We have heard about brain training and how it could slow down the effects of dementia and other mental problems. Would it be possible to increase our intellect through brain training?
A research performed by the University of Rochester showed that those who are playing action video games were able to process visual information faster that non-gamers by 30%. Through this study, researchers are already looking into using action games for rehabilitating visually-impaired patients. If action games could help in your mental processes, think about the effects of brain exercises, brain teasers, puzzles, board and card games.
Video game manufacturers have also ventured into brain games. In May 2005, Nintendo debuted Brain Age in Japan, where it reached initial sales of 43,000 copies which eventually reached millions after its international release.
A study in the University of Bern, Switzerland proved that fluid intelligence can be improved through different brain games and exercises. Fluid intelligence refers to how people manage to deal with different situations and problems which are new to them. Fluid intelligence is different from knowledge and skills that have been acquired like vocabulary and math.
The head of the research, Martin Buschkuehl, mentioned that it is possible to improve IQ test results if we would take IQ tests frequently. However, it does not mean that there is significant development on the brain, itself. In Buschkuehl’s research, the respondents were trained in a visual/ auditory memory exam.
The respondent subjects were initially tested using the German measure called Bochumer Matrizen-Test, where they scored an average of 10. After 19 days of 25 minutes-a-day training, they were able to improve their average to 14.7, a 40% increase of their initial score.
How could you improve your intelligence through brain training? Here are some useful exercises that you could do.
- Computer games and video games. There are games which focus on how you strategize, these games significant effects on critical thinking.
- Brain training software. Aside from the Brain Age, there are also other “brain trainers” which you can use. These hand-held games have different kind of brain exercises which you can use for a few minutes a day. There are websites which also offer free online games.
- Puzzle solving. If computers and hand-held games is not your cup of tea, then you could start answering puzzle books and pamphlets like sudoku and crossword puzzles.
- Reading. This simple practice stimulates brain activity. If you are into fictional books, try reading some creative non-fiction articles.
- Drawing. Another simple practice which would help in developing your right part of the brain association with visualization.
Getting into brain games would not only increase your intelligence, but also research showed that it could improve memory, mood and focus. It could help you improve you concentration which can lead to quicker response and thinking.
But brain training is not the only thing that would make you smarter. Physical exercise and getting into sports that would entails hand-eye coordination could also help in improving your IQ.