The idea of the IQ, boiling down your Brain function or Cognitive health to a single number is dead (ref https://www.kurzweilai.net/research-debunks-the-iq-myth). Instead, we now recognize 12 Pillars of Brain Health. Here is a description of these pillars and what they mean to you in daily life. We can measure these areas, and follow those measurements over time and with interventions to see if they are improving or worsening. Free Brain Test

REASONING
Task Definition Adult Example Activities Youth Example Activities
Rotations (Mental Rotation) A function of visual representation in the brain, mental rotation is the ability to efficiently manipulate mental representations of objects in order to make valid conclusions about what objects are and where they belong.
  • Navigating using a map, and knowing which direction you are facing.
  • Planning a new layout for a room.
  • Finding your way around a city using landmarks.
  • Creating or assembling—like when building a deck, or putting together furniture based on a diagram.
  • Not getting lost or turned around when coming into a familiar building through a different door than usual.
  • Easily learning to use games or toys that involve building, such as recreating your house with blocks.
  • Navigating using a map on your phone, or the mini-map in a video game.
Polygons (Visuospatial Processing) The ability to effectively process and interpret visual information, such as complex visual stimuli and relationships between objects.
  • Creating art, or drawing diagrams.
  • Repairing household items by spotting what is wrong with them and applying the right fix.
  • Identifying a mistake in a document at work.
  • Doing graphic design work or creating a web site.
  • Interpreting subtle facial expressions to know how someone is reacting to what you are saying.
  • Creating a science fair project display, or other arts and crafts.
  • Learning handwriting, how much space to leave between words, and the correct size of letters relative to the page.
  • Interpreting subtle facial expressions to know how someone is reacting to what you are saying.
Odd One Out (Deductive Reasoning) The core cognitive ability to apply rules to information in order to arrive at a logical conclusion.
  • Evaluating a complex argument and deciding if you agree.
  • Applying government rules to your finances to properly do your taxes.
  • Noticing the details of a story and making inferences beyond what is directly stated—such as a character’s emotions, or the story’s message.
  • Creating effective arguments for a position in a debate or essay.
  • Doing coding or using complex software.
  • Solving everyday math problems, such as splitting the bill at a restaurant.
  • Solving math problems in school.
  • Noticing the details of a story and making inferences beyond what is directly shown—such as a character’s emotions, or the story’s message.
  • Learning about non-verbal social cues expected in a situation, such as when eye contact is expected and when to give people space.
  • Creating effective arguments for a debate or essay.
  • Becoming good at computer programming or a complicated app.
Spatial Planning (Planning) A fundamental property of intelligent behavior, planning is the ability to act with forethought and sequence behaviour in an orderly fashion to reach specific goals.
  • Deciding the order of items to pack in a trunk or moving van.
  • Organizing your schedule to effectively balance work, chores, and social life.
  • Planning where to put your hands and feet when rock climbing.
  • Building or assembling furniture without any instructions.
  • Planning an itinerary for an upcoming trip
  • Independently organizing and prioritizing homework, chores, and fun activities.
  • Tidying up your desk or locker at school so you can fit everything you need inside.
  • Organizing pictures and text blocks on a poster to clearly communicate your conclusions.
  • Getting through a room crowded with people and objects without bumping into anything.
  • Planning where to put your hands and feet when going through an obstacle course or rock climbing.


CONCENTRATION
Task Definition Adult Example Activities Youth Example Activities
Feature Match (Attention) A measure of attention—the ability to focus on relevant details or differences.
  • Staying focused on a task when it counts, such as when driving.
  • Identifying similarities and differences when comparing two things, such as two similar brands of a household product.
  • Noticing small interpersonal details, like a partner’s haircut, or subtle facial expressions indicating that somebody is upset or bored.
  • Having good fashion sense by comparing outfits and choosing the one with the right look for the occasion.
  • Keeping attention on the teacher at school, or on a homework task, for a long time.
  • Noticing when someone is getting mad or sad, and changing what you say to make them more comfortable.
  • Noticing the differences between options on a multiplechoice test so you can choose the correct one.
  • Differentiating between similar-sounding words to write down the one you want.
  • Checking over a worksheet to make sure you haven’t missed any questions.
Double Trouble (Response Inhibition) A measure of response inhibition—the ability to concentrate on relevant information in order to make a correct response despite interference.
  • Keeping your eyes on the road when driving, despite passing distracting signs or people.
  • Blocking out background conversations when you’re on the phone.
  • Inhibiting your emotional gut reaction to a social media post to formulate a more rational response.
  • Ignoring attention-grabbing buzzwords on product packaging to focus on relevant information.
  • Ignoring a noisy classmate so you can concentrate on your work.
  • Completing your chores even though you keep thinking about doing something more fun.
  • Keeping a thought to yourself that shouldn’t be spoken out loud, or putting up your hand instead of blurting out an answer.
  • Figuring out if a story somebody is telling you is serious or if they are only joking.
  • Having an age-appropriate response to being upset by keeping emotional responses to yourself, or walking away.


VERBAL ABILITY
Task Definition Adult Example Activities Youth Example Activities
Digit Span (Verbal short-term memory) A measure of attention—the ability to focus on relevant details or differences.
  • Understanding long sentences by remembering the beginning of the sentence by the time you get to the end.
  • Writing down a phone number or entering credit card information.
  • Taking notes during a meeting.
  • Remembering all the points you wanted to bring up on a phone call.
  • Taking notes and keeping up in class.
  • Easily learning new words by listening to and remembering all the sounds in the word.
  • Doing math, which requires holding numbers in memory while working on them.
  • Following multi-step spoken or written directions.
  • Understanding long sentences by remembering the beginning of the sentence by the time you get to the end.
Grammatical Reasoning (Verbal Reasoning) A measure of verbal reasoning—the ability to quickly understand and make valid conclusions about concepts expressed in words.
  • Understanding complex everyday speech—e.g., “I didn’t know that he wasn’t going to show up.”
  • Giving clear verbal or written instructions to people who report to you at work.
  • Reading a contract and understanding what you are agreeing to.
  • Texting a clear description of an item to your partner so they can pick it up from the grocery store.
  • Understanding what two adults are talking about, even when they use complicated language.
  • Interpreting what people are saying to you, and thinking about what the speaker actually meant, without jumping to incorrect conclusions.
  • Enjoying movies or shows with more dialogue, and less visual action.