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Executive Function > Arithmetic Reasoning


Screenshot of HappyNeuron Pro exercise Countdown

Please note that you can only play the exercise once on this page. See the free trial section below for full access!

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 desired outcome by using the correct combination of numbers and mathematical computations.

Brain Areas Engaged 

Learn more about this exercise:

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

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

Countdown involves mathematical calculation which is designed to challenge an individual’s ability to problem solve and learn how to safely use trial and error. When an individual 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 easily, such as splitting a bill at a restaurant or figuring out how to pay off 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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