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The science behind Bait

By Paul04 March 2015

Have you played our challenging brain game Bait yet? Bait stimulates your (visual) perception, and encourages you to perceive things more quickly, increase your alertness and improve your orientation. Visual perceptual processing is crucial in learning and reading, to give and understand directions, and to copy from a board or from a book. It's also important in the visualization of objects, past experiences, recall, and hand eye coordination. Improving your visual perception has many benefits for you daily life.

Our Bait game is based upon a psychometric test designed in the 70’s by B.A. Eriksen and C.W. Eriksen. They wanted to measure information processing and selective attention of participants. In this task they presented participants with a stimulus, an arrow pointing either left or right. The participant then had to indicate which way the arrow was pointing. At later stages in the test the arrow was presented among other arrows making the task more challenging (just like how more fish are added the longer you play Bait). These other arrows are called the flankers. They either point in the same direction, which is called congruent, or in a different direction, which is called incongruent. And thus the Eriksen Flanker Task was born.

Bait uses the same principles as Eriksen’s Flanker Task. You’ll notice you’re faster when the fish all point in the same direction, but you’ll also notice it takes more mental effort when the flanking fish point in different directions than the target fish. You have to selectively focus your attention, while ignoring distractors. A brain area called the Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC) will be especially active when playing Bait. The ACC is very important for rational cognitive functions, such as decision-making, impulse control, reward anticipation, and emotion and empathy.

Unlike the 1970's Flanker Task, Bait is a fun experience while training the brain. So now that you know a little bit about the science behind Bait, are you ready to challenge your ability to focus? Click the image below to start playing Bait!