Dr. Wasifa Jamal and BrainCo at the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Neuro functional gum & mints contain a nootropic blend of brain-boosting ingredients to optimize your performance. The “Energy and Focus” mints are formulated to enhance your “mental endurance” and maintain focus. The purpose of this experiment was to study the effects of consuming Neuro’s Energy & Focus Mint product on an individual’s focus level and performance on cognitive tasks.
20 participants were asked to complete 3 cognitive tasks: Spot the Difference, Stroop Test, and Schulte's Table. The participants were broken up into 3 groups, the control group (no mints), the focus group (taking Neuro’s Energy & Focus Mints), and a placebo group (given a regular mint).
Results show that after 30 minutes, the focus group of Neuro Mint users showed enhanced performance in processing speed tasks. Their performance on the processing speed tasks is significantly better when they take Neuro’s Energy & Focus mints compared to their performance without Neuro’s Mints. Results also show that when the users consume the Neuro Mint, they are able to reach high levels of focus (as measured by the BrainCo focus algorithm) much faster than when they do not use any mint or when they consume a placebo mint.
Fig 1. Average performance for all participants as measured by percentage correct responses across different conditions during the Spot the Difference (left) and Stroop Test (center) and time to completion for Schulte’s Table (right)
Given the nature of the task, Schultes's table, the outcome measure is the time to complete the task as opposed to the percentage correct like the other two tasks. We see (right plot, Fig.1) that on average the participants take less time to complete the Schulte’s Tasks when they have taken Neuro’s Energy & Focus mints compared to when they did not have any mints (control) or when they had regular mints (placebo). In order to investigate this observation in the data further we compute the differences between the duration to complete the task in the control condition and mint conditions for each individual. i.e Control task time - Mint/Placebo task time.
Fig 2. The difference between Control task completion time and Neuro and Placebo mint, where * is p<0.05.
We see (figure 2) that on average an individual’s time to complete Schulte’s task does not differ much between the Control (no mint) condition and the Placebo mint condition. However, when the same individuals consume Neuro Mint before doing Schulte’s task, they take significantly less time (shown by the positive difference between control duration and Neuro Mint duration) to complete the task compared to how long they needed during the control task.
Fig 3. Average attention between difference conditions during the Spot the Difference (left) and Stroop Test (center) and Schulte’s Table (right).
Time to High Engagement State (Speed): This indicates the number of seconds participants took to get into a high attention state from the start of the task. Our threshold for a high attention state is 65. So lower values signify users.
Fig 4. The figure above shows the average time in seconds it took the participants to reach a high engagement level measured by the BrainCo wearable..
We see that consistently the time to reach the high engagement level was always lower in the Neuro Mint condition compared to the control and placebo mint conditions. Thus participants are able to focus faster when taking the Neuro Mints.
Fig 5. Correlation between the performance in stroop test and the individual’s maximum attention score..
Figure 5 shows that when taking Neuro Mints individuals who have higher performance scores are able to achieve their high performance levels even with low maximum attention levels.
Fig 6. Correlation between the performance in Schulte’s Table and the individual’s Area under their Attention plot
In this task, a lower time to completion signifies better performance. Figure 6. Shows a positive correlation between performance (duration) and the area under the attention curve of participants when they consumed Neuro Mints. Hence we can conclude that when taking Neuro Mints, the participants were able to complete the Schulte’s Table task faster with lower mental energy.
The participants worked on 3 executive function tasks, the Spot the Difference task, the Color Stroop task, and Schulte’s task. For the first two tasks, we use the percentage of correct responses to measure the participant's performance and use the time to completion (duration) as the performance measure for Schulte’s Task.
- Consuming Neuro Mints Energy & Focus significantly improves one’s performance in processing speed tasks.
- Consuming Neuro Mints Energy & Focus reduces the time taken to reach high engagement levels.