Word Fresh is one of the most popular games on the entire Peak app. Why do you folks love it so much?
The Best Brain Training Game
We want to take you behind the scenes and showcase the cognitive skills that Word Fresh uses. Then we’ll tell you a little bit about the special way we score the game and how we make it more difficult when you ace a level and advance.
How this brain training game Word Fresh works
Word Fresh challenges you to identify and highlight hidden words on the board as fast as you can.
Two important cognitive processes happen while you play. Your visual searchskills let you scan the sea of letters and find a word to highlight. You also search your lexicon, which is like a mental dictionary in your long-term memory, to find words that you know have a meaning in English in the hope that they match the strings of letters on the board.
Let’s take a closer look at these skills.
Visual search brain training
Visual search is the process of scanning your environment to identify a particular target. Let’s say you and your friend go to a Foo Fighters concert and the next time you want to say something to her, you turn around to find that she’s gone.
You step back a bit and start to scan the crowd to look for her, searching for both her distinctive yellow jacket and recognizable haircut. This is your visual search in action.
In the case of Word Fresh, you scan a device screen with a grid of letters to identify a word that you recognize, or perhaps the next letter in the string “SANDWIC.”
Word Fresh challenges this skill as you puzzle together letters, and you’ll need to do this while distinguishing other familiar words and letters on the board.
Studies have shown that our visual search skills deteriorate with normal aging.
Lexicon in long-term memory
First things first: what’s a lexicon? Your mental lexicon is the dictionary in your mind where you store all the words you know, whether it’s a term you learned way back in the first grade or a swear word your Spanish cousin just taught you.
The lexicon is stored in your long-term memory and contains not just the pronunciation of a word but also its meaning, how it’s written, and other characteristics.
If you’ve used the expression, “the word is on the tip of my tongue!” then you were trying to retrieve a word from the lexicon in long-term memory.
Quick word retrieval is key for conversational fluency, whether you’re having a discussion or speaking in a non-native language.
How does language training game work?
The words in your lexicon aren’t standalone entries, like library cards in a Dewey System filing cabinet (oh wait, we don’t use those anymore?). Instead, they’re related to one another and form associative networks. Retrieving or using one word activates the connections with words around it and makes it easier to access those as well.
These connections can be semantic (through a word’s meaning) or orthographic (through a word’s spelling).
For instance, the word “kin” is semantically related to words like “family,” “bloodline,” and “related” itself. It’s orthographically connected to “K,” “I,” “N,” “IN,” “KI” and words like “nickel.”
How this brain training game is scored
Like Scrabble, Word Fresh awards you more points when you find many words and when they’re long.
Want to try Word Fresh for yourself? Click the button below to get Peak – Brain Training for free.