Posts Tagged ‘iq’

Scientists Get Smarter, Share To Learn About IQ

Monday, April 16th, 2012

How many scientists does it take to correlate brain power with genetics? Answer: Lots.

In the previously stalled scientific inquiry into the relationship between brain functions and genetics the biggest problem had been sample size. But in a highly atypical instance of scientific group-Darwinism over 200 researchers decided to put aside ego and pool research data to move the ball forward.

“What’s really new here is this movement toward crowd-sourcing brain research,” said Paul Thompson, a professor of neurology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and senior author of one of the resulting papers. “This is an example of social networking in science, and it gives us a power we have not had.”

Two large aggregated research programs eventually joined forces leading to some significant findings:

  • Two genes that correlated strongly with overall brain size and the rate of brain atrophy with age.
  • Research into brain size also showed people with the larger brains tended to score slightly higher on a standardized test.
  • Roughly 10 percent of people possess the gene that correlates to slightly quicker atrophy of the hippocampus.


iq test

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Stage: 1

Session number: 2

Average n-back: 4.6

I did a pretest at
scored 117.

MindSparke Brain Training Software

This post was submitted by Michelle Salois.

Brain Training Report – Witek – Stage 3, Session 96

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Stage: 3

Session number: 96

Average n-back: 6.95

One word: MENSA. Just opened the envelope and still can’t believe it…

MindSparke Brain Training Software

This post was submitted by Witek.

Stage 3, Training Session 39

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Hello Everyone,

Today again I have made great gains with my training…

Got to N3 three times consecutively; kicked back to N2 twice then N3 two more times then hit N4 and back to N3 which ended the session.

I ended my session with 2.7 average score which is my all time highest average!! Pretty soon N2 with be a thing in the past!!

I totally attribute the noticeable change and rapid progress to my diet, nutritional supplements, and exercise…

Martin, I really appreciate you for this awesome software that is helping all of us increase our cognitive abilities and IQ…  Thanks So Much!!


John Connolly


Training – one week on.

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Session number: 20

Average n-back: 2.5

Duration (estimate in minutes): 30

Have been using the program regularly (as you can no doubt tell, from my session number), mostly out of frustration at n=3. Have really struggled at that level, though I suppose the time it takes for the brain to adapt is in fact true – I’m now getting perfect or near perfect scores at n=2, and managed a row of four n=3 before dropping back down to 2 this morning. Even managed n=4 once, so that’s progress I suppose.

On IQ tests – GIQ gave me 142 some time back, so I decided not to use that to determine any possible minor increases. But I did take the Raven’s test in Spanish, which gave me 120 some time back, and 134 this time around – impressive, as a small increase I would have attributed to either practice effects or falling within the usual confidence intervals. Such an increase is possible due to variance, but unlikely, at least in my case – I typically dislike tests with matrices as tracking and recalling the changes can be tiring and visually overwhelming. Definitely had an easier time of picking out the relevant info this time, but will try the International High IQ society practice test around day 19, as they vary the questions.

I’m not expecting very much so early on, but my recall may have improved slightly for material.

Looking at studies of ADHD and working memory has been interesting, particularly poorer performance on visuo-spatial memory. That has definitely improved since I started the program, and I’d always considered mine poor. My challenge at the moment at n=3 is that I typically do well now at either the visual or auditory portions, but not both with any consistency. So here’s hoping I can improve in engaging both at the same time.

Brain Fitness Pro working-memory training report

This post was submitted by Scatterbrain.

Brain Training Pop Quiz: BBC + Nature = ?

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

brain training pop quiz

Select the appropriate BBC Brain Training answer:

BBC’s Brain Test Britain + Nature = ?

a) A well-researched, no nonsense brain training report
b) A landmark scientific refutation of cognitive training gains
c) Results of the largest study of brain exercise published by a respected journal
d) None of the above

It’s a trick question of course. While it would seem that the BBC’s reporting and fact-checking pedigree coupled with Nature magazine’s reputation for publishing serious scientific findings would add up to something significant, here it’s not the case.

With Brain Test Britain the BBC engaged scientists to design a battery of cognitive training tasks to test the claim that such training can improve not just performance on the tasks but also general cognitive ability. The BBC then used its not inconsiderable media exposure to engage a very large number of people (11,400 or so — which is still only about .06% of the population of Britain) in the training program.

Here’s the catch: The very premise of the study ignored existing, well-respected research on the kinds of brain training that can result in transfer to general cognitive ability. In particular:

1. The training was not frequent enough (3 days per week vs. 5 days per week in successful studies)

2. The training sessions were not time-intensive enough (10 minutes vs. 30 minutes)

3. The training tasks were varied instead of focusing on training that has previously shown transfer.

On average the participants in Brain Test Britain trained for about 250 minutes over the course of six weeks on a variety of tasks. In contrast, Mind Sparke Brain Fitness Pro’s initial training period requires about double the training time over just four weeks and focuses on a single task. It’s no wonder that there was no transfer.

Dual n-back working memory training places a very specific demand on the trainee. It is not just a task that places demands on working memory, it is a task that requires committed, focused, single-minded attention for a minute at a time. Each session includes twenty such spans back to back.

But perhaps most interesting stumble of all in the Brain Test Britain methodology was in its measurement of general cognitive ability. The study used a generally available cognitive assessment battery from Cambridge Brain Sciences (I’d encourage anyone interested to register and check out the tests. It’s free.)

I just went through the test battery, and in my humble opinion it’s really not a very good measure of the kinds of cognitive ability that would be valuable and useful in everyday life. Every test is time-pressured (not that this is a bad thing per se, but in everyday life much of our cognitive processing permits us some luxury of time and thought; especially tough problems.) And although there’s a matrix test, it’s not a particularly inspired one.

This astounded me: On the two reasoning tests (essentially these were fluid intelligence tests) I scored in the 19th and 25th percentiles respectively!! Whereas, my fluid intelligence on several full scale, well-normalized tests taken over the past 28 years has been above the 98th percentile and in some cases in the 99th percentile.

I would predict that a course of training with Brain Fitness Pro might help someone score better on the Cambridge Brain Sciences tests, but I wouldn’t expect this to bring them great satisfaction, nor to be an accurate measure of their true cognitive gains. Whereas a course of training with Brain Fitness Pro will translate into everyday benefits to someone’s thinking ability and problem-solving skills in the real world, as well as their scores on tests that truly measure intellectual ability.

Latest Brain Training Success Story

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Anne, MD and Harvard medical school grad, successfully gained entry to Mensa after training with Brain Fitness Pro.

“I took a Mensa home test prior to the training and didn’t pass…. Then I did the full training course, took the actual Mensa test, and got in! I’m very satisfied with the training.”

Do you have a brain training success story to share? Please let me know at

TRI52 IQ Score Percentile Chart

Friday, April 10th, 2009

Scott sent me this a while ago and I neglected to post it right away (sorry Scott). For those who have taken or might take the TRI52 test (Test of Inductive Reasoning (TRI52) – Norms are for 16 to 80+ years old only!) over at .

Brain Training IQ Score Increase

Monday, October 27th, 2008

I was very excited this evening to hear from a Brain Fitness Pro user (Lloyd from Florida) that he had just received a certified IQ test score of 151 points on the Wechsler WAIS-III full scale IQ test.

Before Lloyd began training with Brain Fitness Pro, Mensa admissions had rejected his membership application based on his score on the Mensa qualifying test (Mensa America gives a simple “yes” or “no” result). Since Mensa accepts a WAIS-III score of 130 points for qualification, this means that Lloyd was able to increase his score by more than 21 points with just two months of training…

Congratulations, Lloyd!

Improving Fluid Intelligence by Training Working Memory

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

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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