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Dual N Back - What are your Experiences?

dualn-back.com

https://www.gwern.net/DNB-FAQ

I couldn't run the version he used but this site is straight forward.

For the first few days, I struggled. Even 1 was somewhat surprisingly difficult (any mistakes at all). Quickly repeating orders in my mind (starting from top center, going clockwise 1-8) let me go to 5 with the occassional mistake, primarily in cases with repetition. After 2-3 weeks, I can't do much better than half correct at 3 relying on intuition/not subvocalizing previous orders.

Nevertheless, this seems like the most interesting challenge I've applied myself to in a long time. When in flow, it is among the most pleasurable states, akin to soaring among Platonic shapes.

To some extent, I feel more alive/alert/concentrated in general. But I've also started a regimen of basic nootropics besides random bias/placebo.

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I found it quite unpleasant to do and gave up on it and was glad when it was found that there's really not much point to it.

I did DNB for a while during university. I didn't notice any difference in my cognition, except a slightly better ability to remember strings of numbers (library book numbers, in my case).

I gave up after reading Gwern's meta-analysis where he attributes the majority of the effects found to the use of passive vs active control groups.

Nevertheless, this seems like the most interesting challenge I've applied myself to in a long time. When in flow, it is among the most pleasurable states, akin to soaring among Platonic shapes.

I mean.. honestly if that is the most interesting challenge you’ve seen in a long time, I suggest looking further. Sure it does feel like mental effort but personally I struggle to think of a less meaningful way to apply it. Even among the similarly abstract and introspective things to do there is meditation, lucid dreaming, chess, abstract mathematics etc.

To some extent, I feel more alive/alert/concentrated in general. But I've also started a regimen of basic nootropics besides random bias/placebo.

That would be the placebo effect and the feeling of excitement about a new topic.

There are supplements that can plausibly increase your mental performance… they ain’t called nootropics. Not that I recommend them either.

Besides eliminating vitamin deficiencies and diseases that affect mental function and energy levels, and maybe physical exercise, there don’t seem to be any interventions that have high enough ROI to justify spending time on them, IMO..