Who wouldn’t like to have a faster, more nimble, and more accurate brain?  Remarkable breakthroughs in brain science are opening doors once thought closed with mental fitness programs accessed through online, phone, and tablet platforms.  The Department of Defense (DoD) recognizes the potential benefits for service members and has recently made BrainHQ, a standard-bearer brain health program, easily accessible to all military members, active, reserve, and retired. 

How does it work?

The science hinges on an adaptation process known as neuroplasticity — the capacity for the brain to alter itself at any age. Brain training that involves improving processing speed pushes the brain to work harder, creating actual physical changes to its shape, or neuropathways, in this instance. Once developed, the new pathways are available for processing stimuli in real life, outside of the exercise program.

BrainHQ could be an important tool not only for military members who’ve suffered from traumatic brain injuries, memory loss, and other cognitive impairments, but for the mental fitness of all military personnel.

“We chose BrainHQ to help service members hone qualities such as lifelong learning, readiness, and resilience. This unique program will help our personnel improve their attention spans, decision making skills, and cognitive speed,” said Kristen Campbell, chief of the Air Force Libraries Division.

The exercises are divided into six categories: attention, memory, brain speed, intelligence, people skills, and navigation. Guidelines encourage members to participate in exercises in each of these arenas to optimize results.  The logic behind this is simple: improving one’s ability to interpret, memorize, and process information in a variety of settings will translate to increased levels of confidence. 

That’s an outcome that would interest DoD for total force strength.

Today, every service member and veteran can access the BrainHQ platform free of charge through the library systems of the Service branches, Military OneSource, and base libraries. A library card is all that’s needed.