It might not be obvious, but when broken down to its most basic parts, everything in our visual world is constructed of basic visual information: color, luminance, orientation, and spatial frequency. If we can help our brains effortlessly identify these at very rapid speeds, we’ll improve visual acuity overall.
Visual Sweeps is one of the exercises from BrainHQ’s Brain Speed category. Your task in Visual Sweeps is to view two successive spatial frequency sweeps—dark bars that are moving inward or outward—and identify whether they are contracting or expanding.
Here’s how the exercise works:
- A square will appear on screen, and dark moving bars will appear within the square. There will be two sweeps, played in quick succession.
- Two buttons will appear on screen: a button with two arrows pointing inward, and a button with two arrows pointing outward. Select the direction of the first sweep.
- If you are correct, continue to Step 3 below.
- If you are incorrect, go back to Step 1 above.
- If the correct direction was selected, then the arrows will remain on screen. Select the direction of the second sweep.
Tip: If you’re training from a computer, you can use the left arrow key on your keyboard to select the “inward arrows” button, or the right arrow key on your keyboard to select the “outward arrows” button.
If an incorrect answer is given, you’ll hear a “bonk” sound and the visual sweeps may appear on screen for longer. If a correct answer is given, you’ll hear a “boop” sound and the visual sweeps may appear on screen for less time. In both cases, the level then continues, repeating from Step 1 above.
Here are examples of the contracting sweeps (left) and expanding sweeps (right):
You can review the exercise video tutorial below:
Different types of sweeps activate different sets of neurons (the nerve cells in the brain). For example, one group might respond to horizontal motion, while a different group responds to vertical motion. To exercise the highest possible number of neurons, the sweeps change in several ways:
- Color and luminance: There are five different colors of sweeps, carefully chosen to maximize neural response.
- Orientation: There are four different sweep orientations: vertical, horizontal, and two diagonals. Again, each of these orientations targets a different set of neurons.
- Spatial frequency: The bars in the sweeps get thicker and thinner to ensure your brain responds equally well to all sweeps.