On the road…again!!!
Essays, Stories, Adventures, Dreams
Chronicles of a Footloose Forester
By Dick Pellek
On Testing Mental Acuity
FreeCell solitaire Game #48995 played and won in 2:04 minutes and 84 moves sets a high bar for recognizing and executing the moves it takes to win. The Footloose Forester exercises his brain by choosing some computer-based games as a way to remain keen, or least he hopes that is what is happening. Common wisdom tells us that we should strive to have healthy bodies and healthy minds. Cognitive acuity is one mark of self-awareness of the state of our own innate mental stimulation. At least that is what the Footloose Forester is hoping to demonstrate by taking and re-taking cognitive challenges like puzzle solving, and by repeating those same puzzles in order to monitor his cognition status, if he is able.
Timed tests challenge us to seek answers quickly. Although Footloose Forester always dreaded timed tests, formal academic institutions like schools and educational testing services invoke situations like taking standardized tests in conformance with subsequent evaluations of the test takers across pre-determined criteria of performance ranking. Some computer-based puzzles and games assign numbers to their suite of games, thus allowing the player to go back to the same game and monitor the time it took to solve the puzzle or win the game. For the Footloose Forester, he long ago decided that to win at FreeCell solitaire in less than three minutes was fast enough to earn a self-assigned A in scoring. It should be noted that he always kept the "easy" category of solitaire as his operating agenda, as the control circumstance.
Others have made deep studies of the subject matter. Here are a few thoughts on the issue:
Cognitive acuity is a term that refers to the ability of the brain to process information, respond to stimuli, and perform various mental tasks. Cognitive acuity involves a range of cognitive functions, such as perception, memory, attention, reasoning, and problem-solving.
Cognitive acuity can be affected by many factors, such as age, health, education, lifestyle, and environment. Cognitive acuity can be measured by various tests that assess different aspects of cognition, such as speed, accuracy, complexity, and creativity.
Some examples of cognitive tests are:
Montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA). This short test lasts around 15 minutes. It involves memorizing a short list, categorizing images in pictures, drawing a clock, and other tasks that test different domains of cognition1.
Theory of cognitive acuity (TCA). The TCA is a theory that extends psychophysics to the measurement of cognitive performance. Psychophysics is the study of how physical stimuli are perceived by the senses.
Cognitive acuity can be improved by various mental exercises that challenge the brain and stimulate new neural connections. Some examples of mental exercises are:
- Reading books, magazines, or newspapers that interest you and expose you to new ideas and perspectives
- Playing games, puzzles, or brain teasers that require logic, strategy, memory, or creativity.
- Learning a new skill, hobby, or language that engages different parts of the brain and enhances your knowledge and abilities.
- Socializing with people who share your interests or challenge your opinions and stimulate your conversation and thinking.