Frequently Asked Questions

1. How to best use the AQ™ metric?

This app is a tool for you to understand your own attentional level and its daily changes.  By looking at your progress bar and noting the specific conditions in which you take the test, you will come to understand how your attention fluctuates and how you can best control it.  It is essentially a simple biofeedback tool.

2. What are the health benefits of improving attention

Training your attention may be the single most important life skill you develop. Attention training is an essential aspect of mindfulness, which enhances mental health, executive functioning, concentration, memory, and physical health.

3. Can I improve my attention?

Yes, attention can be strengthened through meditative “exercises”. Like any other skill, attention can be improved by self-awareness and focused practice.  Since attention is crucial is other daily tasks, investing time in improving attention yields many unexpected fruits.  

4. What is the range of AQ™?

We expect the range of our new AQ™ metric to be 40 to 160.  96% of the population will be between 70 and 130. Much like IQ, the higher the score, the better. The accuracy of the measure will improve as the number of people who take the test expands.

5. What if my AQ™ score is below 90?

If your score is below 90, do not sweat it.  Just as you can exercise to increase your respiratory efficiency, you can use the meditation exercises provided in the app (or any others) to improve your AQ™.

6.  Can I use AQ™ with other meditation apps like Calm or Headspace?

Yes. By measuring your AQ™, you can get a sense of the tasks and meditational exercises that work for you!  This tool is to help you discover your best practice to maximize your mental acuity.

7.  Is the Eyes Open – Eyes Closed task a real test? 

The Eyes Open-Eyes Closed experimental paradigm that is used to calculate AQ™ is one of the oldest and most common classic neurological procedures used to distinguish individual alpha and beta states.  This procedure was the initial experimental paradigm employed by Hans Berger in the founding study of electroencephalography (EEG). The AQ™ takes this test and adds the extra component of group analysis and provides you an easy-to-understand score.

8.  What is the orienting reflex?

The orienting reflex is a foundational neural reflex that underlies all attentional processes. In 1927, Ivan Pavlov, the first Russian Nobel Laureate and famous psychologist, said the following about this reflex:
“I call it the ‘What-is-it?’ reflex. It is this reflex which brings about the immediate response in man and animals to the slightest changes in the world around them. The biological significance of this reflex is obvious. If the animal were not provided such a reflex its life would hang at every moment by a thread.”

9. What is somatic interoception?

Somatic interoception is the ability to discern your own body’s signals.  One of the most common ways this is measured is through the heart beat detection task, in which an individual is asked what they believe their heart rate to be at a specific moment in time. The closer your guess to the measured number, the better your somatic interoception score. 

10. What is the construct validity of the assessment protocol used in AQ™?

Initial research findings demonstrate a Cronbach alpha of 0.82, indicating a construct of attention that holds together.   AQ™ combines the Eyes Open-Eyes Closed biological trait marker of attention with a test of somatic interoception that is used by leading global neuroscience researchers including Dana Fischer, Richard Davidson, Matthias Messner, Ann Kever, Sahib Khalsa, and others

11. Do I need to have a smartwatch to measure AQ™?

Yes. The test requires measuring your heart rate during the test duration. This is enabled by the smartwatch sensors.

12. Is the AQ™ app only available for Apple Watch?

Currently, yes. We however plan to launch on other smartwatch platforms including Samsung Galaxy, FitBit and others.

13. What models of Apple Watch are supported by the AQ™ app?

The AQ™ app requires watchOS operating system version 6.0 or later. Irrespective of your Apple Watch model, you need to be running watchOS 6.0 or later in order to use the AQ™ app.

14. How do I avoid my Apple Watch screen going to sleep repeatedly during Part I of the two-minute AQ™ test?

In order to extend the battery life, Apple Watch currently does not allow its screen to stay awake at a stretch for two minutes, the duration of Part I and Part II of the AQ™ test. You can place your finger on the watch screen during the test to keep it awake. Alternatively, you can change under your Apple Watch settings to keep the screen awake for 70 seconds, which is the maximum allowed time, and touch once to awaken your screen when it goes to sleep during the two-minute test. 

15. Who owns the AQ™ metric?

AQ™ is a proprietary metric developed by Mindwell Labs, Inc. The metric and its associated trademarks are exclusively owned by the company.