I have to say I'm in the same situation than Pontus. I reached my max, dual 12 and 13 back, a long time ago and I don't think I can go much further, so I lost motivation a bit. when I play I usually don't focus as much as I used to when I still hadn't plateaued and was curious to know my max--so now I usually don't get passed 10 during a session. but I still want to play to keep the benefits of training (I definitely feel I'm different than before n-back). it's true I think that changing the type settings keeps you awake and focused. I alternate between quad triple and dual to keep me entertained. but sadly I have a feeling, and I read that from other people too, that n-back isn't nearly as beneficial when you're not playing at your max. it would be no strain no gain.
recently I switched to faster trials: 5 and then 4 quarters of seconds (1sec between trials). I have to say it was incredibly challenging and fun to play. I never had a headache playing n-back!!! (even 2 years ago when I was struggling with dual 3 and 4)--but playing at 5 and 4 quarters gave me one. it cuts my max level (compared to slower trials) by more than a third.and after playing at faster trials for a 2 weeks I feel I'm faster and even more verbal than I have ever been (although intelligent, I'm probably ADD inattentive, daydreamer, not the most verbal and social person, I get stressed when asked to do mental math--also, although I played the piano all my life, piano sight reading at a steady pace is quasi impossible for me, my mind is zoning out constantly).
btw I never gave my iq scores before and after training at n-back, but here they are (in order of test taking): 119, 125, 125, 107, 153, 131, (and I would say between 125 and 131 was my real iq) from different online tests almost 2 years ago before starting n-backing. after two years (I took the same bunch of online iq tests 3 weeks ago before trying faster trials) I got: 126, 135, 124, 125. so there wasn't much of a change. but I had been playing n-back softly for a long time. I expected my iq to jump at least by 5 to 10 points, from what I felt in my life. then after my week of faster trials, I did this iq test: and I got 149. if anyone who already knows his iq wants to try it, I'd be curious to know if they also score higher than expected, at first try of course. I thought the 153 I once got was pure chance, but maybe it wasn't completely, and that would be cool. I'm going to retest on other online iq tests in the next days. the fact that I'm ADD probably messes with my performance on iq tests, because all tests I took were timed (I'm slow). in my iq subtests it comes back constantly that my short term memory and processing speed are much lower than the rest. and this is true for all times I took iq tests, before and after training, and even in the 149 I just got the other day--both short term memory and processing speed were much lower than the rest.
I thought my working memory was deficient--but I plateaued at 12 and 13 after a year of daily training, so it's strange. it's possible that I heavily rely on strategies that most people don't use, in order to reach 13 back despite my lower wm. I chunk but I also mentally write letters on the board, draw lines between positions or imagine my fingers pressing keys, and, most importantly maybe, I assign some invented meanings to the chunk of 3-4 letters--because otherwise my phono loop alone couldn't pass 7-8 items (who does those strategies?). you can store more information by saturating all available types of memory (subsets of wm) and by compressing info/making up patterns with the info. maybe this is why I can reach 13, and this performance doesn't represent my actual low wm and processing speed. when I play at 4 quarters, I can't pass dual 7 (8 at 5quarters). my performance is lowered by roughly a third--is that more or less than other people?
it's also possible that ADD inattentive stems more from low processing speed, not working memory so much. but here again, I constantly score among the fastest on cogfun at reaction times, stroop, fast counting and flanker so I'm not sure at all what my problem is. also I had 176.5, 212.5, 200 and 255 bits at the site Pontus posted in another thread. I don't know what's going on in my brain, but basically I think I have a pretty good and even high processing speed, but I zone out constantly for short lapses of time (this is really visible when I play PASAT, I'm going to stop on an addition for much longer). so my ADD would be an inability to sustain attention (daydream/zone out) rather than a defect of wm or processing speed. I'm trying to understand and correct this. hopefully faster trials and a wider variety of cog games can be more beneficial.
I think that dual, quad, and shorter trials--all the different types of n-back--can train different parts of your Gf. I seem to adopt very different strategies when playing the different types and different settings of n-back. quad I think increased my raw phono loop more. shorter trials increased my phono loop even more, so much that I had trouble actually relying on my old strategy of writing down letters and finding meaning for them, when I play slow DNB again (I tried yesterday and it was weird). it also definitely improved my processing speed in only 2 weeks of faster trials. I can do mental math much better than I ever could and this is probably the reason I could score so high on my last iq test. I score better at PASAT on cogfun than I used to.
this thread was really interesting to re-read: My System, let's share strategies comments there seem to confirm that playing without strategies increases Gf the most--I agree with likeprestige's comment in there. so for a long time I was training strategies more than my real wm. I hope faster trials can increase int more.
what made me want to try shorter trials was a study that I stumbled upon saying that ADHD had a worse wm than ADD and that ADD was also called sluggish cognitive tempo (slow, therefore low processing speed--which applies to me) + the article Pontus brought up about a main int gene M1 and processing speed. I thought my real intelligence bottleneck could be some aspects of processing speed or central executive, that my ADD messes with or alters. I thought shortening the trials could train processing speed and focus better. I hope it's going to bring more benefits, because I'd really like to be smarter. I'll keep you updated about my next iq scores in a few days if anyone is interested.
btw Pontus the article about main int genes was really interesting. I saw that site a long time ago, but I was doubtful. but re-reading it seems possible. I still think that a few other important genes must influence iq. maybe it's a bell curve of genes that influence iq, M1 being at the right end. maybe brain size also substantially influences iq. I can't see brain shape/(parts more developed) not influencing iq. what other genes could influence iq?
also is that M1 gene found more in caucasians? if indian castes also had M1, their lower classes would be producing high int individuals more regularly like it did in the west. maybe there are many iq genes in the world.
anyway. there are so many interesting things and so little time. I will be posting again soon.