There were two goals for this study, which was published in Adolescent Psychiatry. One aim was to compare the results of potential substance abusers (who had been in legal trouble for substance use but did not meet the criteria for substance abuse used by psychiatrists) with normal controls (university staff and students). It turned out that the results from the five potential substance abusers were no different from the 6 normal controls. The results from both groups were combined and used to measure the effects of 12 sessions of the Neureka! training in the Peak BrainHappiness Trainer, the second goal.
Sessions were conducted approximately once a week and lasted approximately 25 minutes. The subjects viewed DVDs with beautiful scenes from the BBC series, Planet Earth, during the training sessions with the Peak BrainHappiness Design. When their Neureka! values increased, the size of the DVD picture that was displayed also increased proportionately until the screen was full. They were asked to increase the picture’s size as much as possible. If their attention waned and the Focus measure went below a certain level, the picture began to dim and then it would stop until they became engaged again, so the Design also provided some training for Focus. These Peak BrainHappiness Training Designs have been improved and adapted as Happi Trainer and Socialize ACE Designs.
More specifically, the largest increase was in memory (13%), significant at the p < .05 level. There were two improvements–Attention/Mental Control and Reasoning–that were almost significant. The other two categories, Spatial Processing and Reaction Time, were not improved at all. This indicates a very selective improvement in brain function, particularly centered around memory accuracy. It is consistent with the hypotheses we made several years ago when we wrote the Neureka! manual.