Flanker asks you a “simple” question: what direction is the arrow pointing? Of course, it’s never quite that simple – surrounding the arrow are a number of “distractor” objects: other arrows and shapes that can stop your eyes (and your cognition) from focusing on the arrow in the middle of the screen. By measuring how much the “distractors” disrupt you from concentrating and correctly identifying the direction of the arrow in the middle, Flanker helps BrainBaseline to measure your attention and executive functions. Millisecond matter: you can’t tell the difference, but BrainBaseline can.
Flanker is testing your attention and executive functions. Attention and executive functions are important in situations and challenges that demand thinking in ways that aren’t automatic or habitual. In life, a lot of the little, repetitive things we do aren’t handled consciously: how often do you “think” about putting on your turn signal when you’re driving? How well your brain is able to tell when something shouldn’t be handled this way depends on attention and executive functions. By measuring your ability to sort out the information that isn’t “going with the flow” of the arrows, BrainBaseline can see how well your Executive function is operating.