Low-Cost Cognitive Rehabilitation Exercises
A Selection By Rosamond Gianutsos - Not Intended To Be Comprehensive
MahJongg (Solitaire mode), also known as Shanghai and Taipai
Scoring: Solution Rate - The boards contain 144 tiles and the display shows the number of tiles remaining as well as the time elapsed. On a spreadsheet, compute the elapsed time in fractional minutes (Min + Sec / 60) and the number of tiles matched (144 - Remaining). The solution rate is Matched / Time. Goal is a solution rate of 20 tiles / min. This is 10 pairs / min, or about one pair every 6 sec.
Processes: Visual Search, Scanning and Speed of information processing. Using the traditional layout adds Sequential reasoning, Planning and execution of sequential moves, Working visual memory, Impulse control
Maker: Moraff World of Games CD - $24.95 for this and several other valuable exercises
Special Notes: The goal is to match tiles that are "available" (i.e., not covered and with at least one left or right side exposed). The classic layout is a pyramid like stack. People find this addicting.

Simplifications to start with:
Select the simplified layout: "thick stalks" of 4 tile clusters stacked 6 tiles deep. This layout reduces the task to shape matching with no strategic options or challenges. It is much easier to understand, but also less engaging.

Change tilesets from the traditional Chinese MJ symbols to letters and numbers. This modification facilitates visual recognition, and can make the exercise useful for persons with poor visual acuity.

Jezzball / J-Ball
Scoring: Number of balls/level
Processes: Lateral visual perception, Response timing, Simultaneous information processing, Execution of strategies in real time, Motor planning.
Maker: Clone of Microsoft version by DonPixel - Play on-line

NY Times On-Line Crosswords
Scoring: Solution accuracy and speed
Processes: Verbal retrieval and fluency (if set to the easy level of difficulty), Mental flexibility, Allocation of attention
Maker: NY Times

Scoring: Solution percent
Processes: Verbal recognition, Impulse control
Maker: Crossword Puzzles and Word Games by Expert Software - Word lists are NOT randomized.

Jigsaws Galore
Scoring: Solution rate
Processes: Visual perception and organization, Eye-hand control
Maker: David Gray Associates

Triad (AKA "Sets" card game)
Scoring: Average solution time
Processes: Abstract thinking, mental flexibility, reasoning, ability to manage multiple concepts simultaneously

Maker: Randomly

Memory Jiggler
Scoring: Number of swaps (moves) to build the image from a jumbled checkerboard (with pieces turned face down). You can use your own image files, although they cannot be too large (e.g., 300 kb). You can vary the dimensions, although most people should start with the easiest (4x4).
Processes: Visual analysis and memory.
Maker: Moraff World of Games CD - $24.95 for this and several other valuable exercises

Animated Educational Software
Processes: Spelling, Typing, Arithmetic, States & Capitals, Phonics
Maker: FLIX Productions - Tom Guthery IV

Scoring: Solution rate: Must note number of digits to be filled in after the first move. Divide that by the time to solve the puzzle. Note the difficulty level of the puzzle.
Processes: Scanning, reasoning, evaluating one's certainty - avoid guessing / encourage "getting to must."
Free version works well for 9x9 grids on-line. Consider downloading Web Sudoku Deluxe (for a small fee) from the WebSudoku site. Play offline. No Internet required. Full screen. Larger grids. Downloaded version includes very easy 4x4 and 6x6 puzzles.

Jezzball clone: Icebreaker
Scoring: An overall score is offered based mostly on how long you survive, by segregating and avoiding collisions with an increasing number of bouncing creatures. Efficiency is secondary.
Processes: Spatial perception including line bisection, motor planning (praxis) and timing, divided attention. Many of the skills overlap with driving competencies. Drivers should be able to survive the 4 creature level without difficulty.
Maker: Matthew Miller and collaborators - Open Source

Custom Concentration
Scoring: Number of correct and incorrect matches. Generally, incorrect matches should be less than the correct matches.
Processes: Visual memory - especially when using images which are not easily named.
Maker: Bot Productions - freeware
Special Notes: You can adjust the dimensions of the display: 2 x 3 or 3 x 2 are
"easy" and one might not go far above 6 x 4. Adjust the image dimensions so that all fit on the screen.
Create test sets from your own collections of images. Images within the collection should be distinct and not too large (300 kb per image). A large collection reduces repetition and discourages conversion of the visual image into a verbal label.

Scoring: A classic Pong type activity where the player controls the lateral position of a "paddle" with the mouse so that a ball is bounced back against a wall of "bricks." The score is determined by the number of bricks removed.
Processes: Eye-hand control, visual scanning and pursuit, motor planning and reaction time. This version is "portable" which means it can be run from a flash memory stick, which can be used at home and brought into the clinic for therapy sessions.
Maker: Portable Apps - open source (free)




Tools and

EDS: Elemental
Driving Simulator