted?
Selective attention, in broad terms is being able to pick out one item from a group of items but that is an oversimplification of something we need to do well every day to survive. Think about this example:
You are about to leave for a trip to Nashville. You turn on the Weather Channel to get figure out what to pack. The Weather Channel has a scroll across the bottom of the screen with forecasts for 50+ cities. Can you pick out the forecast for Nashville on the first, second or even third time through the scroll? There are other things going on on the screen, people talking, and images changing. Selective attention allows you to pick out what you need and push the rest out of the way.
We created a variation on a word search puzzle for you today to help you practice selective attention. This is a number search puzzle. Find each string of numbers. This is an interactive puzzle so click on the first and the last number of string.
Cranium Crunches is an online brain training site that helps players work on cognitive abilities like attention, memory, and executive functioning. Launched in 2011, we now have six games and users from all over the world. Our goals for the future include adding word games and audio games, but one step at a time, right?
All of our games are designed to help you keep your brain sharp at any age. You may already do crossword puzzles, Sudoku, or play Words with Friends but adding-in games that are aimed at enhancing your brain power will change your life and challenge your brain in different ways than you might be used to.
The Cranium Crunches Story
Cranium Crunches' back story goes way back well before 2011 though, when Ruth Curran, founder, was in a life-changing car accident which resulted in a traumatic brain injury. Today, most people would never know that 8 years ago, Ruth struggled not only to form complete sentences but complete thoughts. Her 18 month fight to return to somewhat normal functioning left her feeling like she was constantly trying to think her way out of a paper bag with no clues from the outside world. As part of her rehab, Ruth got her Master's in cognitive psychology and started down a whole new life path.
Over the next 5 years, a couple other situations arose that drew Ruth's attention back to brain health - both of her parents began to experience cognitive decline. Her mother began to suffer the effects of chemo-brain and, several years later, her father from Parksonian dementia. One form of relief she found for her father was the Find the Difference puzzles in Life Magazine. He had such a positive reaction to the puzzles and they soon became an activity for the two of them to work on together. This experience led Ruth down the path to starting an online website with Find the Difference puzzles and other photo-based cognitive puzzles that could people to regain a bit of control and enjoy themselves at the same time.
What's so unique about the games at Cranium Crunches?
We know that we all learn better when things happen in the context of our lives. Our goal is to create puzzles that mimic life so when you practice these cognitive skills, you are practicing within the context of your life. Many of our games are picture-based because we want you to get more than just a great brain workout from playing. We love to travel and take pictures (also great brain activities!) and felt that by turning those pictures into cognitive puzzles, we would be giving people something more than just a game to play.