User Manual StudyMyMemory

This application uses 2 different tests to analyze and train your memory. These tests have been shown to improve memory performance, too. So by routinely performing this short, fun tests you not only track your memory performance, you also train your brain.

Introduction: n-Back Tests

This kind of tests have been introduced as early as 1958 by W.K. Kirchner. In general, a stimulus is presented to the performer (it could also be an audible stimulus, in our case it is a visual stimulus), and the subject has to react as fast as possible if the currently presented stimuls equals the last or the last-last etc. The farther back the symbol is you have to remember, the more difficult is the test.

It is still discussed controversely if that kind if of test is also able to improve memory performance, see for example recent articles by Jaeggi and Moody.

For more information on n-Back tests you may visit the Wikipedia site.

For more information on Alzheimers disease you may visit the website of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Recording

To start a recording, choose one of the two test: “One back” or “Two back”, and hit the start button.

There are 2 different tests:

  • One-back: Hit the button or the symbol as fast as possible if the currently shown symbol equals the last one.
  • Two-back: Hit the button or the symbol as fast as possible if the currently shown symbol equals the last-last one. 

How does it work?

The App stores the reaction time of every trial and calculates the average value, the average of the 10% best, and the error rate. For everey missed symbol or pressing on a “wrong” symbol the error count is increased.

Results of the measurements and Saving

If the recording is finished your results are displayed in a color bar chart (see also Interpretation of the Charts). You will see the current measurement results as a marker labeled “New” within the color chart of all previous measurements stored in your iPhone or iPod. Below the bar the “Others” bracket mark the range of other users of the StudyMyHealth.com website.

If you want to keep the current measurement hit on “Save”.

For “experts”: By hitting the “show details” field the single trial results are displayed in a chart.

Note:

  • If the error rate is more than 100%, the measurement will be interrupted. Please start a new recording session in this case.

Interpretation of the Charts and Results

What are the calculated values?

  • Mean reaction time: average of the all times it took you to hit on the screen after the computer displayed the symbol.
  • Error rate: your error rate in percent of all trials. For example, if you pressed 2 false symbols and missed in addition 3 “true” symbols out of 15 trials, the error rate is 33% (2+3=5 errors during 15 trials).
  • Average best 10%: the average time in Milliseconds of the best 10% of all times.

Color Bars

The graphs are showing your previous recordings color coded: green is marking your personal “normal” range, i.e. the range most of your previous measurements were in, whereas gray colors displays rather rare values (you might say “the less green the less values”).

You can switch between the result views by sliding horizontally.

Line charts

The line charts display the values of your measurements over time. The time range is chosen by the buttons below. In the line charts you can see how the values vary over time.

You can switch between the result views by sliding horizontally.

Trend charts

The trend chart is a smoothed version of the line chart. It is particularly useful to see if the values show a trend, i.e. if the get continously higher or lower. The trend chart is not shown if the chosen time range is displaying less than 5 days (note that, in this case, it does not make that much sense to look at a “trend”).

You can switch between the result views by sliding horizontally.

Single Trials

You can also look at the single trials of a measurement by selecting the measurement in the Calendar view (see below). The chart displays each trial as a blue square, Y axis is reaction time in milli seconds. Failed trials are displayed as red squares at the bottom.

Data management: The Calendar

Using the calendar you can manage the data on your iPhone or iPod, and display or delete single recordings. Days with recordings are marked with a dot. If you chose a day, the recordings you made that days are listed in the table below the calendar. To delete a single recording press on the recording. The single trial view is shown. By pressing the delete button in the upper right corner this data set will be deleted.

Export Data to iCloud

Be part of a scientific world, and study your results! If you are using iCloud and have the iCloud Drive enabled on your device you can upload all results as ASCII File to your iCloud Drive. The files are stored in a folder called “StudyMyMemeory”; single session files are named after their creation date and time, and contain 2 columns. The first col is the reaction time in seconds, the second indicates whether there has been an error (value 0) or not (value 1). Values are separated by a semicolon.

The second file is called “All_Results.txt” and contains a table with all measurement results; also separated by semicolon. The first row contains the column headers.

You can import the text files to other programs, for example  Microsoft(R) Excel(R), to analyze or visualize them.

Note: in earlier versions of the App we provided services based on a custom web App; this has been closed in August 2015. However, your local datastore is not affected by it, you can always export all recordings to iCloud as described above.