Documented origin of the use of a focus grid as a concentration exercise has been credited to Dorothy Harris and Bette Harris, who referenced the exercise in their book titled “The Athlete’s Guide to Sports Psychology: Mental Skills for Physical People” (Leisure Press/Human Kinetics, published February 1, 1984) (see pages 92-93 and 189). See www.amazon.com/Athletes-Guide-Sports-Psychology-Physical/dp/0880112069 and https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Athlete_s_Guide_to_Sports_Psychology.html and https://books.google.com/books?id=LdztAAAAMAAJ (Harris and Harris in turn credited use of the grid exercise to “Eastern Bloc countries with athletes”). As an aside, Dorothy Harris earned her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa and was a long-time professor of physical education at Pennsylvania State University (1970-1991); she is credited with developing one of the nation’s first graduate programs in sports psychology (see www.libraries.psu.edu/findingaids/419.htm ).
The “efficacy” of the concentration grid exercise was apparently studied (circa 2006) by one group of researchers, who conducted a study with the stated purpose “to examine the efficacy of Harris and Harris’ (1984) concentration grid exercise, an exercise proposed to enhance concentration and visual scanning speed.” See I. Greenlees, R. Thelwell and T. Holder, “Examining the efficacy of the concentration grid exercise as a concentration enhancement exercise,” Psychology of Sport and Exercise at 29-39 (January 2006) (abstract available at www.researchgate.net/publication/222679858_Examining_the_efficacy_of_the_concentration_grid_exercise_as_a_concentration_enhancement_exercise). As reported in the Abstract, the study (of 28 male collegiate soccer players over a 9-week period with 9 weekly meetings) produced results indicating “no significant interaction effects indicating that the concentration training group did not improve to a greater extent than the control group in any measure of concentration” — leading the researchers to their conclusion that “[t]he findings highlight the need for further research examining the efficacy of the concentration grid exercise using different training protocols and different dependent measures” and that “[i]n addition, the results also indicate support for sport psychologists who have urged caution with the use of the concentration grid exercise in applied sport psychology”.
Whether so-called “brain games” actually “work” (on the brain) has been the subject not only of academic/scientific debate but also of federal regulatory enforcement action. See for example www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2016/01/lumosity-pay-2-million-settle-ftc-deceptive-advertising-charges and http://fortune.com/2017/07/10/brain-games-research-lumosity and www.popsci.com/do-brain-exercises-work and www.cnn.com/2016/10/20/health/brain-training-exercises/index.html and www.scientificamerican.com/article/brain-games-do-they-really and www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/01/28/lumosity_cognifit_cogmed_are_these_kinds_of_brain_training_games_worth_it.html
No claims are made that use of the Concentration Grid app as a training exercise will produce an improvement of anything (other than perhaps over time your performance on the Concentration Grid app). Neuroscientists are not on staff.
The actual experts can do the research/evaluation of the grid exercise itself and provide their evidence – and others can report the findings as they see fit … for example, see www.fastcompany.com/40451692/this-is-the-only-type-of-brain-training-that-works-according-to-science and https://theconversation.com/some-brain-training-programs-are-backed-by-evidence-heres-how-to-pick-them-73205 and www.ecu.edu.au/news/latest-news/2017/02/putting-brain-training-to-the-test and www.researchgate.net/publication/312389475_Systematic_Review_of_Clinical_Significance_of_Commercially_Available_Computerized_Cognitive_Training (or more concisely https://goo.gl/nRjCWw)
The Concentration Grid app was developed as a modern-day implementation of the grid exercise a/k/a mental focus grids – intended in a manner that can readily be used as a tool for assessment/test (measure your time/progress), skill development (at the least skill at using the app), practice/exercise of attention skills … and for competitive challenge and fun/entertainment.
The Concentration Grid app can generate grids in varying sizes of between 3 and 14 columns/rows. Mastery of the smaller grids will call for speed/dexterity; mastery of the larger grids will call for sustained focus/attention. (There are 68 different grid sizes to try and eventually master.)
The Concentration Grid app also provides for convenient gameplay/replay, history tracking (time/performance data) and a share feature that is integrated with social media.
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