Mark Ashton Smith, Ph.D

About Mark Ashton Smith, Ph.D

I am a cognitive scientist with a joint Ph.D in cognitive psychology and neuroscience from the Center of the Neural Basis of Cognition (Carnegie Mellon/Pittsburgh). At IQ Mindware we develop brain training interventions to increase IQ, critical thinking, decision making, creativity and executive functioning.

How To Complete Your Brain Training Program Using Productivity Hacks

Not following through with your intentions or commitments is one of the major obstacles for effective brain training. For as long as training programs have been around to improve health or performance, we have been delaying, avoiding, and procrastinating with our training schedules. This article looks at some of the science behind what the ancient Greek philosophers called Akrasia – the failure of will and self-control where we act against our better judgement

Working Memory Training. Does It Work?

What is working memory?     Working memory is a short-term memory and attention focus system –  your ‘mental workspace’.  It can be defined as a brain system that keeps information in mind temporarily while using it to think something through, make a decision, pursue a goal or comprehend something. It involves a pre-frontal – parietal brain circuit called the cognitive control network. Working memory is necessary for staying focused on a task, blocking out distractions,  keeping you updated and aware of what is going on

Stroop N-Back, Interference Control and Emotion Regulation

In a study published last week (Oct 28, 2015) by Cohen and his colleagues in the journal Neuroimage, it has been shown that training on an implementation of HighIQPro’s ‘Stroop’ n-back game can  can reduce the brain’s emotional reactivity by changing the brain’s wiring to make it less responsive to threatening information. The principle of this brain training game is interference control.   What is interference control? When distracting information conflicts with the task requirements, as shown here there