Sakiro's Hackipedia Volume 1 Печать
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Автор: Sakiro   
21.08.2012 21:45
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 Volume 1

This is a directory of practical hacks and exercises (H&E) in Neurohacking, including some tests for self assessment.


When I first started learning about NH, I got an especial interest about how different exercises improve different parts of our brain, and how each of those parts works “as a whole” to produce what we call intelligence.

Discoveries that enlightened me, and inspired me to know that there are no skills or particular subjects we cannot understand or learn.

Realization that if we can't do or understand something, it is just a matter of not having enough points of similarity between what we are trying to learn and what we already know.

I think that we live in a society where people get labeled based on the skill that they currently have, and automatically they end up thinking that that's only the only stuff they can excel at.

“Im just a logic based person”

“Only Sports are for me”

“Numbers are complicated; I'm a more creative type of guy”


And thanks to this wonderful site, it freed me for that judgment, and now I know we can become whatever we want to be, it's just a matter of practise, building up the networks related to the task we want to excel at, and keeping them balanced.

Because we have the best program ever, intelligence, and with that tool in our arms, nothing is impossible.

Knowing all this, and feeling very comfortable gathering stuff on the net, I contribute this compendium of resources and exercises which I think all the members here can make use of to help exercise their brains.

Keep your brain entertained, play and have fun!

Sakiro – NH Student


NOTES: This is a work in progress so we'll be filling in more and updating to include new H&E. If any of you have discovered or invented new hacks etc that have produced good results or insights into how the mind works, let us know so that we can add them in.

We have marked whether entries are hacks, exercises, or both. What's the difference? In a hack we are changing something, either physically to improve, to get rid of obstacles in our way, or to increase our awareness, and hacks should be used to prevent wrong input in networks. Exercises are for improvement of unused networks, practicing skills, and augmentation.

There are currently 3 sections as follows:

1. H&E for all networks (benefits whole brain connectivity & helps balance networks)

2. Basics H&E (mainly for networks 1&2)

3. Intermediate H&E (mainly for networks 3&4) -this can be found in volume 2.


And we expect to add another section over time:

4. Advanced H&E (mainly for networks 5&6)





Section 1: H&E for all networks


Anxiety reduction

Input control


Connectivity & Congruent Association



Anxiety reduction

Meditation (hack + exercise)

When we meditate, our brain begins a kind of functioning that’s similar to sleep, but carries some added benefits we can’t achieve as well in any other state, including the release of certain hormones that promote health. Our body and mind go into 'growth & development mode', cellular repairs take place, and our mind transfers more data into long term memory. Also, the mental focus on nothingness stops our conscious mind from working overtime and increasing our anxiety level.

It doesn’t matter what kind of meditation you choose, and if you follow any particular method already there’s no need to change that. But you might want to try other methods out and see what they’re like. The easiest forms of meditation we have found in books are those taught by Richard Hittleman in his ‘yoga for health’ books; these should be available from libraries for free or to buy online.

Resource: Mindfulness Meditation (free online/pdf book)


The relaxation response (hack + exercise)

With practice, this hack should cause the ‘relaxation response’. Practice the technique once or twice daily, but not within two hours after any meal, since the digestive processes seem to interfere with the elicitation of the Relaxation Response. Best done before sleeping, and don't worry if it causes you to go to sleep at first!


Lie down somewhere comfortable and relax. Turn off the phone, radio and/or TV.

Close your eyes. Pay attention to any areas of your body that are tense.

Breathe calmly and as you breathe naturally out, deliberately relax the tense areas, beginning at your feet and progressing up to your face.

Go over them all again and keep them relaxed.

Breathe through your nose if you can, unless it is blocked. Become aware of and listen to your breathing. Each time you breathe out, say the word, "ONE", silently to yourself.

Breathe easily and naturally.

Continue for 10 to 20 minutes. You may open your eyes to check the time, but do not use an alarm. Do not worry about whether you are successful in achieving a deep level of relaxation. Maintain a passive attitude and permit relaxation to occur at its own pace.

When distracting thoughts occur, try to ignore them by not dwelling upon them and return to repeating "ONE" silently to yourself.

When you finish, sit quietly for several minutes, at first with your eyes closed and later with your eyes opened. Do not stand up for a few minutes.


Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing is an easy anxiety reducer that has numerous benefits for the body, including oxygenating the blood, which ‘wakes up’ the brain, relaxing muscles and quieting the mind. Breathing exercises are especially helpful because you can do them anywhere, and they work quickly so you can relax in a flash.

Simple breathing cycle: breathe slowly in through the nose for a count of 2 and out for a count of three.


Input control

Smile hack (quick mood-booster)

Only takes a minute, best done in private as it looks strange. Find a pen or pencil. Put the blunt end of the pen between your front teeth as though it were a cigar. Do not allow your lips to touch the pen for one minute. Don’t worry if it makes you laugh; it is a bit of a strange feeling.

The facial expression you have to pull with a pen in your teeth without the lips touching uses muscles that send signals to your brain, to tell it that you’re ‘smiling’ for quite a long period of time (a minute is a long time, to the brain). Of course, you know consciously that you’re not really smiling, you’re doing some strange exercise with a pen. But for the unconscious part of the brain that reads muscular signals, it’s ‘close enough’, in other words this is a hack. You’re basically fooling the mind into thinking that something good is happening “out there” in your real life.

When the mind gets these signals from the muscles in your face, it prepares your brain and body to interact with it. It releases chemicals into your bloodstream that increase your confidence, focus your attention and boost your immune system (just in case whatever is going on out there might be fun and exciting but also dangerous.)



Troubleshooting Memory Test/ Exercise: (make a copy of the text below. Where direct answers are required, type or write them in on your copy.) All memory tests are memory exercises.


1. Read these words, but don’t try to memorize them: peach, computer, crow.

2. Read this address, but don’t try to memorize it:

Yoko Ramani

1643 Broadsway Crescent,

Kenmare, Eire.

3. [Type/write in your answer ‘Y’ or ‘N’.] Have you had more trouble than usual remembering what you've done for the past few weeks? [ ]

4. Has it been harder for you to remember lists recently? [ ]

5. Have you noticed a decline in your ability to calculate arithmetically in your head, such as adding a series of different quantities or making correct change? [ ]

6. Have you recently been forgetting to keep arrangements? [ ]

7. Have you suddenly had trouble remembering names? [ ]

8. Have you suddenly had trouble recognizing people you should know? [ ]

9. Have you had a hard time lately finding the right word you want to use? [ ]

10. Have you had recent trouble remembering how to do simple tasks such as using a kitchen appliance or a remote control? [ ]

11. Do memory lapses interfere with your functioning at work? [ ]

12. Do memory lapses interfere with your functioning at home? [ ]

13. Do memory lapses interfere with your functioning in social situations? [ ]

14. [type in the answers] Name the last three new people you met. [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ]

15. Name five different foods & what areas of the world they are traditionally associated with. [1 ] [2 ] [3 ] [4 ] [5 ]

16. What was the main food you had for your biggest meal on each of the past two days? [1 ] [2 ]

17. What were the last two movies you watched? [1 ] [2 ]

18. Without looking back, write down the three words you were asked to read at the beginning of the quiz. [1 ] [2 ] [3 ]

19. Without looking back, write down the name and address you were asked to read at the beginning of the quiz. [ ]

20. Without going to look, what color is the floor in your bathroom? [ ]


Now check the answers to the last three questions.


Give yourself 1 point for each "no" answer for questions 3-13 (maximum 11 points)

Give yourself 1 point for each blank you correctly filled in for questions 14-20 (maximum 22 points)

Overall maximum score possible: 33

If you scored:

28-33 Congratulations! You have a better-than-average memory. Great potential for augmentation!

22-27 Pretty good, but you could probably benefit from some memory exercises.

15-21 Your memory is a bit weak; memory exercises should help you improve your memory.

0-14 Your memory may be compromised due to some problem and you may want to consider getting a diagnostic evaluation.


Techniques for improving memory in all networks

Physical Exercise –Is known to improve memory, especially in rear networks. Tai Chi is one of the best; swimming in moving water is another. Dancing of any kind where you have to remember the steps is good too. Any kind of basic workout that improves your blood flow will also help your memory (and the rest of your brain).

The health benefits of physical exercise, especially on a long term and strenuous basis, has a positive effect on epigenetic mechanisms and ultimately may reduce incidence and severity of disease.

The mere act of putting one foot in front of the other for a few minutes has a significant beneficial impact on our mood, regardless of where we do it, why we do it, or what effect we expect the walk to have.

Exercise has been shown to induce positive changes in DNA methylation within adipose tissue and regulate metabolism in both healthy and diseased individuals. Increased DNA methylation of genes has also shown to increase lipogenesis following exercise. Exercise also leads to beneficial changes in DNA methylation patterns in skeletal muscle. Exercise is also known to positively influence the expression patterns of miRNAs in leukocyte cells.

Recent research (2016) suggests a fat-burning hormone, released during exercise, plays a role. This hormone, irisin (aka 'FNDC5'), a cytokine or chemical messenger produced by muscle, helps your body shed fat and keeps body fat from forming in the first place. Irisin appears to work by boosting the activity of genes and a protein that are crucial to turning white fat cells into brown fat cells, the latter of which primarily burn energy rather than storing it. It also significantly increases the amount of energy used by those cells. Tests show irisin is able to suppress fat cell formation by 20 to 60 percent. Normally, your body produces only small quantities of irisin. And exercise is the key to boosting its production.

In addition to exercise, brown fat can be activated through exposure to cold temperatures such as ice baths or cold showers.


If using physical exercise to improve your memory, bear the following in mind:

Aerobic Training/ HIT

In 2006, MRIs were used to prove that aerobic exercise builds gray and white matter in the brains of adults, who also perform better on cognitive tests.

Impact on memory: Strong

Lifting Weights

When weight lifters talk about getting huge, they aren't referring to their hippocampus. Researchers have found only the most tenuous link between heavy resistance training and improved cognitive function.

Impact on memory: Negligible

Yoga/ Tai Chi

When facing a stressful situation or even a scary email, people often hold their breath. Under pressure, most people breathe incorrectly. The result: more anxiety and less oxygen to your brain. So the first thing that goes is your memory. Yoga or Tai Chi can break that habit.

Impact on memory: Possibly strong


Particularly good for N4, because it improves your ability to get into alpha rhythm, but also helps all other networks, and increases attention and alertness.

Impact on memory: Very strong.

Psychological & cognitive techniques –Such as self-hypnosis, EFT, co counseling and CBT Can be particularly helpful for shifting traumatic memories.

Impact on memory: Varies widely according to individual


Connectivity & Association

To improve overall brain connectivity (hack and exercise)

In making mental associations, we are building denser networks and increasing overall intelligence.

It is worth taking the time to make deliberate and conscious symbolic connections between concrete material reality and abstract concepts, e.g.

the smell of freshly turned soil and the fertility of the earth and its potential bounty of resources. In this way, you can get both ends of the

brain associating the same things, and later a simple material perception brings to mind the abstract ideas. Association as a whole is enriched by

such consciously intended associations. A single flower can bring to mind the 'productive power of nature'. Smell is a potent sense with which to

make such associations. Consider what different smells remind you of.


Exercises for all networks 

Sit down comfortably and link your hands together in your lap. Pick an issue you would like to consider –this can be any subject, problem or question.

Looking at your hands, consider the physical material aspects of the problem or issue. How does the subject relate to you physical or material health and wellbeing?

Look straight ahead. Consider any emotional aspects of the subject you have in mind. Now think about how imagination might be applied to it. 

Look up and to your right. Keep your eyes in that position as you consider how creativity relates to the subject in mind. How might the issue affect groups and individuals?

Look up and to your left and think about the intellectual aspects of the issue. How confident do you feel about your understanding of it?

Look straight upwards [lean your head back against a cushion if you want, but do not lie down] and decide what are your priorities and where this issue ranks by comparison. [Remember to keep ‘sanity’ and ‘health’ up at the top or you won’t be in any good shape to decide the others!] Consider whether or not you need more information in order to adequately understand whatever you are thinking about to your own satisfaction. If the issue is a problem, now is when you consider the solution. If it is a subject you are interested in, ask yourself in which areas have you learned enough?


Exercise for a quick brain boost (Do not do this exercise just after eating!)

This is one of the few physical exercises we do. Stand or sit or lie down comfortably anywhere there is enough room in front of you to bend over. By whatever means is most comfortable to you, get into any physical position that leaves your head slightly lower than most of the rest of your body [on a chair with head between your knees, crouching with head lower than knees, hanging your head off the edge of the bed].

Remain in this position while you take ten slow, deep breaths.

Slowly return to your original position (if lying down, support your head with one of your hands as you sit up). If you feel at all dizzy, remain still and breathe deeply and slowly until it passes.

You have increased the blood and oxygen supply to your brain, and doing this now and again is a useful way of sharpening your mind –good for that ‘mid-afternoon drop’ in energy many people experience, or if you’re feeling too stoned (professional athletes adopt this ‘head below the knees’ posture to recover after great physical exertion, to prevent oxygen deprivation to the brain causing fainting.) For a short time you can take advantage of the increased glucose supply you have caused in the brain, so save this hack for those times when you need a quick boost. If you have a coffee or other stimulant just after doing the exercise the effects will last longer.


Quick yoga boost (Do not do this exercise just after eating!)

The ‘shoulderstand’ yoga posture is one of the finest exercises for the whole body and brain. Even if you can manage to do this for a 30 seconds a day you will notice a pretty immediate improvement in your overall vitality right away. The boost it gives to the cardiovascular system is the main reason (and you will also find it improves your digestion, your complexion, and your balance).

To do the shoulderstand, lie flat on your back and raise your legs and lower back, supporting your hips or your lower back with your hands. Keep your elbows on the ground. Point your toes upwards as far as you can. Do this just once per session, increasing the time slowly up to a maximum of three minutes. Rest lying flat on your back for thirty seconds after the exercise, and get up slowly.


Music (hack + exercise)

Learning to play a musical instrument increases brain connectivity across all networks.




Section 2 Basics H&E



Network 1 abilities & functions

1.1 Senses of touch, taste, temperature and pressure

1.2 Motion, self care & hygiene, system maintenance & repair

1.3 Sensorimotor memory & association

1.4 Sensorimotor processing & categorization

1.5 Attention

1.6 Concentration



1.1 Senses of touch, taste, temperature and pressure

Exercises to improve touch sensitivity

Two Point Discrimination exercise:

Obtain a pair of blunt compasses or tweezers or a short piece of firm wire bent in half. Open them so the points are about 3mm apart, with this gap you will probably still be able to discriminate two separate points touching the skin of your fingertips or lips, but if you now place the compasses on your chest you can only feel one poke. Adjust the gap until you can feel two separate points on your chest. Measure this gap. In this way a chart may be made of the sensitivity of the skin in different parts of your body.

Having made a chart, repeat this exercise for a minimum of ten days, in different areas, and see if there is any increase of sensitivity. What conditions change the sensitivity of your skin to touch?    If you get improvement quickly or are very sensitive to start with, you can try a harder version if you can find an assistant (do the exercise with the assistant placing the compasses on the skin and keep your eyes closed.)


Tactile enhancement exercise: 

Choose an area or a room that contains nothing that could be knocked over and broken or spilled, or trip you up. Spend 15-30 minutes exploring the room blindfolded. Be sure to make a good job of the blindfold, putting cotton wool pads over the eyelids if the contours of our face make it difficult to get a good seal. Identity all objects by touch alone.

Estimate the weight and dimensions of various chosen objects, checking your guesses later. If an object you know well surprises you with the way it feels, spend some time with it. Notice the exact position of fittings such as handles, relief design, indentations, holes, robustness, flexibility, articulation etc. Gradually increase the speed and confidence with which you can move about the room. Repeat this exercise once a week, until you can move around the room with as much ease as if you were not wearing a blindfold. After a break of a week or so move on to a new room, area or place.


Object Identification exercise:

a. Procure many similar sized objects covering a range of basic forms. Do not include sharp objects. Put them in a bag or a box. Wearing a blindfold, tip them out carefully onto a table or the floor in front of you and without picking them up, examine them by touch alone. Become readily conversant with their different shapes, textures and details.


b. (needs assistant) Sitting comfortably before a table, wearing a blindfold, ask a friend to place on the table several surprise small objects from around the room, which you touch in the same way, without picking up. Try to determine what the articles are.

Repeat for ten days, and note down changes in touch perception.


Exercises for increasing smell or taste sensitivity

Touch/taste discrimination

A. Using a mirror, with a small spoon put a bit of honey onto the tongue. Is it the slippery feeling or the sweet taste that is first perceived?

B. Dab your dampened little finger into pepper and put a very little pepper onto the tongue. Pinch the nostrils with the other hand. Is there a taste separate from the irritation?

C. Experiment with other edibles. List them, and note the components of the sensation that they give.


Detail Differentiation exercise

Take one particular category of taste/smell and sample 6-10 varieties. If these may be sampled simultaneously - as in the case of fruits or cheeses - note the unique characteristics of each sample. Then arrange it so you may sample each without seeing it - of course it is difficult to hide textures sometimes- and guess which it is. If several may not practicably be tested simultaneously, as with bottles of wine - although wine tasting parties are a good excuse to do this - then make notes on the taste at the time. Then compare your notes and memory of this taste with the next.


Temperature: Thermal (heat) sensitivity (hack + exercise)

Surface Temperature Variations: The simplest way of stretching the body’s heat control mechanisms out of their 'central heating slumber' is to vary the surface temperature of the skin quickly without allowing serious heat losses. The best way to do this is to go to a shower with separate hot and cold controls - set the heat full on, then adjust the cold until you can comfortably bear it.

When you are well heated step out of the shower and turn off the hot. Then dive back under the rapidly cooling shower, for as long as you can bear it, or until you are well cooled off. (The first time you may only be able to bear a quick splash, but regular repeated practice makes the practice a pleasant and invigorating one). Then repeat this quickly 3 or 4 times until you feel yourself tingling all over.

This tingling is the lazy old thermo-nerve endings spluttering their way back into operation. The refreshing effect initiated by the tingling will continue for about half an hour.

Regular exposure to cold in controlled conditions will also adapt your body to the change without going into a shock response. If you ever fall into cold water, this ability could save your life!

Sauna, Russian and Turkish baths can do a similar job, but require more time and money. Outdoor sweat lodges and swimming in Spring and Autumn will be as good, if you make sure you get well warmed up between dips.


Temperature control (hack + exercise)

A cheap and easy device to use for Biofeedback is a digital thermometer (they cost about $20; do an internet search for “stress thermometer”). Your biofeedback task is to hold the sensor and relax so that you slightly decrease your finger or toe temperature. This is a mind-body exercise with trial and error learning. Learning how to bring blood flow to your extremities is a particular form of relaxation that can be mastered with training and practice.

The goal of this exercise is to learn to alter your temperature within five minutes. Remember the ambient air in a room is usually cooler where there are draughts at ground level and warmer higher up, so don't change the altitude of the thermometer during the exercise.


Assessing Conductivity of Materials exercise

Different materials have the capacity to hold different amounts of heat. Metal holds lots and wood holds little. So, even when it is at the same room temperature, a metal bar will feel colder than a wooden rod. Go around your room (blindfold helps) or your house (the parts of it that are at a similar temperature) and check out the comparative temperature of different materials. List them in order of cold to warm.

Floors, walls, plastic, water, glass etc. will all be at roughly the same temperature but will feel different because of their different heat capacity.



1.2 Motion, self care & hygiene, system maintenance & repair


The inner you (exercise)

Pay attention to the motion INSIDE your body. Does your digestive system operate smoothly and without problems? What is your natural sleep cycle? How often do you get hungry in a relaxed day? A busy day? What is your usual resting heartbeat or pulse? Your usual blood pressure? Your usual weight? Make a point of finding out.


The outer you (hack + exercise)

Hack Your Posture & Circulation - Both Affect the Brain’s Blood Supply and Overall Health.

An often neglected part of physical health is your posture, which it may surprise you to learn has strong effects on your moods and state of mind. To preserve your posture and physical health, avoid:

1. Regular wearing of high heels, they alter your posture to throw your pelvis forward and can cause reproductive system problems.

2. Carrying of heavy bags on one shoulder or with one arm only, which leads to a lot of back problems.

3. Tight clothing, which has been the cause of many a deep vein thrombosis and can cause varicose tissue in the testes (ouch!) and the legs. Pay particular attention to shoes, socks, stockings, waist-contriction, neckties, collars and hats. Clothing should not restrict circulation, and if it does we are depriving our brain of oxygen.

4. Nylon or other synthetic underwear, which encourages UTIs (Urinary tract infections) and acne.

5. When lifting, use the legs, not the back. Do not bend the back to lift or to put down heavy loads. Cultivating this habit will ensure that you don't get low back problems.


Our body is like a spacesuit that allows our brain to move about and interact with the world. Our life depends on it, so make sure it’s in good working order and it has healthy habits. Our posture is also subject to habit –and bad habits can be changed for better ones. Take a few moments to become aware of your body. You will notice when you are slouching or tense, and correct it. Do this hack at regular times each day.

A part of your body posture is of course your face! Habits of walking around looking grumpy or with your mouth gawping open can be hacked, but only if you notice them. Sensory motor exercises such as those given below will assist your awareness of your body and of stuff like this.

Walking is a great brain exercise because it is not normally strenuous, so your leg muscles don't take up extra oxygen and glucose like they do during other forms of exercise. As you walk, you effectively oxygenate your brain. Maybe this is why some people go for a walk to "clear their head" and help themselves to think through something more clearly.

Gentle movement and exercise increase breathing and heart rate so that more blood flows to the brain, enhancing energy production and waste removal. In response to this kind of exercise, cerebral blood vessels grow, even in middle-aged sedentary animals.

An important factor in your home is temperature. The human brain, body and immune system work most efficiently at a room temperature above 19 degrees centigrade [66 fahrenheit]. Keep warm when you are going out too –you may only be popping out to throw away the garbage, but sudden drops in temperature can also throw your chemistry balance.


Body Awareness

Lying in bed, slowly stretch your body in all directions. Make all stretches very gentle. Do not force limbs into painful positions! Pay attention to each part of your body from the feet up and stretch it a little. Then relax, and every time you naturally breathe out, concentrate on a different part of your body to relax.



Sensorimotor Hack to Improve Confidence

Recent studies imply that our body posture can affect not only what others think about us, but also how we think about ourselves.

In one study, participants were seated at a computer terminal and instructed to either "sit up straight" and "push out their chest” or "sit slouched forward" with their "face looking at their knees."

While holding their posture, they listed either three positive or three negative personal traits relating to future professional performance. Then they took a survey rating themselves on how well they would do as a future professional employee.

The results were striking. How the participants rated themselves as future professionals depended on which posture they held as they wrote the positive or negative traits.

Those who held the upright, confident posture were much more likely to rate themselves in line with the positive or negative traits they wrote down. However, those who assumed the slumped over, less confident posture, didn't seem convinced by their own thoughts - their ratings didn't differ much regardless of whether they wrote positive or negative things about themselves.

The end result of this was that when students wrote positive thoughts about themselves, they rated themselves more highly when in the upright than the slouched posture because the upright posture led to confidence in the positive thoughts. However, when students wrote negative thoughts about themselves, they rated themselves more negatively in the upright than the slouched posture because the upright posture led to more confidence in their negative thoughts.

Participants didn't report feeling more confident in the upright position than they did in the slouched position, even though those in the upright position did report more confidence in the thoughts they generated.

That suggests people's thoughts are influenced by their posture unconsciously; they assume their confidence is coming from their own thoughts, and don't realize their posture is affecting how much they believe in what they're thinking. If they did realize that, posture wouldn't have such an effect. In other words, sitting up straight has psychological benefits - as long as you generally have positive thoughts. So don't do this hack if you are feeling anxious; reduce the anxiety first.


Physical exercise

Many people exercise to control weight and get in better physical condition, to become more healthy or physically attractive, but exercise and anxiety reduction are also closely linked. Exercise provides an opportunity to step back from complex situations, as well as a boost to your brain’s blood supply, and gives you a lift via endorphins as well.


Quick fitness test/exercise

Assessment with Biofeedback

You will need a watch or clock with the ability to display seconds and something about 8” (20cm) high that you can stand on safely. The bottom step of a flight of stairs or a solid footstool will do nicely.

Take your pulse and make a note of what it is. Stand with your feet together in front of the step and start the clock. For three minutes, step up and down at the rate of twice every five seconds (up-down-up-down is 'twice'). Stop if you begin to feel uncomfortable. When the three minutes are up, sit down and rest for exactly one minute, then take your pulse.

If your circulation’s working properly and you’re fit, your pulse should be almost back down to where it started. Here’s a guide to different results:

Final pulse rate:

Under 82 = very fit

82-92 = fit

93-107 =somewhat unfit

108 plus = very unfit

N.B. These scores do not apply accurately to anyone under 15 –please contact us if you need details for younger ages.

If your score was over 93, you need to practise control with biofeedback for the sake of your physical health as well as your brain, but you should not begin a physical exercise program unless you are sure of what you’re doing –find out more about why you are unfit first and deal with any physical health problems.

You can get this sort of straightforward biofeedback information from your body once every few months to see how you improve.


Find Out If You’re Fit Enough to Supply the Brain with the Oxygen it Needs (test/exercise)

You don’t need any special equipment to do this. You need a watch or a clock with a second hand, OR a BP/Pulse measuring machine.

Sit quietly for a minute or two, then measure your “resting pulse” [the easiest way is to count the number of heartbeats in 15 seconds and multiply by 4]. Make a note of it in beats per minute.

Now subtract 7 from 978 in your head. Say the numbers out loud and do it as fast and as accurately as you can. When you have a result, subtract seven from that result, and so on. Do this for about two minutes.

Take your pulse again. It should have risen by between 10 and 20 beats per minute.

If it doesn't rise at all or only increases by 5 or less, you need more physical exercise to supply your brain with its needs.


High Intensity Training (hack + exercise)

Recent research shows that as little as three minutes of intense exertion per week can deliver many of the health- and fitness benefits people get from hours of conventional exercise, including improved insulin sensitivity by an average of 24 percent in four weeks

Recent research also shows that when healthy but inactive people exercise intensely, even if the exercise is brief, it produces an immediate change in their DNA. It appears this contraction-induced gene activation promotes genetic reprogramming of muscles for strength and other structural and metabolic benefits associated with exercise

Ideally, you’ll want to do high intensity exercises two or three times a week for a total of four minutes of intense exertion with recovery periods in between. For optimal health, you’d also be wise to incorporate low GI nutrition.


Exercises to avoid 'internet neck' 

1. Sit comfortably on an upright chair (an office chair will do) or on the floor supported by a cushion under your bum. Relax your shoulders and let your hands rest in your lap. As you breathe out, move your head & neck back but try not to move your shoulders, like a turtle withdrawing its head into its shell. Hold the position for a count of five, breathing normally, then move your head and neck forward again, like the turtle peeping out. Try to keep your face forward as opposed to looking up or down. Do this as many times as it is comfortable, up to five times.

This is a super exercise for people suffering from ‘internet neck’, (that stiffness one gets when playing computer games or programming for three weeks at a time, etc.) It frees up and relaxes all the tension in muscles and nerves of the neck and shoulders. Neck tension restricts the flow of blood (and consequently glucose) to the brain, causes headaches, and exacerbates eyestrain, so it’s a good idea to use this exercise as a preventive as well as a cure!

2. Sit in your chair and clasp your hands behind your neck and the bottom of your head. Push backwards with your head and resist the push with your hands. Do this three times.

3. SLOWLY move your head in all directions; up/down, left/right, sideways (onto your left shoulder and then right shoulder) and backwards/forwards (like the turtle.)


Relaxation exercises (ALL relaxation techniques hack anxiety)

DIY Head & Face Massage

A great one for in the bath or shower, or before bed.

Relax your hands. Massage and shake them out until they feel tingly. Rub them together... fronts, backs and between the fingers.

Begin by slapping your scalp all over with loose wrist and limp fingers. Then massage the scalp using the fingertips. Think of tension being

released in the back of the neck; as it releases it lengthens. Fingertip massage around the hairline. Stroke the forehead. Place the palms of the

hands over your eyes and imagine the eyelids relaxing under your hands.

Brush the skin back from center temple around to the ears. Continue this down the face pulling the skin back from the center line in slow

rhythmic waves.

Such simple pleasure can seem unworthy of the effort of self discipline and not functional enough to be included in your self-care. To find out

why they are, repeat this exercise daily for ten days and note the effect.

Self-massage is also effective for the relief of pain, as it alters the brain's representation of the body's borders and boundaries. Even crossing

the arms can relieve pain in one hand!


Relaxation Response Hack

With practice, this hack should cause the ‘relaxation response’. Practice the technique once or twice daily, but not within two hours after any

meal, since the digestive processes seem to interfere with the elicitation of the Relaxation Response. Best done before sleeping, and don't worry

if it causes you to go to sleep at first!

Lie down somewhere comfortable and relax. Turn off the phone, radio and/or TV.

Close your eyes. Pay attention to any areas of your body that are tense.

Breathe calmly and as you breathe naturally out, deliberately relax the tense areas, beginning at your feet and progressing up to your face.

Go over them all again and keep them relaxed.

Breathe through your nose if you can, unless it is blocked. Become aware of and listen to your breathing. Each time you breathe out, say the word, "ONE", silently to yourself.

Breathe easily and naturally.

Continue for 10 to 20 minutes. You may open your eyes to check the time, but do not use an alarm. Do not worry about whether you are successful in achieving a deep level of relaxation. Maintain a passive attitude and permit relaxation to occur at its own pace.

When distracting thoughts occur, try to ignore them by not dwelling upon them and return to repeating "ONE" silently to yourself.

When you finish, sit quietly for several minutes, at first with your eyes closed and later with your eyes opened. Do not stand up for a few minutes.


Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing is an easy anxiety reducer that has numerous benefits for the body, including oxygenating the blood, which ‘wakes up’ the brain, relaxing muscles and quieting the mind. Breathing exercises are especially helpful because you can do them anywhere, and they work quickly so you can relax in a flash.



Meditation builds on deep breathing, and takes it a step further. When you meditate, your brain begins a kind of functioning that’s similar to sleep, but carries some added benefits you can’t achieve as well in any other state, including the release of certain hormones that promote health. Also, the mental focus on nothingness stops your mind from working overtime and increasing your anxiety level.


Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)

By tensing and relaxing all the muscle groups in your body, you can relieve tension and feel much more relaxed in minutes, with no special training or equipment. Start by tensing all the muscles in your face, holding them tight for ten seconds, then completely relaxing for ten seconds.


Repeat this with your neck, followed by your shoulders, etc. You can do this anywhere, and as you practice, you will find you can relax more quickly and easily and help prevent posture problems, reducing tension as quickly as it starts!


Combination techniques: PMR and breathing

* Sit quietly and comfortably.

* Close your eyes.

* Start by relaxing the muscles of your feet and work up your body relaxing muscles.

* Focus your attention on your breathing.

* Breathe in deeply and then let your breath out. Count your breaths, and say the number of the breath as you let it out (this gives you something to do with your mind, helping you to avoid distraction).

Do this for ten or twenty minutes.

An even more potent alternative approach is to follow these steps, but to use relaxation imagery instead of counting breaths in step 5. If you like, you can prove to yourself that this works using biofeedback equipment.



You probably already know that sex is a great tension reliever, but have you officially thought of it as an anxiety-relieving practice? Perhaps you should. The physical benefits of sex (including masturbation) are numerous, and most of them work very well toward relieving anxiety. Sadly, many people have less sex when their cortisol levels are high. Learn how to avoid this trap!



Yoga is one of the oldest self-improvement practices around, dating back over 5 thousand years! It combines the practices of several other anxiety management techniques such as breathing, meditation, imagery and movement, giving you a lot of benefit for the amount of time and energy required. There are many accessible books and sites online where you can learn yoga.



The physical activity of digging, pulling and planting can be a great anxiety releaser, your skin absorbs a mood-lightening neurochemical from soil (serotonin), plus free vitamin D, peace and quiet. Planting or tending a garden of fruit, vegetables, flowers or anything else that grows, can be a wonderfully relaxing pastime, with the reward of delicious organic food, a beautiful bouquet, quantities of cannabis, really cool interior décor, or a gorgeous yard to chill out in as well!



If you have a lifestyle that includes alarm clocks, sleeping pills or night lights, you're robbing your own intelligence of resources. Natural sleep is essential for mental health and most particularly memory & association. It's also essential for body and mind maintenance & repair.

Sleep when you're tired, not because it's a certain time of day. Take naps when your body wants to.

Don't doubt the transformative power of sleep -try it. Most of us are chronically sleep-deprived. One week of natural sleep can transform mood, energy levels and immunity. You'll 'feel like a new person' because you'll be one; the one biology meant you to be.


Hack for those who currently have to conform to artificial sleep patterns

Work with your biology -when your brain wants to daydream, allow it to do so as often as you can. Daydreaming allows extra 'memory filing' time for the brain and reduces the effects of lack of sleep. Psychologists have also discovered ways to increase and decrease mind wandering when you either have time for it or you don't (so you can let your memory catch up whenever you have time). You need a random number generator (several free ones are available online).

Set it going on single digits and then tap a key every time you see a new number appear on the computer screen but DON'T tap if the number is three. You'll soon find your mind wandering, at which point just let it and stop tapping the numbers.


Testing for Sleep Deprivation

Find out whether you are sleep-deprived. (This is best practised at weekends or when not working, and it won’t work if you are taking lots of drugs -including coffee, tea, sugary foods, soda, alcohol and tobacco).

Make sure you have at least a whole day in which you don’t really have to do anything at any particular time. Take your watch off, and try to avoid watching the clock. Whenever you feel tired, regardless of what time it is, go to bed. As you go to bed, note and write down the time.

When you wake up, write down the time as soon as possible.

How long did you sleep?

If it was more than 8.4 hours, you’re sleep-deprived.

Being sleep-deprived retards the growth and performance of intelligence because we process memories during sleep. Your memory and concentration are the first things to suffer when your sleep is disturbed. If you are able to practise this exercise for two nights running, you will notice that on the second night you need less sleep. You have ‘caught up’, and should set aside time to do so regularly as a first change of behavioral habits.

Lack of sleep does not affect mental function only, but is related to the degree of risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and inflammation. Finding this out means that we should, as intelligent people, consider sleep as an important component of a healthy lifestyle and also essential in maintaining optimal mental function. Allow yourself at least one day per week to sleep in so that your brain can catch up with its memory storage duties and you’ll notice your memory –and ease of learning- improves immediately.

If you’re under 24 years old you’re going to need more sleep unless you meditate because your brain (and at many ages your body) is still physically growing.


If You Have Small Children and Not Enough Spare Time to Do This Test

If you have small children you are almost certainly sleep-deprived. Try to sleep whenever your child sleeps (we know how tempting it is to use the time to “get everything done” but your mental health is a lot more important than housework!) If the former improves, you’ll have more energy to do the latter, so you’re not saving any time or energy by working instead of napping!


Diet & health

Hacking the Genome for Physical Health – Weight and Build Adjustment

If you believe you’re overweight or underweight because of ‘your genes’, here’s where you find something to do about that!

You’ll notice that quite a lot of neurohacking hinges on epigenetics and turning genes on or off. Some genes need constant input in order to remain functional; for example, those producing the proteins that increase your muscle size need constant signals that the muscles are being used, or they shut down, and those that produce the protein that makes you store glucose as adipose tissue (fat) also need a constant signal to keep functioning. We can hack the transcription of both these sets of genes either by removing the signals they rely on, or by fooling them into thinking the signals are present when in fact they’re not. So…


If you’re overweight: Turn it Off

The signal the gene complex is looking for is fast-release sugars. Deny them this input for a short time and they’ll turn off. You can do that by following the low-GI diet with no exceptions for six months [after that you should be able to get away with eating junk some of the time without gaining weight, because your metabolism will have changed]. There are other ways to do this, for example fasting or Calorie Restriction, but as far as we can tell the low GI diet is the safest method for your health.


If you’re underweight: Turn it On

Muscle tissue weighs a lot more than fat does, and doesn’t endanger your health. So if you want to put on weight, you’re better off gaining muscle than fat. The signal the gene complex is looking for is physical exercise, but you can fool the brain into believing that you are exercising by watching someone else exercise (live or in a video) and imagining that you are performing the movements. How much muscle you gain will depend on how good your imagination is, so this is a good exercise for your imagination too! Even athletes practising this hack gain more muscle bulk faster than those who are just working out physically!


Temperature has a profound effect on fat metabolism. Cold temperatures can increase activity in our brown fat regions. In fact, cold-induced glucose uptake is increased by a factor of 15! Simply cooling your hands during exercise hacks your genome, and can boost fat loss and increase performance.

The molecular switch, known as PRDM16, regulates whether immature cells will turn into brown fat or into muscle cells.

Intermittent one-day fasting is another technique that can help give our metabolism a boost to increase fat loss.



epigenetic hacking with nutrients

Studies in genomic imprinting have revealed how DNA methylation patterns are influenced by diet, and how epigenomic sensitivity to environmental cues and specifically diet can be used to influence disease susceptibility.

Nutrients extracted from the diet enter metabolic pathways and are transformed into useful molecules. These nutrients are known to have epigenetic targets in cells such that they can be used to modify the epigenome in order to correct abnormally activated or silenced genes and can be combined into an “epigenetic diet” useful as a therapeutic or chemopreventive measure. During this transitory phase methyl groups are formed from key nutrients including folic acid, B vitamins and s-adenosyl methionine (SAMe), and these methyl groups comprise important epigenetic marks for gene silencing. Diets high in such methyl rich nutrients may significantly alter gene expression and offer protective health benefits.

Deficiencies in folate and methionine, both of which are involved in cellular processes that supply methyl groups needed for DNA methylation, can change the expression (imprinting) of growth factor genes such as (IGF1).

Specifically, deficient levels of folic acid lead to epigenetic alterations which result in demethylation and chromosome instability. Thus, not only can dietary folate bolster a healthy locus-specific and global DNA methylation program, but can also direct proper uracil incorporation, inhibit DNA breakage, and foster DNA repair via thymidine and purine biosynthesis.

Dietary folate is present in a variety of green vegetables including broccoli, zucchini, brussels sprouts, green beans and spinach participates in maintaining a healthy DNA methylation profile and even reverses accrued damage.


Antioxidants and phytochemicals.

Disruption in the balance between reactive oxygen species and antioxidants may result in harmful health effects caused by DNA damage due to the genotoxic effects of oxidative stress. Protective agents that target the epigenome include micronutrients found in folate, retinoic acid, selenium compounds, polyphenols from green tea, apples, coffee, black raspberries, and other dietary sources. Similar compounds are present in foods containing curcumin and resveratrol.

While certain food components epigenetically increase the levels of DNA repair enzymes, others such as isoflavones and bilberry anthocyanins actively decrease DNA damage.

Anthocyanin is an effective antioxidant for humans that is found in plants and are easily identified by its potent red or purple pigment. It is found in plants such as eggplant, plums, pomegranate, red onion, cranberries, blueberries, kidney beans and cherries which all possess anthocyanins. This flavonoid serves as a powerful antioxidant that contributes to scavenging of DNA-damaging free radicals.

Another example is the polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which is contained in green tea and has been shown to retard carcinogenesis. The pathway involves regulation of DNA methylation at key genes to elicit positive epigenetic outcomes.

Others like sulfopropanes from cruciferous vegetables and green tea are capable of reverting an aberrant epigenetic profile.[197]


herbs & spices

Epigenetic effects have been identified for several spices and herbs. For example, tulsi and ginger regulate histone H3 acetylation, and other spices such as turmeric and cinnamon possess similar effects.[198]



Hack the Circulation Highway

You probably know enough about the brain’s needs now to start hacking your diet into one more congenial to health and longevity. Arguments about what constitutes a ‘good’ diet rage constantly in both scientific circles and the general public. The diet we recommend here; the ‘GI’ (Glycaemic Index; not Ground Infantry)  :  )  diet, comes with a caveat –no diet is ‘good’ for everyone. You will have to tweak your nutrition specifically to suit your own needs, and that may mean doing some research for yourself.

If you’re just starting the GI diet you may find that you lose weight. Don’t worry; this won’t continue unless you are overweight. Your metabolism will settle down and the only weight lost will be excess.


Notes on Diet

We advocate informed consent, so want you to be informed that if you decide to try the GI diet, you are hacking more than your neurons here –you are hacking your genome. If you follow a low GI diet for any length of time, some of the changes in your biochemistry will trigger gene transcription (i.e., it will turn some of your genes on or off). The particular genes in question control glucose metabolism, and once you alter their expression you will find it difficult to store excess fat, you will have a genetic tendency not to get diabetes or go senile, you are likely to live longer, and your immune system will improve. So, consider yourself informed. If you object to any of this happening to you, don’t try the diet.


Eating for you (hack)

Eat for your brain as well as your body. Food is a very useful hack for many ills and with knowledge you can use food to affect specific changes in genome expression.

Eat when you're hungry, not because it's a certain time of day. You'll get more nutrition out of every bite if you work with biology.



Vitamins & Supplements (hack)

If you want to improve or augment N 1 & 2 you should begin with neuroprotective and supportive substances such as Omega 3, B vitamins and selegiline. For humans to digest vitamins, they need to be chelated and preferably in liquid or gel form.

You can find out lots more about hacking with chemistry in NHA library "Drugs & chemicals" section.


Sugar-Craving Hacks

If you find yourself craving high-density carbohydrates, you could be lacking tryptophan (a chemical that helps to make various neurotransmitters). Eat more of any of the following: Dairy products, nuts, seeds, bananas, soybeans, tuna, shellfish or turkey.  

A West African berry called Synsepalum dulcificum, also known as the miracle fruit, has an unusual natural property: if you eat one, everything you eat for about an hour afterwards will taste sweet. The berry-bearing plants grow comfortably in most european and US climates, and you can also buy extracts of the berry in tablet form.

The small red berries do not produce sugar. They literally fool the taste buds into recognising “sour” as “sweet” –this is a genuine perception hack. If you are overused to sweet things and not yet used to the taste of healthy foods, chew a berry first. That piece of honeyed wholemeal toast will taste like sugared cheerios.

Coconut oil also reduces sugar cravings. But it does make most things taste of coconuts, so have a little between meals; not at them.

Think of one food or drink that is good for your brain that you don’t currently ingest, and put it on your shopping list –or even better- go and get it. Now think of one thing you eat or drink that is unhealthy for your brain and remove it –you should replace the bad thing with the good thing. For example, remove the tinned fruit in syrup, and add the tinned fruit in juice –or wow, real fruit.


Change the variables (hack)

Habits depend on association, so if you change one variable in the association, behavior changes accordingly.

Want to eat less? Try using your non-dominant hand when snacking! Experiments prove it reduces consumption notably and also makes us more aware of stale food.


If you Have to Take Medication: Assess the Drugs Cupboard (hack)

Everyone experiences illness now and again, and some have to live with chronic conditions. You probably know how feeling ill can affect your mood. Some drugs can also affect your mood, and you should make sure you are aware, if you need to take medication, whether it may affect your brain and consequently your personality, and whether there is a safer alternative.

We often take medication on purpose; if pain is making you feel miserable or irritable you hack it with a simple painkiller, and if you’re feeling too tired and getting grumpy, you may have a coffee or a smoke. What you should remember is, every chemical you put into yourself will affect your own brain chemistry in some way. If you use a particular medication regularly, check out the Drugs and Chemicals section of the files for more information on this. You may be able to find a healthier alternative.


Input control hacks


Music therapy has shown numerous health benefits for people with conditions ranging from mild to severe. When dealing with anxiety, the right music can actually lower your blood pressure, relax your body and calm your mind. There are some suggestions of different types of music to listen to, and how to use music in your daily life for effective anxiety management, in the article “Music and neurotransmitters”.


Laughing Database

Watch comedy movies, slowly compile all the sources of your favourites, videos, actors, music, movies of humor, ready to be used when you need it.


Smile Hack

Smile. Give your brain a good cheery smile message with your lips apart and preferably teeth slightly apart as well. Keep smiling as you read that you’re now releasing the neurotransmitter called Serotonin. Keep smiling even more as you find out that this will improve your self confidence and your immune response without your having to do anything else at all. And start laughing your head off when you learn that the amount of serotonin in any mammal’s brain is directly related to its social popularity and its status. A surprising side effect of doing this regularly is that you’ll also feel you have more energy.



1.3 Sensorimotor memory & association

Identifying rapidly by touch (exercise)

You will need a stopwatch or clock with a second hand, and a selection of objects that are roughly the same size and shape (for example apple, tennis ball, baseball, round potato, orange, lemon, pear, onion, grapefruit, peach, nectarine). Put them all into an opaque bag.

Start the stopwatch or note the time on your clock. Put the bag behind you and feel in the bag, taking out the first item. Keep it out of sight behind your back, and as quickly as you can, identify what you think it is. Then look at it and give yourself one point if you were right.



1.4 Sensorimotor processing & categorization

Tactile image transfer (exercise) (needs assistant)

You will need a pen that will write on skin (and can be washed off), plus a pen and paper or drawing application.

Sit at a table with your drawing equipment in front of you. A stool is best but if you're on a chair turn it sideways so that your assistant can stand behind you.

Put one hand behind your back. The assistant should slowly draw something simple on the palm of the hand behind you. Your task is to copy what you think is being drawn, onto the paper in front of you. As you get better at this, increase the complexity of the drawings. Remember to wash your hands after this exercise!

Try drawing designs on just one finger. Is it easier or harder to reproduce them? 


Aristotle Illusion (hack sensorimotor input)

This is a very old trick. You need a small spherical solid thing, the size of a pea, small marble, rabbit turd, piece of blu-tak or plasticene etc. Cross your fingers, then align the object so you can touch it with the tips of both fingers, close your eyes, and touch it.

It feels like you are touching two peas. Your mind can’t imagine why the hell you would go around touching things with your fingers crossed, and it doesn’t compute. If you look at the object while touching the effect will wear off (but can be surpisingly persistent).


[NEEDS ASSISTANT] Now get two different objects of this kind. Cross your fingers, close your eyes and then touch the two different objects simultaneously - a piece of Blu Tack and a dried pea, say - one with each fingertip. [You will need assistant to guide your fingers onto the objects] This is a variation of the same hack. It’s not so reliable, but if it works your sense of touch will tell you that the objects are the opposite way round from where they actually are.


There's also the reverse Aristotle illusion: cross your fingers, close your eyes and touch the inside of a corner of a room or a box. This time, because the wall is contacting the insides of your fingertips, you should feel one surface, not two. Some people even experience three.

A similar effect can be achieved by holding your hands in front of you with palms down. Close your eyes and get somebody to lightly tap the back of both hands once, one after the other, with as short an interval as possible between the taps. Open your eyes and wave the hand that was tapped first. You'll get it right every time. Now do it again with crossed arms. If the taps are sufficiently close together - less than 300 milliseconds or so - you'll get it wrong a lot of the time.

Surprisingly, the illusion can also be made to work with sticks. Hold two wooden spoons out in front of you, one in each hand, with arms uncrossed, and get somebody to tap the ends of the spoons in quick succession. Again, you automatically know which stick was tapped first. But cross the spoons (not your arms) over and you'll get it wrong. Even more weirdly, if you cross your arms and the spoons, the two crossings-over cancel each other out and it again becomes obvious which one was tapped first


Sensorimotor fun (hack sensorimotor input)

Your fingertips are among the most sensitive parts of your body, and this makes them surprisingly easy to fool. Take an ordinary comb and pencil

and lay your index finger along the top of the comb, then run the pencil back and forth along the side of the teeth. Even though the teeth are

moving from side to side in a wave-like motion, your finger will feel as if a raised dot is travelling up and down the comb.

This works because the unfamiliar motion of the teeth causes similar skin deformation to the more usual action of running your finger over a

raised bump, so your brain interprets it that way.


There is no spoon (or in this case, fork) (hack sensorimotor input)

Take a fork and press the tip of your tongue between the prongs. You will feel as though the middle two prongs are bent out of shape. This is

because the skin on your tongue is distorted in a way that doesn't normally happen, so your brain assumes that the prongs, not your tongue, are




1.5 Attention

Improving Attention

Practise some kind of Meditation:

Attention Meditation (hack/exercise)

Gaze at the second-hand of a clock without the slightest waver of attention. As soon as your mind wanders note the time. As you repeat this exercise you will notice your attention span increasing.  

Some gurus claim that if you can keep full attention, without wavering, falling asleep or being distracted for thirty minutes then you have

achieved enlightenment..... all we can say is you definitely haven’t drunk too much coffee.


Mindfulness Meditation (hack/exercise)

Resource: (great free online/pdf book)


Meditation for fine-tuning control over attention (hack/exercise)

Everyday experience and psychology research both indicate that paying close attention to one thing can keep you from noticing something else. However, attention does not have a fixed capacity - it can be improved by directed mental training, such as meditation.

Seeing and mentally processing something takes time and effort. Because a person has a finite amount of brainpower, paying close attention to one thing may ordinarily (without training) mean the tradeoff of missing something that follows shortly thereafter. For example, when two visual signals are shown a half-second apart, people miss the second one much of the time. Your attention gets stuck on the first target, then you miss the second one. This effect is called "attentional blink," as when you blink your eyes, you are briefly unaware of visual signals. This limitation is not strictly physical, but is subject to mental control.

Meditation is a family of methods designed to facilitate regulation of emotion and attention. Research has found that three months of rigorous training in Vipassana meditation improved people's ability to detect a second target within the half-second time window. Because the subjects were not meditating during the test, their improvement suggests that prior training caused lasting changes in attentional ability. Their previous practice of meditation is influencing their performance on this task, and this shows that attention capabilities can be enhanced through practice.

If you don’t know how to meditate, start with the Relaxation response exercises.


Exercises that will improve your attention span:

Sit facing a screen and play any video with the sound off (or a TV with anything on will do, but make sure to mute the sound.) Now fix your attention on one corner of the screen (say the top right) and say aloud everything recognizable that comes into that corner (it's best to do this when on your own).

You may end up saying stuff like “blue sky/ spiky shape/ bit of a word/ someones ear/ hair in the wind/ car roof/...” and so on; whatever appears in that particular corner.

When you can do this without being distracted by the image on the entire screen, you go to level 2 and do it with the sound on. Level 3 you learn to do it silently in your mind (just think the things in words instead of speaking them aloud) and if you get that far you'll find your attention is much more controllable than it used to be.

If you find this impossible, tape some paper or a cloth over the screen except for the corner you want to concentrate on, and practice this way. Remove the cover when you've got the hang of the habit of attending to that one corner. Then proceed as above.

Can you do the same thing when the content is a favorite movie?


Color Composition (exercise)

Collect objects and scraps of similar but not identical color. Cut areas from colored packaging, materials and plastic, leaves, wood, flowers until you have filled a small cardboard box. Then arrange the pieces in a long line, in a sequence so that one color will flow into the next.


Ambient Sound attention training (can also be used as a meditation exercise)

1. For this exercise and each of the following developments it is suggested that you repeat it once a day for ten days and then note any improvements. It is essential to work gradually and methodically, or little useful progress will be achieved.

a. Sit outdoors or open a window. Sit still and comfortably and relax. How many sounds can you hear? Count them. Write them down. Distinguish for each sound - direction and cause.... differences in tone and strength... rhythmic qualities... groupings.

b. Select one of the most obvious sounds and list everything you can imaginably say about it. (next time, select a new sound.)

Detect one of the faintest sounds you are hearing. List everything you can say about it.

Select the most pleasant sound you are hearing. Note every reason why you feel it is pleasant.


2. Sit or lie down somewhere comfortable where you won’t be disturbed. Your task for this exercise is to listen and observe. Close your eyes and relax. Now listen hard. Identify each sound you can hear from the background noise, including the sounds your body is making (do not do this exercise after large amounts of beer and curry!)

Once you think you have identified all the sounds, concentrate on the thoughts drifting into your mind and observe whether you seem to think in words, or in pictures, or both, or in some other way. Observe what idle thoughts lead to what other thoughts. After the exercise, write down a few of the thoughts or subjects that you were thinking about.

You can do this exercise for as long as you like, but it’s best to stop less than ten minutes after you get to the part where you start to observe your thoughts.


Biofeedback (hack + exercise)

Biofeedback brings unconscious processes into conscious attention. There is a detailed explanation of biofeedback in the technology section of the library. Very simply it is using information about your biology as feedback in order to facilitate change. The easiest example is: Your body shivers –this is biofeedback, giving you input telling you you’re too cold. You respond by putting on a jumper, exercising or turning up the heat. You can also use a thermometer to see whether you are too cold or too hot –this is using technology to provide the biofeedback.

In biofeedback, there are two main modes of use, monitored feedback as input and preset input.

In monitored input, technology is used that scans (for example) your vital signs and represents the input to you as light and sound. This may be presented as a scale or waveform on a screen or a musical tone through headphones that tells you how high your blood pressure is or the speed of your heart rate. By paying attention to the feedback, you can learn to control your vital signs consciously and (for example) reduce high blood pressure without drugs.

In preset input, a healthy example is used as input, and may be audio, visual, electrical or magnetic. For example, a recording of a healthy heartbeat played through headphones will adjust the heartbeat of the listener. The best presets first match their pace to your own statistics and slowly adjust to healthy levels.

In neurofeedback, signals from or to the brain are used as well as or instead of from the body. Vital signs and brainwave patterns change together, so working on the body also affects the mind.

By watching the feedback from technology, we can learn how to control our body’s responses consciously, so we can raise our temperature or lower it at will, thus needing less exercise and fewer jumpers. We can learn to do this with many vital systems, including our brainwave patterns, blood pressure, neurotransmitter release and amount of tension.

Biofeedback means live interactive training using a display of your physiological responses. You may think you are relaxing, but are your body & brain actually relaxing? How do you know unless you wire yourself up?


Biofeedback sync (hack + exercise)

The goal of this exercise is to get your heart rhythms and breathing in sync. When we inhale our heart rate increases, and when we exhale, our heart rate decreases. Having a wide range of heart rates within a single breath is an excellent indicator of overall health. Getting your breathing in sync with your heart rhythms is excellent for anxiety reduction and health training.

The fastest way to train for heart rate variability is to use a stopwatch for timing and breathe at around one breath (in and out) every ten seconds (that's six breaths per minute). Counting your heartbeats or your pulse comes next: around five or six beats breathing in, five or six beats breathing out should be close to your timed breathing if you're reasonably healthy. You can check the heartbeat method against the stopwatch method for accuracy and fine tune your practice until you can breathe six times a minute without needing a stopwatch; just by counting your own heartbeats.



1.6 Concentration

Focusing on one sound amongst many (exercise)

Collect together four sources of sound; TV, radios, clock, music players etc. Put them all on at a quiet but equal volume and different programs. Shut your eyes and listen attentively to one of them only for about one minute. Switch attention to another sound source for one minute. Every minute switch your attention. It doesn't matter how interested you become (within reason) ...

If you find this too difficult move the sound sources further apart and turn to face the one you are paying attention to. If you find it too easy add more sound sources. A super exercise to pass the time at school, in prison, at dull meetings or boring parties with a different music player in each ear!


Musical details (exercise)

Find some of your favorite music containing more than one instrument [i.e., not just a ‘solo’ synthesizer, lone guitarist or piano] and put it on. You can wear headphones if you wish. As in the exercise above, sit quietly and close your eyes. Listen to the music attentively. Try to work out which part of the sound is coming from which instrument/s. Obviously any sound made by a singer is easy to separate, but can you tell what other instruments are doing? Which particular instrument makes the sound you like the best? Which instrument is doing the most? Which the least?

Use the same piece of music for the first three times you do this exercise. Then change to a new piece of music for the next three sessions. Do no more than one session per day.


Noise Filtering Exercise (new)

Here is a great exercise that even people without hearing problems should participate in. For this exercise, you will also want to have a friend

there, and two different sources to make noise – they could be tv’s, cd players, anything that makes consistent, random noise. To begin the

exercise, simply turn on one of the noise sources and begin having a conversation with your friend. Try not to raise your voices too loud or lean

in to hear each other – focus on what they are saying and do you best not to ask them to repeat themselves. After a few minutes, turn on the

second noise source and continue your conversation. The goal of this exercise is to learn how to filter out the noises you do not care about, and

focus on the noises you want to hear. After a few tries and attempts you will be able to easily focus on anything in most situations.





Network 2, abilities and functions

2.1 Senses of sight, hearing, distance, rhythm, direction & balance

2.2 Proprioception/ kinesthesia, dexterity & locomotion

2.3 Spatial memory & association

2.4 Spatial processing & 2D mapping

2.5 Motivation, Orientation

2.6 Observation


2.1 Senses of sight, hearing, distance, rhythm, direction & balance




Eyeball muscle exercise:

Moving the eyeballs in all the directions they can go (including round and round) for a few seconds each day (be precise and increase time gradually to avoid strain) will restore flexibility to the eyeball. The exercise will also massage the eyeball. Be methodical. Up, down, left, right, diagonals, round and round. Movements between the positions should be slow and steady, the eye focusing naturally. Do not neglect to blink regularly.


Lens muscle exercise:

The other muscular operation of the eye is the focusing of the lense inside the eyeball. People often tire their eyes by using them for long periods at a fixed focal length. If this tends to happen in your occupation, take some time out to smoothly shift your focus from near to far objects. Repeat this many times (start with 30 seconds and increase slowly to whatever is comfortable. Then try and relax your eyes so that everything goes out of focus, and after a few seconds snap back into focusing on something within range.

Depth of field exercise

Sit somewhere there is a clear long-distance view; either outdoors or looking out of a window. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, remove them. Hold your finger up in front of your face about a foot (30cm) away.

Stare at your finger for about ten seconds (just count to ten silently) then move the finger aside and look at an object in the distance, even if you cannot see it clearly. Try to focus on it for a further count of ten, then move your finger in front of your face and focus on it for the next count of ten. Repeat this at least twice.

As you get used to this exercise you can increase the number of repeats up to twenty; however, you should always stop as soon as you feel the slightest indication of eyestrain.

If you practise this exercise regularly and you wear glasses or lenses, you may have to change your prescription because your eyesight will improve. Make sure you get regular eye tests to make sure your current prescription is still correct!


Using Peripheral Vision

(needs assistant): Stand staring straight ahead. The assistant introduces objects into your cone of vision from behind. Say when you first see the object and then try to identify it without moving you eyeballs. Start with large brightly colored geometric objects and move on to smaller more camouflaged objects. Assess each other's progress.




Sound Identifying Exercise

This one can be done completely on your own, and without the aid or addition of any sound devices, tools, or sources. All you need to do is sit down somewhere, the best is outside, and listen to your surroundings. Try to pick out different sounds and identify their sources. You will find that you are fairy good at this, but there will be some noises that you have never heard before, and this will enlighten you and heighten your senses even more..


Input control practice -Off the racket (hack & exercise)

Get sound-wise. You live in a sonic world, constant vibrations stimulate microscopic hair cells deep inside your ears. These frequencies can influence our neurochemistry and our brainwave patterns, and hence our mood, learning, and health.Some of it we can put to beneficial use; as inspiring or relaxing music, as interaction in speech, as part of the beauty of nature, but what we don't usually notice is the racket of noise pollution we get as an unfortunate side effect of some current technology. We usually ignore it as a background ambient in our lives, but biology can't ignore anything that is able to influence it.

The main thing noise pollution does is overaccustom us to distraction -so that we feel distracted when it is no longer there (in the same way we notice a ticking clock only when it stops). This decreases our awareness, so if you live in the 'average' noisy environment where you can hear computers humming or traffic or household appliances, try to find or set up a 'racket free zone' or quiet zone. You might find an outdoor place where nobody goes if you live near a rural area, you might build a 'retreat pod' or a REST chamber as your soundproof zone, it might be that your neighborhood is really quiet between two and five in the morning, you might find it's really quiet in the attic or in the cellar, but wherever it is find the quietest place you know and go there at least once a week for thirty minutes.

Accustom yourself to silence and listening to the faint sounds you can still hear, and relax. If you feel uneasy in the silence, it's likely that you are overaccustomed to distraction and you should practice until silence seems just as 'normal' as your usual environment. At this point your overall awareness will increase and your attention will improve.

We also use sound in ways that harm ourselves; for example you wouldn't start the day by giving yourself an injection of anxiety hormones, would you? But the rude awakening that alarm clocks produce gives us exactly that each morning -what a charming way to start the day! The technical term for the unpleasant shock of awaking to an alarm is "acoustic startle response". As well as giving us that squirt of anxiety it raises our blood pressure and heart rate (all loud, sudden unexpected noises do this).

If you've been living with this kind of rude awakening there are some things you can do. You can swap a noisy alarm for one that's more musical but just as insistent, you can arrange your life so that you can live without the alarm at weekends, you can go to bed earlier so that you awake naturally.


Music/Ear Training


Music Lesson (hack/exercise)

You don’t have to know any music theory to do this; you just need your ears. Put on a piece of music that you like. The only rule is, it must be musically in time and in tune. Sit still and quiet and listen to it carefully, and try to work out where the lowest and the highest bits of melody are. If there is a singer or a lead instrument, where do they hit the highest notes in the song?

When the song is over, sit in silence for a moment and see if you can remember the main tune well enough to whistle or hum it back.

Don’t put in any words, just concentrate on the tune. If you can’t do this don’t worry, just practise the exercise and notice whether you can remember some tunes better than others. You can start with something as simple as ‘happy birthday’ if you want to; it doesn’t have to be complicated, but you should have an example to listen to; don’t just do it from memory without listening first, even if you think you know it well. –And don’t ask a friend to sing it for you unless you’re sure they can sing well and in tune.

When you are able to reconstruct simple melodies you may wish to increase, step by step, the complexity of music chosen for this exercise.


Practising this exercise once or twice a week will improve your sensorimotor and spatial memory as well as your musical ear.


Ear Music Training Games (exercise)

Free to play until level 4, enough to get some basic training. Higher levels require membership but you still can keep playing the lower levels for free if you want.


Pitching Exercises and Resources



Distance estimation (exercise)

Think of two places close by that you regularly visit on foot. Guess the distances.

Which do you think is the farthest away?

The next time you go to each place, take a stopwatch. Walk at your normal pace and time the journey. How close were your guesses?


Are you aware of your walking speed? Think of a way to check this (for example if you know a distance between any two points, time yourself walking there at normal pace, or use a gym machine that can tell you how far you've walked in what time.) Healthy adult humans walk between 4 and 5km per hour (3 or 4 mph)


Rhythm (exercise)


Timing & rhythm

1. You will need a stopwatch or a clock/watch with a second hand. For this first exercise you need space to walk in and you may prefer privacy.

Start your stopwatch or pay attention to your clock. Walk forward, taking only one step every five seconds, for a full minute. As soon as your minute is up, continue walking but take two steps every five seconds, for two minutes. Keep an eye on the watch and try and keep strictly to time.

If you really can't find the space to do this, you can walk 'on the spot' or on a treadmill at the gym, but it is far better to be actually walking, even if around in circles.

Next, try the same technique taking three steps every five seconds. Do this for two minutes.


2. You need to be somewhere that you can listen to music. Put some music on; any kind will do. Look at your watch or clock and note the time, then immediately close your eyes. Try to guess when thirty seconds has elapsed and when you think it has, open your eyes and check the watch to see if you are right. Note down how far away your guess was.

Use a different piece of music each time you do this exercise. Once a day is sufficient.


3. Sit facing a table with your hands resting on your knees and your watch or clock on the table in plain view. If you're using a stopwatch, start it now. When 5 seconds have passed, tap your left hand on your left knee just once. When the watch reaches ten seconds, tap your right hand on your right knee once. Continue for one minute.

Next, do it with your feet. On the five-second mark, tap your left foot, on ten seconds your right foot, and so on for another minute. Try to get the taps exactly at the right moment. Do this exercise as often as you like.

If you find this easy, try tapping along with just one hand in time to the clock -one tap per second. Next try alternate hands. Use this exercise instead of the above.

If you can do all this with no problem, try tapping along to some music in the same way. Choose something with a good steady drumbeat that sounds like a clock; not too fast.


Rhythm Tool


Music Test ( Tonedeaf Test, Adaptive Pitch, Rhythm Test)



Sound Location Exercise (needs assistant)

This hearing improvement exercise is exactly what it claims itself to be. You will be improving your hearing sense by listening to a specific sound and attempting to locate the exact position of it’s creator. For this exercise, you will need someone else to help you out, as placing a sound making device in a room on your own doesn’t necessarily help you to locate it without knowing where it is =p. You will need some kind of device that makes a soft noise, and some white noises to try to mask your devices noise. Have your friend place the noise making device somewhere in a room or even the house, where you have no clue where it is. The goal of this exercise is to find the device as quickly as possible, using your sense of sound. This will, over time, help to improve your sense of sound and thus your hearing will improve as well. Do this until you have significantly improved the speed at which you find the device, and monitor your results.


Judging Direction of Sounds (exercise) (needs assistant)

You need to be blindfolded; Sit In a chair in the middle of a large room. Block one ear with a hand or an earplug. Now get a friend to move about quietly making sharp sounds in different parts of the room. Repeat the experiment with both ears open. Which directions are the hardest to be sure of? Make a chart and check the response several times in each position.

If your sense of direction with two ears open is not excellent repeat this as an exercise at regular intervals.





Ninja (exercise)

a) Find two positions in which you can balance for one whole minute on one leg. One on the right, one on the left. Make a note of them or draw stick figures. The next day, find two different positions until you have found four for each side. Continue practicing these for another ten days, choosing a different pair of your positions each day. How much has your wobble reduced? When it has reduced noticeably, proceed to the next stage.

b) Stand. Move up onto tip toe. Keep balanced, lower slowly through stand to crouch and on (if possible) to sitting on your haunches. Then slowly up again. Arms may be held in different positions each time. Out to front, to side etc. This is a difficult exercise and to do ten up and down without overbalancing may take you some time. When you can do this consistently, move on to the next stage.

c) Create something that you can walk along and balance on, close to the floor. A plank or beam of wood is perfect, a very low thin table or row of bricks or even books (of the same size) is fine. Don't make it higher than one row by piling things up. Walk along it forwards without looking. Walk backwards. Balance on one leg. Become confident on this 'plank' then move on to the next stage. (If you use walking in a straight line as a test for sobriety, remember that this test may now be screwed.)

d) Using your awareness of the whole body find the place that your body balances over this supportive plank. Then begin to move arms and legs and notice how the center of gravity changes position depending on the shape you are making. Try and pin point this center in your body and notice how it shifts in relation to changes in body form. Don't worry about losing your balance in this part; just play around with it in an aware frame of mind. You will gradually internalize and embody an awareness of your center of gravity

At first large movements are OK. Then as you get the hang of it reduce the size and speed of movements until movements are very slow and small. The most important information will be found on this fine-tuned level of perception.


Ninja 2

Stand up and raise one leg, clasping the knee in your hands. Try not to overbalance. Stay in this position for about a minute, then try it with the opposite leg/arm. Note whether you have a side on which it is easier to balance.

Next, close your eyes and see whether it is more difficult to keep your balance. If you like a challenge, have a clock with a second hand ready and see how long you managed to stay on one leg with your eyes closed.  Do this exercise once a day. If you find it extremely easy, move on to the next exercise.


Stand up with your hands by your sides. Raise your right foot behind you [like a horse being shod] and try to grab hold of your foot with your opposite [left] hand. Once you can do this, hold onto it and raise your other hand, stretching upwards as far as you can. When you can do this without losing your balance, try it with the opposite leg/arm and then try the ‘eyes closed’ version as above. Do this exercise once a day.

Don’t try this before you can do the first two exercises above! Stand upright and raise your right leg in front of you, taking hold of your foot with both hands. Place your foot against your upper left thigh as though it was in a ‘crosslegged’ position. Bend your left leg slightly to allow the foot to rest there without being held. Once you’ve got the hang of this bit, raise both hands above your head and press the palms together. Try this with the opposite leg/arm and then try the ‘eyes closed’ version as above. Do this exercise once a day.

Make a pile of soft things (cushions, pillows, your colleagues) about 30CM (a foot) high. Kneel down in front of it and lean forward, resting your tummy on top of the pile and putting your hands on the ground at the other side. When you feel comfortably balanced, lean forward as far as you can and try to put your head between your hands, pushing up with your feet and raising yourself off your knees if you have to.



2.2 Proprioception/ kinesthesia, dexterity & locomotion

Simple reflex test

(needs assistant or 'release mechanism') Position your hand so that your thumb and forefinger are about 2cm (1") apart, (as though you were holding up an invisible test tube about 30cm from your face). The assistant holds a 30cm ruler vertically with the lower-numbered end towards the ground, just above your hand aimed between the thumb and finger. At some random moment they drop it and you catch it between your finger & thumb. Don't let go! Look at the measurement of how much of the ruler fell through your fingers before you were able to respond and grasp it. With practice you should catch it on a lower number.


Which hand has the fastest response time? What does that tell you about the opposite motor cortex?



Stop-motion” (exercise)

This exercise is best done whenever you have some free time, as it looks a bit odd to the external observer.

At random times during the day, when you are in the middle of doing something, stop moving. Try to ‘freeze’ without tensing your muscles or going floppy, as though you were in a video that was suddenly paused. Hold your pose for 15 seconds [just count, don’t look at your watch] then continue with whatever you were doing. During the 15 seconds try to keep as still as possible without changing your muscular tension or holding your breath. Use your common sense -don’t decide to do this exercise halfway through coming downstairs or getting into the bath!

If you find it difficult to remember to do this at first, leave yourself a note somewhere you are bound to go during the day at some point, for example in your bathroom or bedroom. Train yourself to remember to do the exercise without notes.

Practising this exercise once or twice a day will improve your sensory motor and spatial memory, and also your balance and poise. Because of the way the brain works, you may find your appreciation of music improves too.


Syncopation (hack + exercise)

Sit down and raise your right arm in front of you. Pretending you are drawing anti-clockwise circles on a wall and move your hand/arm accordingly. Now begin to rotate your right foot/lower leg in a clockwise direction.

What happens?

For most people it becomes impossible to do both at the same time, much like the childhood game of rubbing your tummy with one hand while patting the top of your head with the other. Consciously we desire to do both actions, but the unconscious part of our processing confuses the unfamiliar mixture of sensory input. You will find though, that with practice both feats can be accomplished. We advise you to master these kinds of sensory motor tricks because they too are good for your intelligence. You’ll find that the sensory motor tasks you already do, such as typing or playing a musical instrument or driving, will all improve, as will your overall hand/eye coordination. Most importantly, this is one of the paths towards hacking into the unconscious, so it’s good practice for later fun.

Note: some people find this really, really hard to do. If you’re one of them, or if you just want to cheat and take a shortcut, ask a good friend or member of your family to hold onto your arm and ‘make’ your hand do the anticlockwise movement, then concentrate just on the leg. Your body will learn the overall task without your having to work so hard, although your assistant might think it’s a peculiar request.


syncopation 2 (new)

Most people cannot simultaneously draw a circle with one hand and a square with the other. It gets complicated because the mind has to shift attention back and forth from one task to the other until one or both become automatic.

First, see if you are one of the unusual ones who can do this without needing to hack it.

If you are with the majority who can't, get yourself some stiff cardboard, scissors and a pen.

Make 2 templates out of cardboard; by drawing a square and a circle, and cutting out the shapes from the card surround (so that the shapes are 'holes'). Have them on separate bits of card. Tape their edges to 2 sheets of paper and practice tracing around the shapes simultaneously with a pencil in each hand. After some practice you will be able to do it without the 'guides'.


Mirror writing (hack + exercise)

Very straightforward and simple: Prop up a mirror and write a story, letter or list, looking only at what's going on in the mirror. Great fun at parties!


Hack proprioception association


Hold your arms out in front of you and cross them over, rotate your hands so your palms face each other, then mesh your fingers together. Now slowly rotate your hands up between your arms so you're staring at your knuckles. Ask someone to point to one of your index fingers, then attempt to move it. Did you move the wrong one?

Congruent proprioception association fails because of a confusing visual input. You don't normally see your hands in this convoluted position and your mind certainly doesn't expect them to be there; the finger you move is the one that is pointing in the direction that the correct one would be pointing if you had simply clasped your hands.



If you want to go all the way in confusing proprioception, repeat the research above: get hold of a model hand (it doesn't have to be very realistic) and put it on the table in front of you. If it is a left hand, put your actual left hand somewhere you can't see it, in the same pose as the rubber hand. Now get someone to touch and stroke your unseen hand and the rubber hand with identical movements. If you concentrate on the rubber hand, you will probably get the uncanny feeling that it is your own. If you get an assistant to unexpectedly punch the fake arm after you have played with it for a while, you will jump in expectancy of pain.

Imagination will happily override information from proprioception to conjure up an incorrect yet coherent body schema based on vision and touch.


Adepts only: If you do this on hallucinogens or even cannabis, you can go much further than the 'fake arm' researchers and convince yourself that pretty much anything is part of your body. Sit at a table and put your hand out of sight underneath. Get someone to tap and stroke this hand while doing exactly the same to the table top directly above. If you watch the table top, you may experience the illusion that the table has become part of your body. Warning: some experiments may cause bouts of giggling.


Kinesthesia exercises:

Close your eyes. With your left hand, point forward then immediately touch the very tip of your own nose. Try the same exercise with your right hand. Which one was most accurate? The least accurate side needs the most exercise, but remember motor functions are 'crossed over' in the brain (so the right side of brain controls the left side of body), so the 'side' of N2 you need to work on is OPPOSITE the weakest hand. 

NOTE: Those under moderate to severe alcohol intoxication may have difficulty locating their limbs in space relative to their noses.

Kinesthesia is what allows us to walk without having to watch our feet, and perform motor tasks in complete darkness without losing our balance. Practicing motion in darkness with eyes closed or blindfolds is just as effective. Try ordinary everday tasks such as taking a bath with your eyes closed. Can you get around your home with closed eyes from room to room, without holding on to furniture? How about closed eyes with headphones on? Temporarily knocking out other senses like this improves kinesthetic senses, and they stay improved when the blindfold comes off.


Neurokinetic Body Imaging (exercise)

Start off any imaging session with relaxation and a general sensory focus. Stand erect with feet apart and sense how your body feels now. Accept things as they are, without value judgments.

Now imagine you are an android. You weigh about he same because your skeleton is a strong light metal or carbon fiber. You have just been built and you are currently attached to a 'center line' that is calibrating your posture. The center line goes all the way up inside your spine from your pelvis and comes out the top of your head, it is attached to a support high above and it holds you in perfect postural balance (this line can be imagined as made of laser light, monofilament, steel wire, or as an abstract - anything that feels light.)

Allow your weight to hang from this line (relax your arms and shoulders). Sway slightly as though a breeze is blowing you, forwards and backwards, left and right, and feel your skeleton's center of balance. Notice that when you are lined up with this center line, your posture feels more comfortable. Imagine yourself as supported; as though you are held up and balanced by the line from the top of your head.

Once you are able to imagine this, begin slow movement. Learn how to remain aligned with your center support line and move about (this can feel uncannily like being a puppet -but don't worry; you're the puppeteer). Finding your center line is of fundamental importance to all movement and posture including breathing. If you do a martial art you may know this technique already by some other name.

With the center line image established in a standing position, swing the arms around the axis, turning from the waist so the hips do not move. Swing back and forward in an easy manner. The slower the movements can be done in image work the more useful information you are likely to be able to pick up. Another useful movement is bending the knees. Let the sacrum drop just a few inches, then slide up the long center line. Repeat.

Gradually incorporate this image into tasks such as going up and down stairs, walking around your home, or outdoors.


Proprioception and kinesthesia can be improved via many methods. Examples:

Feldenkrais method

Alexander Technique

Juggling trains reaction time, spatial location, and efficient movement. Standing on a wobble board or balance board is often used to retrain or increase proprioception abilities, particularly as physical therapy for ankle or knee injuries.

Slacklining is another method to increase proprioception.

Standing on one leg (stork standing) and various other body-position challenges are also used in such disciplines as Yoga, Wing Chun and Tai Chi.

Several studies have shown that the efficacy of these types of training is challenged by closing the eyes, because the eyes give invaluable feedback to establishing the moment-to-moment information of balance.

There are specific devices designed for proprioception training, such as the exercise ball here, which works on balancing the abdominal and back muscles.



If you work on kinesthetic awareness and proprioception, your movements will automatically become more graceful and less clumsy. But sometimes we are stuck with a motor problem as a result of accident, illness or injury and in these cases we have to research physiology exercises specific to our needs, the millions of which cannot be listed here. However, one thing is for certain -people sustain less damage and repair more efficiently when the system is in good condition to start with. If we don't do any kind of physical activity, muscles and bones atrophy (use it in the right way, or lose it). Our physical condition feeds back in unconscious self assessment and consequently self esteem, and serotonin levels fall. So...


There are lots of different physical activities that improve the agility and grace of our movement. Just choose some:

Martial Arts (Karate, Kung Fu, Tai Chi); Rowing, rock climbing, orienteering, swimming, walking, basketball, ping-pong, Parkour, Yoga, playing with kids, dancing, juggling, trampolining, etc....

Specific area hacks:

MRI detects localized cerebral cortex expansion after people learn complex tasks such as mirror reading (the right occipital cortex), navigation (hippocampus), or three-ball juggling (bilateral mid-temporal area and left posterior intraparietal sulcus). Such changes in gray matter volume can be expected to link to changes in synapse numbers due to the increased numbers of glial cells and the expanded capillary vascularization needed to support their increased energy consumption.



2.3 Spatial memory & association

NOTE: Some of the resources need to have FLASH/Java plugin installed on your computer. Taking into account that you need flash even to play videos in youtube I don't think it should be a problem.


Improving sensorimotor association (exercises) … an-ladder


Tune in to your body (exercise)

Take a minute out and sit very still. Now, place your hands on the arms of the chair or the desk in front of you, and try to focus your attention on counting your heartbeats. Can you feel a throbbing drum roll, a slight murmur or nothing at all? How does your bladder feel – is it empty or will you need to visit the bathroom within the next half hour? How relaxed are you -particularly in the back and shoulder areas? You may be surprised to learn that tuning in to these bodily sensations is helping you think. Recent discoveries about mind-body connections have overturned the view of the body as a passive vehicle driven by the brain. Instead there is more of a partnership, with bodily experiences playing an active role in your mental life. The brain cannot act independently of the body. Tune in to the body's signals like this, and you can exploit the association to improve your creativity, memory and self-control.




For spatial memory (exercise) 

Draw maps from memory of parts of your local area, and a floor plan for your home or other familiar building. Check them out and correct them later. This habit improves spatial memory really fast.


Exercise for spatial association 

Let’s give your memory a bit of exercise. You can do this at work or in a library or café, etc. Get a piece of paper and sketch a rough floor-plan of your home, indicating the shape of rooms, roughly but not necessarily strictly to scale. On your plan, write down the color of the floor covering in each room and name the largest item of furniture in that room. If you only live in one room, you must name six items in the room and the color of the walls.

If you can’t remember, or to check if you are right, go and have a look as soon as you are able, and the next time you are away from home try this exercise again.

When you get it right, you can design your own exercises of this nature, using other places you have been as the targets to sketch and describe. When you first visit a new place, try to sketch your surroundings from memory as soon as possible, maybe on the first night, in bed, so that you can check what you missed when visiting them again the next day. Drawing streetmaps of areas is another good version of this exercise. You can also try remembering items out of a picture and making a rough sketch of what is where. Choose places and pictures that you like, so that it’s more fun to do this exercise.

You are improving your spatial and associative memory in doing this exercise. If you practise it regularly you will start to notice that you are becoming naturally more observant on first encounters than you were previously. Using this network sharpens it up, and it starts taking more notice of your surroundings because it is getting into the habit of being aware that “this information might be needed later”. [The brain doesn’t know that you are merely doing exercises, which is why this is also a sort of hack.] It just goes ahead and improves its memory performance because this is what “seems to be expected of it.”



2.4 Spatial processing & 2D mapping

Spatial skills

Test Spatial Skills … ions.asp

and more


Spatial Reasoning Test


Solid Test


Mental Rotation Exercises/Games/Testing … ation-task

(Mental Rotation Training, this one has a lot of personalization settings)

(3D Tetris)

(2D Tetris)


Cross Section Test


And more Tests and Resources Here: 

(VIZ is a site dedicated to the understanding and improvement of spatial visualization skills) 


(exercises, tasks and examples will help you develop your spatial brain - that part of your overall intelligence which deals with the visual information which is almost always a major part of all data the brain processes). … st00a.html

(Excellent Theory about spatial thinking, and examples to get ideas to new exercises)

Elica Software (lots of mini apps, for playing with spatial skills)

Seems like they used that software for this research in spatial training


Paper Folding Exercise … n%2007.pdf


Tangrame Game:



Draw Maps (exercise)

Draw maps from memory of parts of your local area, and a floor plan for your home or other familiar building. Check them out and correct them later. This habit improves spatial memory really fast.


More tips: 

Some tips for improving spatial abilities are provided below:

• Work with plans, sketches and designs.

• Complete visual puzzles.

• Reading maps.

• Estimate angles and length of objects and check the accuracy of your estimates.

• Imagine how objects would look from various angles.

• Look at text books with good illustrations of biological or technical systems.



Mazes Games

Not enough?

Giant resource about mazes (to print, to play online, software mazes, games, 2D, 3D etc)

Warning: don’t get lost!


Games with "complex maps"

The idea here is don’t focus in “playing” the game, but try to memorize the map and navigate easily in them, go to x place then to y, then see if you remember how you can get back to x, see if you can draw a map of that level, check your accuracy, etc.

Some free Games to start:





DIY mapping (exercise)

Remember the best orientation training always will be your spatial orientation in the real world, so go out and start exploring!

You need your feet on the planet outdoors in the real world and your map-drawing tools in your hands. Walk forward and count the paces to the end of your block or street. That's the start of your map. Make it very simple. Don't include steps or hills, just trace the path you take in 2 dimensions.

Just start by charting the local journeys you make most often, and put in the landmarks as you go. You can count paces if you want to.  Try to head in the direction of the nearest natural landscape. You end up with something like this:

Shopping Fun (exercise)

If you go shopping, you can be surprised how people still “get lost” looking for somewhere they know, and don’t remember exactly where is x place in their local area (for example the cinema), -was it on the first or second floor? Turning to right or left? Etc.

Let this motivate you to start training your spatial skills and memory, learning where all the local places are. I did this myself a few times when I went to see some movies, just go with some paper and pen and start taking your notes of places of reference, and see how long it takes you to totally embody your environment so you never get lost there anymore.



2.5 Motivation, Orientation

Input Control for self motivation

Immerse yourself in inspiration (hack)

Watch, listen to, and look at stuff related to what you want to accomplish. Remind yourself of the 'big picture' which is creating a context you can thrive in. Collect things that inspire you and remind you of your aims.


Fung Shui For the Laid Back (hack + exercise)

Do you lead the sort of laid back lifestyle where you like to get things done very simply without wasting any time or energy? A chaotic environment can literally drain your energy, cause additional anxiety, and waste your time, especially when you can't find things! Conversely, a beautifully organized, 'everything-to-hand' environment can be a haven where you can escape from the hassles in your life (plus it looks really cool when you can find everything, and you are ready to go and party at a moment's notice).

Working on de-chaosing your space, doing some creative decorating or simply moving things about are all ways you can work toward the goal of having a beautiful and expediently organized living space, and it saves you wasting time that could be better spent on enjoying yourself.

By 'chaotic' we do NOT mean messy; messy is the sign of activity and life, and it's fine as long as you know where to find everything. By 'organized' we do not mean tidy; prisons are tidy!

Take these simple steps to make life easier for yourself and prevent wasting time:

Stand in the middle of your room. Move the things you use the most closest to where you are likely to be sitting when you need them. Put things you hardly ever use in the least accessible areas, and the things you use regularly somewhere you don't have to bend, crawl or stretch in order to reach them or to put them back. Develop the habit of putting things back in their 'areas' (even if this is just a different pile in each corner), then you always know roughly where to find what sort of things.

Do you constantly have to get up and go into another room to get stuff when you're working in another? Consider moving whatever it is into the main room. Possibilities include a kettle and tea bags or coffee maker actually next to your desk (you're at home; you can do what the fuck you like!); land line telephones or mobiles closer to hand, diaries and reference books etc on shelves right next to you, , DVDs right next to the DVD player; a munchies box of dried fruit & nuts on the desk, garbage bin close by, and remote controls have a designated “home” where they live at all times after being used (very close to where you are sitting). Get into the habit of putting them back there.

You can apply this kind of control to all areas. For example if you hate wasting time washing up, use paper plates (its more hygienic anyway). Think about what other time-and task-saving changes you could make. 


Order Out of Chaos (hack + exercise)

Throw on some music and attack the clutter in a drawer, a room, or your whole house. Pick a mundane, uncomplicated task such as window cleaning, polishing metal, cleaning tech or washing up, and turn it into a concentration exercise -Repetitive movements of cleaning or dusting can loll you into a near-meditative state, the physical activity of washing up or vacuuming your carpets can change your chemistry and reduce anxiety. Even if it doesn't work, you’ll be rewarded with a cleaner space and more soothing surroundings when you’re done.


Motivation -Weighting memory with personal interest - 'use value' (hack + exercise)

    Memory retention improves with increased motivation. This is partly due to an increase in the intensity of perception, and motivation is an important factor. If an action, object or knowledge can clearly be seen to be of use, then motivation increases. A perception that is irrelevant to our survival, or whose use is obscure, won't generate much interest and so will not be easily remembered.

In setting up material to be memorized, it helps to make its 'use value' clear; i.e., understanding what practical use the information can be put to.

This seems an obvious point and yet in much common academic work the reasons WHY it is useful to learn the facts presented, and how they are

connected to our real lives in the real world are simply not given.

Find these associations for yourself, taking responsibility for your own learning. If something genuinely cannot be seen as useful to real life in

any way, you probably shouldn't be learning it.

Remember, fiction and fantasy are also useful to real life!


NB. Artificial motivation via use value may also be generated by coercion, by deceit using absolutely false or fictitious reasons of use, or by

strongly associating a 'useless' fact or object with one that is more useful (one of the most common strategies in advertising) but this is not to be

advised for aiding memory unless your need is dire, as it creates incongruent association that you'll then have to work on getting rid of.


Mission Possible (hack + exercise)

Copy this list below or print it, leaving a gap between the lines:

  • Get in touch with a friend that you haven’t seen for a while.

  • Watch a funny television programme or film.

  • Exercise physically for about five minutes.

  • Cut your television viewing by half this week.

  • Go somewhere new -A concert, movie, unusual place, museum, library, forest or strange restaurant.

  • Start a new hobby, join an online or offline social group, or learn a new skill.

  • Go for a 20 minute walk next time it's sunny.

  • Spend ten minutes listening to relaxing or uplifting music

  • Take a luxurious hot bath

  • Stop watching and reading the news this week.


Take your copy of this list and cut it up so that each suggestion is a strip of paper, fold up the strips and put them inside a hat or a (clean) sock.

Once a week, pull one out at random. Your mission is to complete the request as best as you are able. Note which suggestions you had problems with and consider why. Return the paper to the hat if you fail the mission, if you succeed, throw it away.

Finally, write or print one more suggestion and add it to the hat. Make it something reasonably simple like the others. Things that you keep forgetting to do could be good choices.

Your overall mission is to empty the hat.



Include a 'mission' in your ontology (hack & exercise)

Perhaps the single most motivating factor is the sense that you’re fulfilling a greater purpose. Whatever you are doing in everyday life, keeping in mind how your interactions are part of 'the bigger picture' always helps motivation. Even if your mission is something straightforward like "I'm fully developing my intelligence" or "I'm following the path of entelechy", having that mission statement written down and viewable somewhere you regularly are, will focus your determination and strengthen your sense of purpose.

Make your mission your primary goal.


Think forward: Prepare for 'the next episode'

If you take a few minutes just before sleeping and create a list for yourself of things you want to accomplish the following day, you will be able to organize your time better and allow time for everything that needs to be done. In the creation of your list, be sure to place emphasis on the things that NEED to be done as well as the things that you want to do, and make a point of portraying the 'big picture', ie, how this particular episode fits in to the whole of your situation.

An important part of personal growth is achieving or moving toward mastery. Ask yourself, as you start a new episode (project or task or anything else), “What things am I going to learn from doing this?” This will put you in a mastery frame of mind so that you’re aware of the learning you’re doing as you move through your various episodes.


Think back: about the concepts that have motivated you in the past

and try to incorporate those into your day. If something motivated you once before to get things done, chances are it will still provide that same motivation, use that to help yourself stay motivated and focused on completing the task at hand.


Reporting for duty

Creating a list is a wonderful start, but it is only a list of ideas. When you wake up and start your day, you must actually look at your list and use it in the planning of your day. Be sure to focus on getting the most difficult tasks done or the most difficult issues dealt with, in stages if necessary, but be sure for your health to include tasks that are enjoyable to do.

Think about what sort of things make you eager to get out of bed in the morning, and keen to stay up late at night. When you get out of bed

eager to tackle the challenges of the day, and lay awake at night dreaming up new challenges, new projects, and new directions to take your life

in, motivation comes pretty easily!

Procrastination comes not from the nature of a task but from your relationship with it. Change the actual language you use to talk about what you

are doing, emphasizing why you choose to work on a task or project. Tasks that you choose to do rarely suffer from motivation problems


Don't allow yourself to get distracted.

If you know that having the TV on while you try to get something done will only draw you to watch it, determine to keep it turned off. If you never allow yourself a distraction, it can no longer be a distraction. Avoid any type of thing that will throw you off track. Your mission is to stay with your list until everything on it is complete; don't allow anything to get in the way of that unless YOU choose that it should.

If you're tempted to do something that's not on your list, think about whether or not this will help you accomplish your goals, then decide if it's still a worthwhile activity.

Review your progress and assess yourself.

Seeing yourself succeed in real terms encourages tenacity. Assess your own progress regularly and keep records.


Treat yourself for accomplished tasks.

When you complete something, be sure to reward yourself for it. Anything from a short nap to a fresh coffee can be a reward. Get creative in the things that you can do to reward yourself for staying motivated. When every tea break is read by the unconscious as a reward, the unconscious starts to get much more pleased with itself and our self esteem provides ongoing motivation. Take pride in the fact that you stayed motivated and accomplished your list. Then start on your list for tomorrow.


Spatial Orientation Test

View Test


Find out if you have a sensory orientation bias (test + exercise)

Nobody is totally left- or right-handed, but most people have a dominant hand. The degree of dominance for different tasks varies and will tell you about the degree of density of the sensorimotor networks associated with each hand. These exercises will show you the degree of dominance.

1. Screw up three balls of A4 paper and make a 'target' on the floor [masking tape on carpet is great] with an inner square of about a foot [30cm]. Sit opposite your target, about 12 feet away. Try and land the paper balls in the target square, first throwing with one hand, then the other. Measure how close each ball got after the throw and note which hand did best.

2. Using a stopwatch, measure how long it takes you to write out the alphabet with one hand and then the other.

3. Get some lined paper. Draw a horizontal line between two of the lines all the way across the page, first with one hand, then the other. Count how often your line touched the sides for each hand.

4. Get a pair of tweezers, a box of matches and a stopwatch. Measure how long it takes you to remove all the matches from the box one at a time with the tweezers, using first one hand and then the other.

5. Now measure how long it takes you to get them back in, by the same method.


Now you can calculate your sensory orientation. Which hand won, overall?

If they were both about the same, you can ignore the 'sensory orientation & balance' exercises in the section below. If you found you had a strongly dominant hand, you should do them.


Exercises for sensory orientation and balance (to improve congruent association of sensorimotor & spatial networks)

You need to concentrate on the hand that GOT THE LOWEST SCORES in the hacks section tests above.

1. For an ongoing 'balancing' exercise for networks 1 & 2, use your non-dominant hand to write out a simple sentence of your choosing [between ten and fifteen words is best] once a day. Time it. When your non-dominant hand is as fast as your dominant hand, just practise this exercise once or twice a week.


2. This is an exercise that can strengthen neural connections and even create new ones.

Switch the hand you are using to control the computer mouse or track pad. Use the hand you normally do NOT use.

What do you notice?

Does your brain assume that directions are 'the other way round'?

Is it harder to be precise and accurate with your motions?

Do you feel like you did when you were first learning to tie shoelaces?

If you are feeling uncomfortable and awkward don’t worry, your brain is learning a new skill.

Try other neural building and strengthening exercises with everyday movements. Use your opposite hand to brush your teeth, dial the phone or operate the TV remote. Try drawing simple shapes (eg square, triangle, circle), letters of the alphabet, and numbers with the non-dominant hand.


3. Engage different senses

Try to include one or more of your senses in an everyday task

Get dressed/undressed with your eyes closed (don't do this one in the office).

Share a meal with a friend and use only visual cues to communicate. No talking. -Do you find you make eye contact more?


4. Combine two senses:

Listen to music and smell flowers, perfume or incense

Listen to the rain and tap your fingers

Watch clouds and play with modeling clay at the same time


5. Break routines:

Go to a regular destination by a new route

Eat with your 'opposite' hand

Get your food from somewhere different


6. Close your eyes. Now, with eyes completely shut, use your other senses to hone in on a specific familiar object. Whether it's the front door, the coffee pot or your shoes, use only your other senses to find your way to it. By facilitating spatial memory, sense of smell and touch, the brain is automatically associating nerve pathways and allowing cells that fire together to wire together.


7. Break the Regimen. Change your daily routine by simply adding or subtracting components from usual activities. A good example of this would be to have a family member or friend accompany you while you work. Or better still, do something you normally wouldn't do - e.g., go to the park instead of the mall; walking somewhere as opposed to driving there.



2.6 Observation

Estimating Dimensions (exercise)

a) At home, every time you go into a new room estimate the dimensions by eye. Note these down and then measure them with a pocket tape. How many rooms do you have to enter before you are accurate within one foot / 30cm?

b) Spend five minutes going around your home estimating the dimensions of furniture and then checking it with a pocket tape. Continue daily for ten days, rest and assess your improvement. Continue in periods of five or ten days until you can guess dimensions including diameters within one inch /2cm.


c) Cut various random lengths from a ball of string. Each length is let fall on a separate part of the floor. Guess the lengths and check against a ruler. Take five minutes and continue daily for ten days or until required accuracy is attained.


Zoom in (exercise)

Choose a small familiar object from your domestic surroundings that possesses detail. A matchbox, clock, radio, ornament, key, postcard, brush, shoe, book, plant, mug, cushion, lamp, pencil, painting, all will do. Begin to observe it very closely. The exercise should last a definite time. Ten minutes is a good timespan. If you cannot concentrate on one item for this long, you may find that drawing the object is a good aid. Don't worry if you can't 'draw a likeness'.


Spot the Difference Games


Just for fun: "Change blindness"

You can experience change blindness by watching "flicker images". These consist of two consecutive images that differ only in one key feature -

two people who swap heads, say. If the images are flashed up in quick succession with a brief blank screen between them, most people take an

astonishingly long time to spot the difference. See demos at:


We also usually fail to detect gradual changes to a static scene, such as the addition of a large building. See demos at and


A similar phenomenon is motion-induced blindness, in which concentrating on a moving pattern causes what should be very prominent static

objects - such as bright yellow dots - to disappear. See demos at





Обновлено 30.11.2016 10:08