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Making Ourselves Smarter With Mental Exercise

Making Ourselves Smarter With Mental Exercise
Innovation

University of Michigan researchers develop intelligence boosting tests which question intelligence as inherited vs. trainable.

Michael Ellenbogen
  • 13 june 2011

Researchers at the University of Michigan have come up with a 15 minute mental exercise which has been proven to boost the intelligence of elementary and middle school students, proven by intelligence tests. The “n-back game” tests attention, memory and focus, and after playing the game, students were able to focus on ‘necessary facts,’ worrying less about short-term memory and irrelevant details. Prof. John Jonides, one of the research team at U. Michigan commented:

Our I.Q. scores may be bounded by our genes, but it looks as if it’s possible to significantly increase measured intelligence after only a few hours of training. Intelligence is a lot like height, we know that how tall you are is largely determined by the height of your parents. But we also know that better nutrition can make everyone a lot taller. Perhaps the n-back task is just an ideal form of mental nutrition.

Typically, researchers and scientists have considered intelligence an inherited trait, especially critical thinking and problem solving, however, the new n-back game study challenges this belief.

[via bigthink]

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