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Neuro+: Video games controlled by the brain help kids and adults with ADD/ADHD

The ever-increasing amount of ADHD diagnoses is what lead NEURO+ to create its brain-controlled video games which help children and adults learn to master attention skills. Neuro+ is a video game to help you improve focus, body self-control, and impulse-control.

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Improve focus, and impulse control

More than six million American children ages 4-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD. Of those 6.4 million children, 6.1% are currently taking medication to help battle their difficulties concentrating, staying organized, remembering details, staying still, and paying attention.

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The ever-increasing amount of ADHD diagnoses is what lead NEURO+ to create its brain-controlled video games which help children and adults learn to master attention skills. According to Neuro+, the video game combines “neurofeedback, motion-biofeedback, and go/no-go cognitive training protocols to help you improve focus, body self-control, and impulse-control.”

Your brain alone can save the villagers

For $499/year, you can receive access to the NEURO+ video game, as well as a free Muse Headband, a necessary apparatus for the at-home training game.

NEURO+ has a three-pronged training approach. The program concentrates on teaching individuals to learn to focus, sit still, and ignore distractions.

By wearing the Muse Headband in combination with the NEURO+ software, users are transported into a futuristic world that uses your brain-power to save villages, defend towns and “pilot” a dragon. The better you do at your tasks, the higher you’ll rise in the 150+ levels of the game.

The levels of the game which concentrate on “focusing” involve the user racing a dragon and powering an energy shield. Similar to exercising a muscle, neuroplasticity research has proven that training your brain can make it better at paying attention, with time and effort.

Must sit still to play

ADHD makes sitting still a difficult task, which is why this is one of the three specific training skills NEURO+ zeroes in on. The inability to sit still can lead to problems in school, in work, and in society.

In order to teach users to gain control over their actions, Neuro+ has developed a patent-pending system which requires individuals to sit still to play. The video game even gives constant in-game feedback and will reward or penalize users with points for staying still throughout your game.

Challenges your decision-making skills

Lastly, NEURO+ wants to help players ignore surrounding distractions and control their impulsive behaviors.  The video game will force the user to make split second decisions, and the better you get at decision-making, the harder the decision-making will become. According to Neuro+, “To help you build resistance against the inevitable distractions that compete for your attention, NEURO+ includes cognitive attention training tasks designed to help you develop and improve your working memory, reaction time, multitasking, and impulse-control skills.”

Treat brain training like a workout

NEURO+ suggests that users train on their home-based program for at least 30 minutes a day, three times a week. However, be aware that the program itself will only allow users to play for one out of every ten hours.

#NEURO+BrainTraining

Staff Writer, Abigail White is a wordsmith who hails from the Deep South, having graduated with a degree in Journalism from Auburn University. She is usually reading three books at once, loves history, sarcasm, and arguing over the Oxford comma.

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. john glennon

    January 23, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Play Attention has been doing this since 1995. Unlike Muse, they have 3 randomized, controlled studies done by the prestigious Tufts University School of Medicine. As principal of an elementary school, I used Play Attention for years quite successfully. The changes were dramatic and long term as we followed the students.

    What the author doesn’t mention, and this is quite important, is that staring at a screen using “Neuro” software won’t make a difference. Play Attention has games that build specific skills like time on task, filtering out distractions, social skills, spatial memory, working memory, and even motor skills.

    The author should dig deeper before making claims that an untested product, newly introduced into the market, will make a difference even though it doesn’t address specific skills needed for these kids.

    • Lani Rosales

      January 23, 2016 at 11:43 am

      Good to know about Play Attention – any tool working towards this cause is necessary.

      Thanks for weighing in!

      -Lani Rosales, COO at The American Genius

  2. Martha R.

    January 26, 2016 at 8:50 am

    I’m interested. Please contact me on how to have access to it.

  3. Martina Covo

    January 28, 2016 at 11:17 am

    Never have tried this product but if it is anything like neuro-feedback, I am very interested.

  4. Robyn

    February 8, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Willing to try, please contact for further information.

  5. heather

    July 8, 2016 at 1:51 am

    Question, does this cover all 6 types of Attention Deficit, Or is this just for those with the hyperactive behavior output? I wonder, because Attention Deficit is really complex. Some remain over-focused, others have no focus. Some can’t sit down, while others cycle through ups and downs. Some have stunted learning, while others can’t find where they stored what they learned. So I question how well this works. Real attention deficit children; who have over focused attention deficit, will most likely get “stuck” on the game, if they actually take interest. All of these children are very smart and become distracted due to an inability to remain focused, or a complete disinterest in what is used to teach the child. For my children, if the subject is boring to them, its because they aren’t challenged. Just wondering how this diversely covers the whole of attention deficit.

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  7. Pingback: Could the newest epidemic be "informational obesity"? - The American Genius

  8. Pingback: NeuroPlus, software to help kids with ADD, is now way more accessible - The American Genius

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  10. Pingback: Elon Musk wants to connect your brain to a computer this year

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The paradox of CAPTCHAs: Too smart for humans vs AI?

(TECH NEWS) AI is catching up to our cybersecurity technology and often tricking humans too — so what’s next for CAPTCHAs and the internet?

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Person using phone with laptop to verify CAPTCHAs and code.

We’ve all encountered it before: The occasional robot test that feels impossible to beat. If you’ve felt like these tests, also known as CAPTCHAs, have gotten harder in the last couple of years, you aren’t wrong—and the reason is as ironic as it is baffling.

Simply put, AI are just as good as—and often better than—humans at completing CAPTCHAs in their classic format. As machine learning and AI become more advanced, the fundamental human attributes that make consistent CAPTCHA formats possible become less impactful, raising the question of how to determine the difference between AI and humans in the future.

The biggest barrier to universal CAPTCHA doctrine is purely cultural. Humans may share experiences across the board, but such experiences are typically basic enough to fall victim to the same machine learning which has rendered lower-level CAPTCHAs moot. Adding a cultural component to CAPTCHAs could prevent AI from bypassing them, but it also might prevent some humans from understanding the objective.

Therein lies the root of the CAPTCHA paradox. Humans are far more diverse than any one test can possibly account for, and what they do have in common is also shared by—you guessed it—AI. To create a truly AI-proof test would be to alienate a notable portion of human users by virtue of lived experience. The irony is palpable, but one can only imagine the sheer frustration developers are going through in attempting to address this problem.

But all isn’t lost. While litmus tests such as determining the number of traffic cones in a plaza or checking off squares with bicycles (but not unicycles, you fool) may be beatable by machines, some experts posit that “human entropy” is almost impossible to mimic—and, thus, a viable solution to the CAPTCHA paradox.

“A real human being doesn’t have very good control over their own motor functions, and so they can’t move the mouse the same way more than once over multiple interactions,” says Shuman Ghosemajumder, a former click fraud expert from Google. While AI could attempt to feign this same level of “entropy”, the odds of a successful attempt appear low.

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Move over, Clubhouse: Slack adds their own audio chat rooms

(TECH NEWS) Slack planning to co-opt Clubhouse’s synchronous audio rooms has lead to mixed response. Did it really need to be done?

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Woman in green cardigan and headphones listening to audio chat room on mobile, where Slack becomes a competitor.

Slack is adding a synchronous audio chat room feature similar to what Clubhouse already has. While not everyone is happy about it, the addition is true to Slack’s ongoing form—if a little redundant.

Slack’s audio rooms would work similarly to Clubhouse’s current feature of the same persuasion. The rooms themselves would be ongoing for as long as they were open, and users would be able to drop in and out of calls at their leisure, even joining the conversation when permitted by the host or settings. In theory, it’s a cool way to round out Slack’s platform and make for yet another way for people to engage during the work day.

But not everyone is stoked about the addition. Pocketnow’s Nadeem Sarwar makes a strong point about the redundancy of adding a Clubhouse feature to the already-packed Slack deck: “…from a regular remote worker’s perspective, I’d rather use services such as Telegram, Discord, or Google Meet that we’ve grown accustomed to using for jumping into a group call with my teammates.”
“…[T]he need for audio chatrooms to get in a chaotic chat with colleagues, with whom you already chat over work and share memes five days a week, doesn’t make much sense,” he adds.

Sarwar also references research about remote meeting fatigue from Stanford and The Washington Post, positing that—since video conferences are already played out at this point—adding another quasi-conference option to Slack doesn’t serve much of a purpose.

He isn’t wrong. There are multitudinous conference options on the market now, many of which are free. One could argue that Slack, having marketed itself as a text-first communication hub, has no business entering the audio chat landscape.

That argument falls on its face when you consider Slack’s model—something both Sawar and the Slack CEO himself mention—involves “stealing” and implementing “good ideas” from others in order to make their own platform as comprehensive as possible. If one is able to use Slack for the majority of tasks that Google, Discord, and Clubhouse offer, that makes the platform a lot more attractive to users who are on the fence.

And, perhaps more importantly, it ensures that current users won’t migrate to a comparable platform in the future—especially if their colleagues are making the same choice.

It’s a smart move for Slack, especially given Clubhouse’s lack of Android support at this time—something Clubhouse has said probably still won’t launch for a couple of months.

The Clubhouse team, for their part, continues to add new features in efforts to maintain the platform’s upward mobility. One such feature is the option for paid subscriptions to content creators, allowing for people to monetize their presence on the platform. At the time of this writing, Clubhouse is valued at around $1 billion.

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An industry first: IBM launches quantum developer certification program

(TECH NEWS) Developers with quantum computing skills can now prove they’ve mastered the subject with IBM’s first-ever Quantum Developer Certification.

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Quantum developer looking out of the window with a three monitor setup open to various coding programs.

Last week, IBM announced its first-ever developer certification for programming quantum computers, which is also the quantum industry’s first.

“Our team is extremely proud to be able to offer the first-ever quantum developer certification,” a company blog post read. “We hope its availability will provide a valuable learning path for developers and stakeholders looking to prepare themselves for quantum computing in the future.”

The IBM Quantum Developer Certification focuses on IBM’s software tools, specifically Qiskit, their open-source software development kit for quantum computing. Launched in 2017, Qiskit already has over 600,000 installs. And, it’s being used by developers to develop apps, improve code, and participate in hackathons and summer schools.

While the Quantum Developer Certification is the only quantum certification IBM offers now, it won’t be the last. IBM says it is “the first of several in a series of certifications.” This is part of the company’s quantum development roadmap to build a “diverse, global, cloud-based ecosystem of developers who can bring quantum computing skills to their own communities and industries.”

Offered through the Pearson VUE platform, the Quantum Developer Certification exam is 60 questions long. The exam will test a developer’s competency in the fundamentals of quantum computing concepts. Also, it will examine if a person can use Qiskit SDK from the Python programming language to “create and execute quantum computing programs on IBM quantum computers and simulators.”

This certification is exciting for the quantum community because it will officially demonstrate a person’s mastery of quantum computing. And, for the most part, I think most of us can agree that certifying your skills looks good on resumes, and it shows employers you’re serious about your career. However, getting one can be costly. Currently, IBM doesn’t have any scholarships in place, but they say they are working on rolling one out to those who are interested in getting certified.

Along with the certification, IBM is also supporting educators to prepare the future quantum workforce. They are giving educators access to IBM Quantum tools through their Quantum Educators Program and semester-long quantum computing course, Introduction to Quantum Computing and Quantum Hardware, and its free Qiskit digital textbook.

According to a report, quantum computing is predicted to become a $65 billion industry by 2030, and IBM wants to help companies “get their workforce quantum ready” for when it does.

“With our IBM Quantum Developer Certification, IBM Quantum is offering a path for people with all development backgrounds to earn a certification in programming with Qiskit, allowing them to leverage their quantum coding skills into a potential opportunity in this exciting new workforce,” the company blog post read.

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