Executive Function > Arithmetic Reasoning


Screenshot of HappyNeuron Pro exercise Countdown

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Executive Function > Arithmetic Reasoning


In this exercise, the user will see several numbers, the four basic math operations, and a desired number outcome. The user must achieve the expected outcome using the correct combination of numbers and mathematical computations.

Brain Areas Engaged 
how countdown engages the brain.

Learn more about this exercise:

This exercise requires simultaneous brain activity: working memory, which enables you to temporarily memorize the elements of the operation: numbers, symbols, and intermediate results; long-term memory (memory of previously learned multiplication tables); mental imagery; and concentration.

Your executive functions, which stem from your prefrontal cortex, are used to perform arithmetic calculations, reasoning, and planning. The prefrontal area also houses the neural circuitry, allowing us to concentrate and stay on task while storing information in the mental sketch pad of working memory. Semantic memory is kept in the hippocampus and other regions of the temporal lobe.

Countdown involves mathematical calculations designed to challenge an individual’s ability to solve problems and learn how to use trial and error safely. When individuals can improve their mathematical calculation skills, they may increase their ability to weigh options. They may also be able to complete life skills that require mathematics more efficiently, such as splitting a bill at a restaurant or figuring out how to repay a loan faster. 

You can modify:

  • The number of operations needed (from 1 to 5)
  • The total number of numbers available (from 3 to 6)
  • The complexity of the solution (easy to hard)
  • The need to use all numbers
  • The time limit, (unlimited, or 1 to 5 minutes.)

Over 700 unique exercise configurations and significant data set depth.

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Other arithmetic reasoning exercises:

The Right Count

Arithmetic reasoning, comprehension

Ready, Steady, Count!

Verbal working memory


Visual-spatial, arithmetic reasoning

Try printable versions of this exercise



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