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News and Developments

CY-a App: News & Resources


A brain training App for Smartphones and desktops, designed by neuroscientists to target the front part of the brain that is linked to 'will-power'. Simple and easy to use, with gradually increasing levels of difficulty that you commit to for as little as 15 minutes each day.  A bit like lifting weights for the brain, a 'brain gym'! 

Why should I use it?

Use simple Curb Your Addiction to exercise the front of your brain and say CYa! to those annoying habits you want to control! Want to strengthen your will-power, to control your appetite and eating, quit smoking, stop taking drugs, give up alcohol, control your aggression, avoid anxiety in social situations and much more?  Try Curb Your Addiction!  Want to stay focused on your life goals, be more efficient at home and at work and say CYa! to feeling mentally overwhelmed? Try Curb Your Addiction! Are you part of a treatment program, or self-improvement group?  Use Curb Your Addiction and it may boost the treatment effects.

Curb Your Addiction, or CYa! for short is based on years of neuroscience research by leading experts in the field of impulse control.  Researchers have found that in just 4 weeks, using CYa! for half an hour per day may increase brain volume in a front brain region linked to will-power.  Increasing your brain volume may help you to gain better control over those annoying habits that you just want to stop!

So try Curb Your Addiction today, and say CYa! to your bad habits and improve your life!

Brain Scans


CY-a is based on a well-known working memory training task known as the 'N-Back'. Various international neuroscience groups have clarified the working memory network in the brain, and that deficits in this network often occur in various impulse control disorders.  

CY-a adds novelty to the existing working memory task by including both peripheral distraction and subliminal interference while players complete the 15-minute game.  This is to  mimic real-life distractions to everyday life attention, and to give a player the opportunity to select subliminal cues that their brain finds the most difficult to resist (e.g. drug-use images). 

C-Ya is a game where letters are consecutively presented in a fun, stimulating way, one-at-a-time.  Players pay attention for 15 minutes, with regular 1 minute rest-breaks.

Players begin on the easy, orienting 'stimulus detection' 0-level of the game, where the screen (on a phone) or the keyboard (on a PC) is pressed whenever the letter X is seen. 

Next up, level 1, where players start to engage their working memory, and press when the current letter on the screen is the same as the one before.  

Level 2 is where players start to do some heavy weight brain training, by remembering two letters before, and whether it is the same as the current letter on the screen.

Level 3, gets quite difficult, as players need to remember the letter in 3 positions before the current letter, and whether it is the same.

The game ascends to level 10!!! But we don't know many people who can get that high!  Can you?

Pilot brain imaging and neuropsychological data from our group, as well as other international neuroscience groups (see CogMed) suggests that regular working memory training changes brain structure and function, alongside behavioural changes related to better impulse control.

Group Portrait of Friends


Here are some of the amazing people in UK, Sweden and South Africa who have been involved in the development of the CY-a App, past and present:

Justin Archer

Steven Bayhack

Cameron Butler

Dan Davies

Angelo Dias

Sabina Funk

Joanne Hardman

Michael Mackay

Rhiannon Mackenzie-Phelan

Stefano Maiorana

Emil Nilsson

Emmanuel Nwosu

Camille Rabier

Helgi Schiöth

Eran Shorer

Jamie Tully

Kanayo Umeh

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