Berkeley neuroscientist Dr. Silvia Bunge and her team devised two clever programs to determine whether carefully selected training exercises could boost IQ and processing speed. The experiment, which sounds akin to building a kit car out of hardware store purchases, involved underprivileged children with lower than average cognitive scores. The researchers involved them in 20 hours of after-school game and puzzle play. One group focused on reasoning exercises, the other on pure processing speed.
The results were a dramatic increase in IQ of 13 points for the reasoning group, and a similarly dramatic increase in processing speed for the processing speed group. (There was no cross-over — the training boosted the scores for the specific function being trained.)