Updating a meta analysis of intervention research with challenging behaviour
WM is known to be trainable, and so improving WM would hopefully improve IQ.
And N-back is a family of tasks which stress attention and WM.
- and so stress context switches; there are results that task switching can be trained and that it transfers.
Imagine a poor programmer who has suffered brain damage and has only enough working memory for 1 definition at a time. To write a correct program, he needs to know simultaneously 2 things - what a variable, say, contains, and what is valid input for a program.
One of the nice things about N-back is that while it may or may not improve your IQ, it may help you in other ways.
WM training helps alcoholics reduce their consumption characters exactly 2 positions away from each other.
Perhaps great hackers can load a large amount of context into their head, so that when they look at a line of code, they see not just that line but the whole program around it.
John Mc Phee wrote that Bill Bradley’s success as a basketball player was due partly to his extraordinary peripheral vision.
Wouldn’t it be better if one could just improve one’s short-term/working memory directly?Maybe the people in charge of facilities, not having any concentration to shatter, have no idea that working in a cubicle feels to a hacker like having one’s brain in a blender.It’s surprising, but bugs have a close relationship to number of lines of code - no matter whether the language is as low-level as assembler or high-level as Haskell (humorously, Norris’ number); is this because each line takes up a similar amount of working and short-term memory and there’s only so much memory to go around?Commentators on programming often write that one of the great challenges of programming (besides the challenge of accepting & dealing with the reality that a computer just a mindless rule-following machine), is that programming requires one to keep in mind dozens of things and circumstances - any one of which could completely bollix things up. One of the characteristics of great programmers is their apparent omniscience.Obsession grants them this ability to With programmers, it’s especially hard.