Improving Fluid Intelligence by Training Working Memory

Fluid Intelligence And Working Memory

Psychologists and neuroscientists refer to our ability to reason and to solve new problems as Fluid Intelligence (Gf). Critical for a wide variety of cognitive tasks, scientists consider fluid intelligence one of the most important factors in learning and problem solving, and closely related to professional and educational success. A long history of research into cognitive training previously showed that no kind of training could increase fluid intelligence. But Susanne Jaeggi and her colleagues from the Universities of Michigan and Bern have demonstrated that training on a demanding working memory task can do just that. And the extent of gain depends on the amount of training.

The Training Method

improving fluid intelligence iq by training working memory dual n-back displayJaeggi and Buschkuehl designed a training method called progressive dual n-back training. Presented with a sequence of symbols at the same time as a sequence of sounds, the subject has to recognize repetitions in each sequence separately. The method adjusts in difficulty (increasing the distance between targets) according to the ability of the subject, therefore ensuring that it continuously tests and strengthens working memory. The call for about thirty minutes of training per day over a period of up to 19 days reflects the assumption that any improvement would require focused, prolonged effort.

IQ Training Gain Intelligence Improvement versus Working Memory Training Duration

Measured Improvements in Fluid Intelligence

This bold study achieved dramatic results. Testing the subjects before and after the training, the researchers recorded gains in raw test scores of as much as 50% and by an average of more than 40%.

These findings unseat the concept of fixed, innate intelligence.

Achieving Your Own IQ Gains

Jaeggi saw immediately the transformative power of these results; she concludes the discussion section of her paper as follows: “Considering the fundamental importance of Gf in everyday life and its predictive power for a large variety of intellectual tasks and professional success, we believe that our findings may be highly relevant to applications in education.”

Martin Buschkuehl University of Michigan neuroscience research fluid intelligence working memory iqIn an interview, Martin Buschkuehl commented on the experiences of the training subjects in the study: “Many liked the training. They saw the challenge, and tried hard to push themselves through the training to see how far they could go. We did not analyze how the fluid intelligence gains transferred into real life. But from an anecdotal point of view, many participants have shared stories of how they perceive a major benefit. Now they can follow lectures more easily, understand math better etc…”

Wired’s Alexis Madrigal was less circumspect: “The method, if commercialized, could be a boon to the growing, multimillion-dollar market for “brain fitness” software like Nintendo’s Brain Age.”

mind evolve’s IQ Training Program allows anyone to use this method of training at home for the introductory price of just $23.75. Click here to purchase and download. You can be on your way to a smarter future within minutes.

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