When you press the "Start" button, the application will begin. Notice that 2 things happen: A box appears and an audio recording of a letter is played. Remember where the box appeared and also remember the letter. After a few seconds, another box appears and another letter is said. Remember these, too. When you start the game, it will start at the 2-back level. This means that you need to remember if a letter was repeated or a box appeared in the same location 2 times ago. In our example, if the third letter said is the same as the very first one, that's an audio match. If the box appears in the same location as where the first box appeared, this is a visual match. Press "A" for visual matches, "L" for audio matches and both when both match. Continue to press these keys whenever the present squares/letters match what appeared/was said 2 times ago. Eventually, you'll be good enough that the application will allow you to play 3-back. When this happens, press the matching keys whenever the letter/square matches what was said/displayed 3 times ago. As you progress, the application will detect this and continue to increase the difficulty to 4 times, etc.

Be aware that this is a difficult application. At first, it will be difficult to press the correct keys. Don't worry. It was the same for the research subjects when they first started. See the research for more information. However, after enough practice, the subjects improved in this task (as well as on measures of intelligence).

What to do next

Go here to play the game. If you're still unclear on what to do, watch the demonstration located on the Play page. It makes the game easy to understand.