Our intelligence measured by valid IQ tests is our ability to grasp situations, reason, problem solve, and learn and act efficiently and effectively. David Wechsler – the creator of the most widely used IQ test, the WAIS – defined intelligence as:
“the global capacity of the individual to act purposefully, to think rationally and to deal effectively with his environment.”
Intelligence is better conceived as being switched on and competent rather than being just ‘book smart’ or ‘good at math’. As Napoleon Hill put it: “Action is the real measure of intelligence”.
The value of IQ
IQ level is known to be positively correlated with many valuable things. Some that have been demonstrated in peer reviewed research are: achievement motivation, altruism, artistic ability, creativity, dietary preference, educational attainment, emotional sensitivity, health, sense of humor, income, breadth and depth of interests, leadership, longevity, linguistic abilities, memory, moral reasoning, motor skills, occupational status and success, and social skills. IQ is inversely associated with accident proneness, obedience, alcoholism, authoritarianism, crime, dogmatism, neurosis, impulsivity, racial prejudice, smoking and obesity.
The practical advantage of having a high IQ increases as our work/career environments become more changeable and complex – more novel, ambiguous, unpredictable, or multifaceted. A high IQ is key to strategic thinking in which planning, decision making and problem solving unfolds in the midst of complexity and uncertainty. IQ is thus of prime value for entrepreneurs who are strategizing and problem solving their way to success in far from stable environments.
“The more new situations you experience, the greater your ability to adapt to ever-changing circumstances. For a long-term employee, being laid off may come as a serious blow. But for a long-term entrepreneur, losing a particular client is just par for the course. The entrepreneur has learned [how to] make it easy to add new income streams, while the employee may have much lower intelligence in this area. Similarly, people who interact socially with new people every day will develop much greater social intelligence than those who interact with the same people over and over.”
IQ Increasing Technologies: A Review
This article reviews three of the most effective IQ-increasing interventions that have a firm scientific basis – a basis in experimental laboratories and the exacting standards of peer reviewed scientific journals. The methods described below are part of the accumulated understanding of the scientific community about what can increase IQ – not just temporarily but long-term. Cognitive-enhancing nutrition, exercise and meditation is not covered in this review, which focuses on the use of intervention technologies.
1. Brain Training Software
Far-reaching advances in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience over the past decade have identified a close link between frontal lobe ‘working memory’ circuitry, and fronto-parietal problem solving, self-control and fluid reasoning circuitry. Our working memory is used for holding information in mind (images, concepts, language, numbers) for brief periods while engaging in active, goal-focused thinking or comprehension, while screening out distracting information. Working memory has a limited capacity, and the bigger that capacity the more the cognitive ‘RAM’ power a person has for processing information – to make connections, generate alternatives, and grasp relationships. This brainpower lies at the core of being smart. If super brain Eddie Morra in Limitless changed one thing in his brain, it was his working memory circuitry!
Software has now been developed for selectively targeting working memory circuitry, resulting in long term neuroplasticity changes increasing short term memory capacity, problem solving ability, self-control and overall IQ. This software is based on a training exercise called the n-back. A scientifically credible product is IQMindware.
A review published this year on the effectiveness of n-back working memory training by an old grad school friend, Dr Jason Chein, concludes:
“core working memory training studies seem to produce far-reaching transfer effects, likely because they target domain-general mechanisms of working memory. The results of individual studies encourage optimism regarding the value of working memory training as a tool for general cognitive enhancement.”
In choosing an n-back working memory training application, ensure that you have a version and training program that has been demonstrated to increase IQ in a published scientific study – such as the landmark paper by Dr. Susan Jaeggi and colleagues (link) that first drew public attention to the benefits of n-back training. There are a number of n-back training programs on the market that do not replicate what is known to work. Avoid them.
2. Nootropics (‘Smart Drugs’)
The issue of using medication for cognitive enhancement is highly controversial, but the ethics of smart drugs is not discussed in this article. I’m simply presenting the facts.
Nootropics – also known as smart drugs, memory enhancers, cognitive enhancers and intelligence enhancers – are drugs, supplements, nutraceuticals (a product isolated or purified from foods) that are designed to improve cognitive functions such as memory, attention and intelligence. The use of nootropics for cognitive performance is widespread.
In January, the prestigious science journal Nature launched an informal survey into readers’ use of cognition-enhancing drugs, and found large-scale use (link). One in five respondents said they had used drugs for non-medical reasons to stimulate their focus, concentration or memory.
In 2008, Nature ran a commentary on this topic: Towards responsible use of cognitive enhancing drugs by the healthy. This article is well worth the time it takes to read. The authors outline the evidence in favor of the effectiveness of “smart drugs” and I will quote at length from the section “Paths to Enhancement” which reviews the nootropics known to boost brain power:
Ritalin and Adderall
Many of the medications used to treat psychiatric and neurological conditions also improve the performance of the healthy. The drugs most commonly used for cognitive enhancement at present are stimulants, namely Ritalin (methyphenidate) and Adderall (mixed amphetamine salts), and are prescribed mainly for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Because of their effects on the catecholamine system, these drugs increase executive functions in patients and most healthy normal people, improving their abilities to focus their attention, manipulate information in working memory and flexibly control their responses…
A newer drug, Modafinil (Provigil), has also shown enhancement potential. Modafinil is approved for the treatment of fatigue caused by narcolepsy, sleep apnoea and shift-work sleep disorder. It is currently prescribed off label for a wide range of neuropsychiatric and other medical conditions involving fatigue as well as for healthy people who need to stay alert and awake when sleep deprived, such as physicians on night call. In addition, laboratory studies have shown that modafinil enhances aspects of executive function in rested healthy adults, particularly inhibitory control. Unlike Adderall and Ritalin, however, Modafinil prescriptions are not common, and the drug is consequently rare on the college black market. But anecdotal evidence and a readers’ survey both suggest that adults sometimes obtain modafinil from their physicians or online for enhancement purposes.
A modest degree of memory enhancement is possible with the ADHD medications just mentioned as well as with medications developed for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease such as Aricept (donepezil), which raise levels of acetylcholine in the brain. Several other compounds with different pharmacological actions are in early clinical trials, having shown positive effects on memory in healthy research subjects.
The authors focus at length on the potential risks and ethical concerns of using nootropic cognitive enhancers, but conclude:
Like all new technologies, cognitive enhancement can be used well or poorly. We should welcome new methods of improving our brain function. In a world in which human workspans and lifespans are increasing, cognitive enhancement tools — including the pharmacological — will be increasingly useful for improved quality of life and extended work productivity, as well as to stave off normal and pathological age related cognitive declines23. Safe and effective cognitive enhancers will benefit both the individual and society.
3. Cortical Stimulation
A number of studies in the last few years have shown very promising results from applying electrical current to the brain using a technology known as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). tDCS is a noninvasive technique in which a weak current is applied to the brain constantly over time to excite or inhibit the activity of neurons.
In late 2010, a group of researchers from University College London and Oxford University published a study showing that tDCS applied to the parietal lobes enhanced a person’s mathematical ability selectively, without influencing other cognitive functions. The improvement was found to have persisted six months after the training, showing the IQ gain was long-lasting.
Earlier this year a study was published in Clinical Neurophysiology showing that tDCS of a the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) improves working memory functioning. The dlPFC is a region in the frontal lobes toward the top and side: hence dorso (top) and lateral (side). The researchers report that there was significant improvement in speed of performance following tDCS on an n-back working memory task.
In another study published earlier this year, a team at Centre for the Mind at the University of Sydney demonstrated that tDCS can dramatically improve insight problem solving. Three times as many cortically stimulated individuals succeeded in solving puzzles needing creative insight. People find it difficult to think outside of the box because their problem solving ‘mind set’ becomes crystallized by past experience. By inhibiting the activity of the left temporal lobe, and stimulating activity in the right temporal lobe, this team changed the balance between the two hemispheres of the brain, leading to better release from mental sets and better creative insight. One of the team, Professor Snyder, believes brain boosting headgear could be widely used.
“The thinking cap of the future is not one that helps us to remember facts as the internet has solved that problem, but one that facilitates learning and unlearning mindsets. It’s all about being original.”
Some of the most recent work on tDCS was presented in September this year by Professor Prof Heidi Johansen-Berg and her colleagues at Oxford University. They found that just ten minutes of motor cortex brain stimulation increases the speed of learning motor skills. In their study a musical keyboard sequence was the learning task.
“While the stimulation didn’t improve the participant’s best performance, the speed at which they reached their best was significantly increased.”
The researchers envisage the technique could be used to help in the training of athletes and suggest that the same method could be applied to other parts of the brain (such as the frontal or parietal cortex) to improve educational learning simply by positioning the electrodes in different locations so the current is focused on the correct area.
The potential for self-experimentation is exciting. As this BBC report on cortical stimulation states:
“The relative simplicity, low price (around £2,000 per unit), and portability of the technology may mean that, following further research, a device could be designed to be automated for use at home.”
One of my research areas is IQ and methods for increasing IQ. In this article I have reviewed three technologies that have been shown to have a substantial IQ increasing effect by the exacting standards of peer reviewed scientific research. The most effective technologies directly target working memory – the general purpose RAM power of our brain. But technologies can be effectively applied in a targeted way to enhance more specialized aspects of cognitive function such as motor learning, numerical ability or insight problem solving.
Intelligence augmentation is a cultural enterprise that is gaining momentum, but the technologies reviewed above take us into largely unexplored territory. The risks have not been fully quantified. It is our privilege to be in an era of both imaginative brain science, and biohackers’ responsible self-experimentation, to forge ahead in mapping out this territory in the spirit of pioneers.
Please join me in this journey by subscribing to our blog’s RSS feeds (right panel) or my CogPsyLab cognitive intervention research group for updates on our research and beta testing.
How to optimize your dual N-back training?
This article has been written as a response to those of you who are interested in how best to train your working memory using the dual n-back – specifically using IQ Mindware working memory training software.
The answer to this also applies to dual n-back training in general. Some of you apply a kind of ‘internal counting’ strategy, rehearsing the letters and visualizing the locations in mind after each new presentation. Some of you use an ‘intuitive’ strategy in which you let your ‘subconscious’ mind guide your responses in the task. Some of you may use ‘chunking’ strategies where you rehearse series of letters or numbers in a strategic, broken-up way, allowing your attention to flexibly focus on getting the minimum score to maintain or go up a level.
Which of these is the best strategy for increasing your working memory capacity and for improving your overall cognitive functioning?
Before we tackle this question directly, let us review some of the basics. Both HighIQPro and i3 Mindware train your working memory.
Working memory definition
Working memory has been defined as:
“It is a set of skills that helps us keep information in mind while using that information to complete a task or execute a challenge.”
A useful metaphor for working memory is the ‘mental workspace’.
“a flexible, capacity limited, mental workspace used to store and process information in the service of on-going cognition”
Morrison & Chein, 2010
Working memory has two separate short term stores for two types of information: verbal and visuo-spatial. These are sometimes called the ‘phonological loop’ and the ‘visuo-spatial scratch pad’.
Model of the components of working memory
There is also a ‘super-system’ called the ‘Central Executive’ that controls the flow of information into these two short term stores, and the filtering out of irrelevant information in order to focus on and remember information that helps with our goals and current tasks. This is an attentional control system.
Working memory capacity definition
Working memory capacity reflects the ability to maintain a few task-relevant items of information (such as concepts, rules or images) in the face of distracting irrelevant information. Since working memory makes information available for more advanced cognitive processing, working memory capacity – the number of distinct ‘chunks’ of information you can hold in mind at the same time – is one of the main rate limiting factors for higher-order cognitive functions such as fluid intelligence, planning, complex decision making, comprehension, and creative problem solving.
In general terms, the larger your working memory capacity or ‘mental workspace’, the greater your capacity for higher order cognition and thus academic and professional achievement. An example of this relationship is shown below.
Effective working memory training: Dual N-Back training
The aim of all WM training programs is to expand working memory capacity. The most widely studied brain training exercise targeting WM capacity is the N-back task. The N-back task involves viewing a continuous stream of items (e.g., letters) and deciding whether each item matches the stimulus presented n stimuli back. In Dual N-back training, a verbal and a visuo-spatial stream of items is presented simultaneously and item matches have to be detected for both types of information. This dual task requires updating items in both the visual short term story and the verbal short term stores of working memory.
We have now reviewed the necessary background information to answer the main question of this article:
What are the best strategies for doing the working memory n-back exercise in my HighIQPro or i3 Mindware training?
Two types of dual n-back training: strategy training and core training
There are two basic types of training for IQ Mindware’s dual n-back and other working memory training programs: strategy training and core training (review Morrison & Chein, 2011).
The key difference between these is one type is what cognitive scientists call ‘domain-specific’, while the other type is what cognitive scientists call‘domain-general’.
Domain specific means for a particular type of information.Training with domain-specific strategies allows you to remember increasing amounts of information of a particular type – whether visual/spatial or verbal/audio. An example of this kind of training is rehearsal – repeating letters to yourself to keep them in mind.
Domain general means something that deals any type of information. Core training targets domain-general working memory functions such as attentional focus, ignoring irrelevant information, processing visual and audio stimuli both at the same time, and responding to targets. These kinds of functions are the most important ones in your working memory training, and have the most wide-reaching benefits for your cognition.
Let us look at each type of training in more detail.
1. Strategy training
This involves using specific techniques or strategies for keeping in mind either audio/verbal or visuo-spatial information on the n-back task. There are three types of strategy training that are often used in the IQ Mindware training software.
1. Rehearsal. Both children and adults can improve on the dual n-back through using, and practicing with what is called rehearsal. For the audio stimuli, this is experienced as a inner voice – or ‘sub-vocalization’ – that repeats the string of letters to keep them in mind, continually updating the list as new letters are presented. The letters may even be said aloud using this strategy. For the visuo-spatial stimuli, this is experienced as a point-by-point ‘scanning’ of the different locations of the squares. This may involve imagining the locations or actually moving the eyes. Both the sub-vocalisation and scanning are ‘rehearsal’ strategies, and they may improve working memory capacity the efficiency of working memory’s Central Executive.
2. Chunking. Sometimes during the dual n-back task, a letter or location may be repeated one two or even three times. When this happens it is easier perform on the n-back exercise because with only one ‘place holder’ there is less information to ‘encode’ to do the task. Or at other times, there may be a meaningful string of letters that forms a word or acronym, or the sequence of locations forms a known shape. When items can be grouped together like this, easing the burden on our memory system, this is called ‘chunking’. Chunking can also benefit from practice.
3. Attention jumping. As you get more experienced with the HighIQPro or i3 Mindware n-back task, it is possible to strategically direct your attention in ‘jumps’ to useful strings of letters or square locations in order to maintain or go up an n-back level. Using this strategy, you are not actually updating the items in your working memory continuously, but are ‘counting through’ a particular string of items and then refreshing it from the start again for the next string.
Which of these strategy training methods is best for developing your working memory functioning and your overall cognitive ability?
There is a clear answer to this question: rehearsal. Rehearsal can contribute to the overall efficiency and performance of your working memory system.
Using the other two strategies is counter-productive for working memory training. And here’s why. Both these strategies are actually was of getting around (i.e. compensating for) limitations of working memory capacity to increase your n-back performance. But getting practice with these strategies doesn’t actually help increase working memory capacity itself.
You can always avoid attention jumping. Sometimes it is impossible to help yourself ‘chunking’ because repetitions or meaningful combinations of items or patterns just happen randomly from time to time in the exercise. That’s OK. But don’t make a point of looking for patterns and getting practice with this strategy.
IQ Mindware software differs from other dual n-back versions in that it has a ‘hard’ setting which prevents attention jumping as much as possible. This option is shown highlighted in red in the IQ Mindware option panel below.
Benefits of rehearsal strategy training
There is evidence that rehearsal training can transfer to other working memory tasks and increase memory for other types of information – e.g. rehearsal training for letters could result in improvements for words or numbers. This could be useful in everyday life for remembering instructions, or telephone numbers or passwords!
There is also some evidence (in studies with children) that training with a rehearsal strategy benefits mental arithmetic and the ability to follow instructions.
Rehearsal strategy training has been reported to improve working memory and every day memory in older adults.
2. Core training for working memory
Core training targets the domain-general Central Executive of your working memory system – not the two sub-systems we looked at in the model. It is the Central Executive that is responsible for the attentional control that controls the follow of information in your mental workspace – how you filter, update and monitor the information flow for both audio and visuo-spatial items.
When you do the dual n-back exercise in HighIQPro and i3 Mindware you are benefiting from core working memory training because the training:
- Minimizes the effects of practice and automatization. You cannot go onto ‘automatic pilot’ to do the task, but have to constantly focus and work at it to perform well. Practice doesn’t make it easier!
- Requires that you process both visual and audio information together and can switch attention between them, keeping track of two modalities.
- Requires that you ignore distracting information – focusing on only what is needed for ‘matches’.
- Enforces quick encoding and memorization of both visual and audio information.
- Requires that you continually update the contents in your working memory ‘workspace’ in a continuous stream of information, and keep track of the order.
- Adapts to your varying level of performance, so you always have high attention and processing demands.
- Requires that you monitor yoru ongoing performance and change your effort and strategies based on your performance.
It is this kind of Central Executive training that spans both modalities that most effectively expands the workspace of your mind, and thus improves performance on a wide variety of cognitive skills.
How can you improve core training with IQ Mindware’s software options?
You can’t help but do core training when you do the n-back task. But there are ways you can ensure that you are doing the best core training that you can:
1. Intuition. When you feel like you are doing the n-back ‘intuitively’ (rather than by rehearsal), provided that you are not using an ‘attention jumping’ strategy (described above) and your n-back level is improving, you are doing core training – so there is no problem there. We suggest that you combine rehearsal with intuition in your training to be most efficient. If you feel like you are attention-jumping, go back to rehearsal. Otherwise, experiment with intuition.
2. The best training settings for core training in HighIQPro and i3 Mindware are:
- 1 second setting (fast) to increase the ‘workload’ of your training. It also speeds up your training sessions which helps with motivation.
- Error feedback – so you can better learn from your mistakes. This is a better way to monitor your performance.
- ‘Hard’ n-back performance setting – to help prevent the attention jumping strategy we’ve already talked about.
These settings are shown highlighted in red in the options panel.
Once you have best optimized your core training, you can expect many benefits to your overall cognition.
Cognitive benefits of core training for working memory
Core training benefits extend beyond the trained task and has been shown to have the following benefits (Review: Morrison & Chein, 2011):
- Increased short term memory in general – for any type of information.
- Better able to ignore distractions and focus on the task at hand.
- Reading comprehension.
- Your memory for personal events and experiences.
- Fluid intelligence.
- Reduced symptoms of ADHD (Klingberg et al., 2005). A key deficit in ADHD is impairment of WM and abnormalities in the frontal lobe.
- Improvements for multiple sclerosis – everyday memory, quality of life.
- Improvements for schizophrenia patients – everyday memory, quality of life.
- Improvements for stroke patients (Westerberg et al., 2007)
In summary, when it comes to strategy training, use rehearsal and get practice using this. Aside from this, make sure you focus on core working memory training training, and use the recommended settings to optimize core training.
Morrison, A. B., & Chein, J. M. (2011). Does working memory training work? The promise and challenges of enhancing cognition by training working memory. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 18(1), 46–60. doi:10.3758/s13423-010-0034-0
The Bell Curve & The ‘Cognitive Elite’
The Bell Curve was a seminal work on IQ and its impact in society, published in 1994 by psychologist Richard J. Herrnstein (now deceased) and libertarian political scientist Charles Murray. Its central argument is that human intelligence, measured by IQ tests, is influenced substantially by both inherited and environmental factors, and IQ is better predictor of financial income, job performance, and involvement in crime than are parental socio-economic status or education level.
Another thesis of The Bell Curve is that that those with high intelligence, the “cognitive elite”, are becoming increasingly separated from those of average and below-average intelligence – and that this has important social implications.
This claim is supported by the facts. Here is a ‘bell curve’ distribution of IQ scores in the general US population. It is called a bell curve because of its bell shape. It has a similar shape for all populations in which IQ has been measured.
This curve tells us that the average IQ score is 100, and about 95% of the population have an IQ score (measured by a valid IQ test) somewhere between 70 and 130. 68% have an IQ level between 85 and 115. Each 15 IQ point interval is called one standard deviation – so we can say that 95% of the population have an IQ between -2 and +2 standard deviations from 100. Mensa requires an IQ of 130 which puts you in the top 2% of the population.
Now look at this data on college students. First, going back to 1930 (translating back from standard deviations to IQ scores!) you can see that the average IQ of all college graduates was 111. The average IQ of Ivy League colleges was 120. That’s not that different.
But if we jump forward to 1990, just before The Bell Curve was written, you see a very different picture.
While the average IQ of all college graduates in the country has barely changed (from 111 to 113), the average IQ of Ivy League college graduates has shot up from 120 to 142. That’s a massive difference!
The mean of the elite 12 universities in the US rose to over 140. Refer to the bell curve above to see just how ‘off the curve’ that is.
That was back in 1990. Now the IQ level may be even greater, assuming it has not reached close to its natural limit – as we find in elite athletes.
Mainstream science on intelligence: The 1994 IQ manifesto by IQ Experts
The Bell Curve was controversial, and generated a lot of inaccurate and misleading public reports and discussion about IQ. To counter these reports an IQ manifesto was issued in the Wall Street Journal in December 1994, signed by 52 professors specializing in intelligence and related fields, including around one third of the editorial board of the journal Intelligence. This IQ manifesto – called ‘Mainstream Science on Intelligence’ represents the findings widely accepted in the expert community in 1994. We have come on since then in our understanding of IQ considerably but these points are still accepted and provide a good starting point for our current understanding.
18 conclusions on intelligence and IQ scores
The following 18 conclusions are taken from Mainstream Science on Intelligence (1994):
- “Intelligence is a very general mental capability … it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings …”
- “Intelligence, so defined, can be measured, and intelligence tests measure it well. They are among the most accurate (in technical terms, reliable and valid) of all psychological tests and assessments.”
- “While there are different types of intelligence tests, they all measure the same intelligence.”
- “The spread of people along the IQ continuum … can be represented well by the … ‘normal curve’.”
- “Intelligence tests are not culturally biased”
- “The brain processes underlying intelligence are still little understood”
- “Members of all racial-ethnic groups can be found at every IQ level”
- “The bell curve for whites is centered roughly around IQ 100; the bell curve for American blacks roughly around 85; and those for different subgroups of Hispanics roughly midway between those for whites and blacks. The evidence is less definitive for exactly where above IQ 100 the bell curves for Jews and Asians are centered”
- “IQ is strongly related, probably more so than any other single measurable human trait, to many important educational, occupational, economic, and social outcomes … Whatever IQ tests measure, it is of great practical and social importance”
- “A high IQ is an advantage because virtually all activities require some reasoning and decision-making”
- “The practical advantages of having a higher IQ increase as life’s settings become more complex”
- “Differences in intelligence certainly are not the only factor affecting performance in education, training, and complex jobs … but intelligence is often the most important”
- “Certain personality traits, special talents, [etc] are important … in many jobs, but they have narrower (or unknown) applicability or ‘transferability’ across tasks and settings compared with general intelligence”
- “Heritability estimates range from 0.4 to 0.8 … indicating genetics plays a bigger role than environment in creating IQ differences”
- “Members of the same family also tend to differ substantially in intelligence”
- “That IQ may be highly heritable does not mean that it is not affected by the environment … IQs do gradually stabilize during childhood, however, and generally change little thereafter”
- “Although the environment is important in creating IQ differences, we do not know yet how to manipulate it”
- “Genetically caused differences are not necessarily irremediable”
How has expert opinion been revised since 1990?
Heritability estimates show that between 20% and 60% of individual differences in IQ are due to environmental influences, including education, diet and training. Many IQ experts now – since research findings from around 2008 onwards – believe that working memory training methods such as the n-back (e.g. Jaeggi et al, 2008; Jausovec & Jausovec, 2012) can change IQ and create substantial IQ differences. There is universal consensus that working memory training has widespread benefits for ‘executive functioning’ – critical to overall intelligence. This was not known back in 1990 (Point 17).
What is also becoming apparent is that IQ and problem-solving IQ training – such as you find in elite universities – strongly interact. A higher IQ may give you entry to an elite university, which in turn provides a training environment to develop cognitive skills and strategies, raising the student’s IQ even further. IQ levels on entering Harvard may be 10 or more points lower than IQ levels on leaving Harvard.
The opposite is the case for children who graduate from high school and end up in environments that do not stimulate their minds. Their IQ levels could – over a four year period – drop from high IQs of 115 or more to average levels.
Relevance to IQ Mindware brain training: strategy capacity training
IQ Mindware programs simulate the positive ‘feedback’ cycle that is found in elite colleges: learning problem solving strategies works synergistically with training raw cognitive capacity (upgraded n-back training) resulting in substantial IQ gains as proven by thousands who have taken pre- and post-IQ tests. We call this ‘strategy-capacity’ training.
This combination is a unique approach to brain training and one which we believe is uniquely effective. N-back training alone may not result in substantial IQ gains. There is some new research suggesting this is the case with some student populations – such as this one. Simply training on straight dual n-back exercises may not achieve the desired result. And learning thinking skills alone may not either if one’s ‘raw’ processing power is limited. But the combination of both works synergistically. That is our concept, and the data supports it’s effectiveness.