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Technique to train memory ability! n-back task app


It would be nice if you could train your memory in a little free time. With an iPhone, you can easily do N-Back Tasks.

What is N-Back Task

N-Back Task is a method to measure the ability of working memory, introduced by Wayne Kirchner in 1958.

Tasks are presented continuously, and responses are the result of tasks N times ago. The temporary memory ability is evaluated by the number of consecutive correct answers and the value of N.

For example, in the case of 1 ‘back, the calculation task of the second question is performed while memorizing the result of the calculation task of the first question, and after the calculation of the second question, answer the calculation result of the first question. After the calculation of the third question, answer the calculation result of the second question.

Effectiveness of N-Back Task

N back task not only for measurement but also has the effect of improving the temporary memory ability itself, and is now regarded as one of brain training.

When working memory capacity improves with N back task, in addition to increasing computing power and sentence reading comprehension, there are also good effects on other various cognitive functions.

In addition to walking that is highly effective in preventing dementia, if you strengthen your brain’s reserve capability with N back tasks etc., the dementia prevention effect will also be higher.

N-Back Task App

Nintendo DS “Tohoku University Research Institute of Aging and Medical Research, supervised by Professor Kawashima Ryota 5 minutes of demon training to strengthen the brain” also contains issues of N back task.

There is a website on the net that can do N back tasks for free.

For iPhone, iPad, Android etc, there are many applications that can do N back tasks. “N’Back”, “N’Back 10” to be introduced below is also one such application which performs N back task on iPhone.

iPhone app “N’Back”

The iPhone app “N’Back” is a game type N back task app that counts how many specific colors or shapes were displayed, and then answers that number after the Nth task.

As long as you answer correctly, you can do it permanently.

N’Back, Three types of ways

In the iPhone app N’Back, you can do N back tasks in three ways.

Flash method

The figure to be counted is displayed for a moment and disappears immediately. In addition to temporary memory capability, ability to count figures instantly is required.

With the flash method, I am a little irritated until I can do it smoothly. However, as you can do it smoothly, you can experience the comfort like when you are in the music rhythm, and you feel good.

The comfort as when riding the rhythm is something that can not be experienced with the other two methods.

But, if you get accustomed too much, you will feel unsatisfactory and perhaps the effect of training memory will also become thinner. That means that the ability has increased. In that case, increase the value of N one by one and increase the difficulty level.

Slow method

The slow method is basically the same as the flash method. The difference is the time the figure is displayed. In the slow method, figures are displayed longer than the flash method.

It may be good practice with this slow method, such as when you feel that the flash method is too fast to do it.

If you feel that it’s too slow with the slow method, please try the flash method by all means.

Step method

In the step method, count the figure at your own pace, then press the button to move on to the next task. The ability to instantly count figures is not necessary.

How to use N’Back

The following explains how to use the iPhone app ‘N’Back focusing on the flash method. However, it is easy. Set the conditions, press the start button, then answer by counting figures.

Set conditions

Tap the gear button on the upper left of the main screen to display the setting screen and set the three conditions.

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Set N

In the top selector, set the N value of N-Back task. It is recommended to start with ‘1’.

Set method type

Flash method that allows you to experience comfort is recommended. If you feel that the flash method is too difficult, try the slow method or the step method.

Set figure type

Choose whether to count the figure in shape or in color. Select either type of preference.

In shape and in color, there may be some difference in brain science, but at this moment it is unknown. Personally, I feel it is somewhat easier to do by color, but there seem to be individual differences in this as well.

Counting figures and answers

After pressing the start button and starting, just count the figure and answer with N times delay.

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It is an example of a type counting by color. In the example, the number of green is asked, so count as 6.

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It is an example of a type counting by shape. In the example, the number of crosses is asked, so count as 3.

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An example of an answer. In the example, enter the answer for the third question.

Auxiliary function

The basic usage is as above. The following is a description of the auxiliary function.

Score table

When not playing, you can display the score table by tapping the score button on the upper right.

The score table is divided for each value of N, for each method, and for each type of figure. The score table is displayed under the currently set conditions.

You can delete scores you do not want to keep.


To cancel playing, press the reset button. When reset, the score will not be recorded in the score table.

Sound On / Off

You can turn it off when you want to quietly play, or if the sound effect sounds noisy. Just press the bottom speaker button. Even while playing, you can easily turn on / off sound.

N’Back free version and paid version

iPhone app N’Back has free version and paid version (N’Back 10). Even in the free version, you can train working memory.

The difference between the free version and the paid version is that the advertisement is displayed and the value of N. In the paid version (N’Back 10) you can do it up to 10’back (N = 10).
Upgrading “NBack 3D” with in-app purchase, up to 20’Back is possible.

For those who are unsatisfactory for low N because of the already large working memory capacity, please choose a paid version.

Even with the free version, you can upgrade to the same function as the paid version with in-app purchase. First of all, I think that it is better to use the free version.

App Store

free version

App Store

paid version

NBack 3D (iPhone&iPad)

The task of NBack 3D is to count moving 3D figures while rotating.
Upgrading “NBack 3D” with in-app purchase, up to 20’Back is possible.

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App Store

NBack 3D (free)

NBack for iPad

“NBack for iPad” is an iPad app with the same function as the iPhone app “N’Back”.

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App Store

NBack for iPad Lite (free)

App Store

NBack for iPad (paid)