Many people spend a great deal of time honing their physical fitness. Less common in our daily routine is honing our learning muscle the brain. Much of the knowledge of what's possible is driven by intelligence research. So what three points should we bear in mind?
The Flynn effect which predicts an ever upward trend in IQ scores featured in a recent P3 about the death penalty and convicts with severe learning difficulties. The issue of fluid intelligence is that it is largely inherited.
Working on improving working memory and "executive functions" like decision making planning and self-control can actually raise fluid intelligence. Using mental arithmetic, recalling names and the like can help to achieve that.
The brain gets "trained" as it is challenged by working memory and executive function improvements to become more supple and agile.
The issue of brain training is often disputed and contested. Studies have shown that many commercial brain training policies have been shown to be ineffective but new programmes such as the spatial reasoning games and the N-back programme are worth investigating. That said chess and computer games can have the same effect!
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