10 Brain Exercises for Seniors: Exercise #1 Sound Sweeps

Has this ever happened to you? You’re at a family or social event reuniting with people you haven’t seen in some time and you are generally enjoying all the fun. A conversation starts up but all the noise and hubbub becomes too distracting and you begin to miss parts of what is being said. You try to follow along as best as you can but no matter how hard you try, you are feeling left out.

Do you find yourself constantly repeating “what?” because it seems people have started speaking too quickly? What is happening is that our brain’s auditory system is not processing the information it receives from our ears as fast and as accurate as it did when we were younger. Remember, our brain starts aging when we’re in our mid-20s. In fact, hearing depends on our brains as much as our ears, making brain exercises for seniors specifically important.

Having a brain that can immediately differentiate frequency sweeps is vital for us to understand speech because many sounds common in speech are actually made up of a series of sweeps. Consider the words “dawn” and “gone” or “bid” and “big” – note that only one sweep differentiates the /g/ from the /d/ in order for the brain to tell these words apart.


Sound Sweeps is a BrainHQ auditory exercise designed to sharpen and speed up listening accuracy. The brain can only record sounds and accurately recall them when it is able to hear those sounds clearly and quickly. By improving the accuracy with which you take in sound information, as well as some other elements such as improving attention and filtering distractions, you will be able to hear better.

The Sound Sweeps exercise retrains your brain at any age to quickly and accurately recognize frequency sweeps by challenging you to identify sweeps spaced at different intervals and a variety of different frequencies - it’s a simple exercise that can generate significant results regardless of age-related hearing loss.

Something as simple as following a conversation helps keep us feeling connected to friends and loved ones. Feeling positive about taking part in a conversation means you can look forward to that next family gathering instead of worrying if you’ll be able to keep up with the flow of conversation.

Free Brain Training Exercises
If you are interested in trying this exercise and other BrainHQ exercises for free, visit and create a free account to exercise a few minutes a day – it’s not enough, but definitely better than no exercise at all.
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Related Pages:
How Hearing Works
Description of Sound Sweeps Exercise
Time Magazine – Can you hear me now? (Research Study on Sound Sweeps)
Video - Dr. Mahncke explains hearing & memory


DynamicBrain Inc. is the Canadian Partner of Posit Science Corporation providing brain fitness program, BrainHQ in English and French.