Psychologists at Goldsmiths, University of London have launched an iPhone app that measures your mood, memory and processing speed, and then works out the best time of day for your brain.
moo-Q is a scientific app that records mood and brainpower over time, allowing people to monitor their personal relationship between the two.
moo-Q asks users how positive or negative they’re feeling - whether they're awake, nervous, or happy, for example – and then records how well they perform in cognitive tests that measure processing speed, short-term memory and working memory.
Once downloaded, participants will spend a couple of minutes answering the app’s questions and brain tests. It’s advised to complete the app two to four times a day. Then after completing the app five times, users can unlock a personalised moo-Q chart that displays their mood and brainpower across hours, days and weeks. It's a simple, colour-coded graph - your moo-Q.
What can people hope to achieve with moo-Q?
Goldsmiths’ Dr Sophie von Stumm – who is also currently working on an app to improve the imagination – explains:
“With moo-Q, users are able to figure out when their brain is working best and then use that information to their advantage. If you notice for example that your brain test scores are highest early in the day, you might be well advised to undertake important tasks that require a bit more brainpower first thing in the morning.
“Our app will also help alert you to changes in your brain over time, in memory or processing speed, and it can even help you to exercise your brain - something everyone should do.”
Dr von Stumm and her team at the Hungry Mind Lab at Goldsmiths have developed moo-Q to study the relationship between mood and brainpower over time, and app users will contribute to this research.
Dr von Stumm says: "It is an old question in psychology if our brains work better when we are in high spirits, or if being a little miserable helps push our brains to maximum performance. So far, we have no conclusive evidence for either hypothesis - something we hope moo-Q will change!"
As an incentive, app users can win a cash prize of £50 if they beat Dr von Stumm's moo-Q and her brain test results.
Before completing moo-Q, app users will be asked to consent to their moo-Q results being shared with researchers, and all data collected will anonymous.
moo-Q is funded by the British Academy and a Small Leverhulme Grant, and supported by the Hungry Mind Lab at Goldsmiths University of London.
Download moo-Q from the App Store.