NoGo is a game with benefits! It is played for fun and may help improve behaviour! The game was designed to provide a fun environment to practice impulse-control targeted at certain type of lifestyle choices (e.g. smoking, eating unhealthy foods) to help you learn to resist these temptations.  Your performance is tracked and the game difficulty adjusted according to how well you play. The training approach is supported by published scientific research, and was designed by PhD qualified experts.

NoGo Features

  • Train to improve your ability to resist temptations
  • Four target behaviours (smoking, drinking alcohol, eating
    unhealthy foods, caffeine intake)
  • Training and real-world performance tracking
  • No hardware required for main app!
  • Optional Attention and Relaxation training games*
  • Training approach supported by scientific research
  • Designed by PhD qualified experts

*NoGo does not require any accessory or additional hardware, but an optional module containing Attention and Relaxation “state-control” training is available that does require the NeuroSky MindWave device.


What is NoGo?

NoGo is another ‘game with benefits’ from the NeuroCog Team!  The game was designed to provide a fun environment to exercise and improve impulse-control for a range of specific temptations.  Nogo is available on iOS with Android OS in development.

What was Nogo designed to do?

The psychological process of inhibitory control, also known as impulse-control, underpins our ability to restrain our thoughts and behaviour.  People with poor impulse-control have trouble resisting temptations.  A growing body of scientific research shows that training to improve impulse-control can help people resist temptations in their daily lives, like eating high calorie foods or drinking alcohol.  We’ve adapted the research outcomes to make this incredibly fun way to help you get in control of some unhealthy choices.

Who may benefit from using NoGo?

Absolutely anyone who wishes to improve their impulse-control and be better able to resist temptations related to smoking, drinking alcohol, eating unhealthy foods, or caffeine intake.

What types of exercises are used?

Cognitive training and learning principles are used to exercise impulse-control, with encouragement and reward for good performance. Research has shown that behaviour can be improved by using training techniques to enhance impulse-control. The main reason for this improvement is more efficient and effective impulse-control, and the development of associations between GO (or activation) and healthy choices, and NOGO (or stopping) and unhealthy choices.

NoGo also contains optional Attention and Relaxation training, via the NeuroSky MindWave EEG headset, to allow exercise of important “state-control” factors.  This gives you impulse-control and state-control training in one fun package!  Neurofeedback principles are used to exercise state-control, via awareness and development of control with practice.  The NeuroSky MindWave EEG device provides information about the current level of Attention (ranging from high to low) and Relaxation (ranging from calm to tense) with games designed to encourage and reward control. Importantly, the games also promote awareness and control of these two states combined – called “Zen” – promoting a focussed and calm mind ideal for resisting temptations.

Has any research been conducted with NoGo?

A recently study examined Nogo as a way to improve healthy eating.  Nogo training was reported to increase cognitive restraint and reduce unhealthy food consumption.

There is a growing body of research studies examining the potential benefits of impulse-control training, particularly in the areas of alcohol and high calorie foods.  A recent review article (Speirer et al, 2013, Training-induced behavioural and brain plasticity in inhibitory control, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Volume 7, Article 427) concluded that inhibitory control training can result in behaviour change, and my even have promise for treatment of various inhibition-related disorders.

Is there any way to monitor progress?

Yes.  NoGo contains training progress feedback, and tracking of the changes in the “real-world” with respect to the target behaviour.  For example, you can input the number of cigarettes smoked daily and track progress over time and training, to see how Nogo is helping you resist them.

Does NoGo claim to provide therapeutic benefits?

NoGo is not a therapeutic treatment for addiction or any other disorder. It offers users an opportunity to exercise impulse-control with a view to improve it. This process underlies behavioural control, and improving it may result in improved behaviour. The software monitors performance and adjusts the level of difficulty accordingly to constantly challenge the user to improve.

Are the state control exercises in NoGo safe?

Yes. The games simply provide exercise for cognitive processes. These processes are in use in most of our daily activities, and NoGo provides a systematic way of using them with the aim of improvement.

The optional state-control games are also very safe.  Our level of attention and relaxation varies frequently – second by second. The state control exercises in Nogo allow the user to become aware of their current state, and to gain a certain level of control of it over time based on this feedback. The exercises are short duration, and randomly vary between Focus (attention), Relax (relaxation) and Zen (the combination of the attention and relaxation). This variety results in genuine awareness, flexibility and control, rather than just learning a response to a stimulus, making transfer of this new awareness and control easier in day-to-day activities. It is important to note that there are no known side effects from other similar applications using EEG-based attention/relaxation training – these applications often target a single goal (e.g. “increase attention”) over an extended period of time (say, 10 minutes). The short duration attention exercises in Nogo are similar to other activities that people engage in daily (e.g. reading a book, doing work/homework) in the way that they increase attention, and do not place anybody at any risk. The variety of exercise types (i.e. Focus, Relax and Zen) ensures a mix of attention focussing and relaxing when playing Nogo.

What does the state-control add to NoGo?

The state-control training exercises provide an opportunity for users to develop awareness and control of several “state” factors (indicated through brain activity) such as attention and relaxation levels.  These factors underlie impulse-control, and being better able to control your state (e.g. level of relaxation) will allow the user to implement impulse-control more effectively in the real-world when tempted.