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Making Ourselves Smarter With Mental Exercise

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

Michael Ellenbogen
Michael Ellenbogen on June 13, 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]

TOPICS: Education, Science
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Michael Ellenbogen

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Mike is a regular contributor to PSFK. As a brand strategist and insights consultant for Fortune 500 companies, Mike executes on research to better understand how people interact with brands. His favorite topics are emotional branding, data visualization, customer relationships, eco-friendly products and real estate.

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