Posts Tagged ‘Intelligence’

You can improve your IQ

June 6, 2008

“Come on! Stretch that Medula Oblongata, remember that detail. I barely see you breakin’a thought”.

Is that what you might soon here from your personal brain trainer?

Until recently, it was pretty much assumed that one is born with a certtain possible Iq set. Sure, you can educate yourself to have more knowledge, but your basic intelligence faculties were pre-determined.

Well, it seem that this may not be the case.

Research, led by Swiss postdoctoral fellows Susanne M. Jaeggi and Martin Buschkuehl, working at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, suggests that at least one aspect of a person’s IQ can be improved by training a certain type of memory.

Most IQ tests attempt to measure two types of intelligence–crystallized and fluid intelligence. Crystallized intelligence draws on existing skills, knowledge and experiences to solve problems by accessing information from long-term memory.

Fluid intelligence, on the other hand, draws on the ability to understand relationships between various concepts, independent of any previous knowledge or skills, to solve new problems. The research shows that this part of intelligence can be improved through memory training. This type of intelligence relies on “working memory” or short term retention. This is not just the type of memory that is used to recall recentlky learned items, but it is alos used to help the mind work free from distraction. You can think of it as the RAM of your brian as opposed to the disk storgae (long term) meoery of your brain.

In the research experiments, they had one group go through a set of exercizes to boost short term meory usage while another control goup didnl;t.

They found that the exercizing group made real gains in IQ. Seems that the brain,or at least a part of it, can behave like a muscle. This may have a “use it or lose it” type of impact on memory loss in later life and should eventually lead to rethinking how we educate out young.

Will there be apractice test for an IQ test in the future? Or will we add the notion of brain exercise for the portions that are indeed plastic to the list of good hygene practices?

While the braingym (which I have written about previously) continues to be sold by your local PBS fundraiser, are a slew of new “BrainFlex” infomercials not far behind?