Working Memory Training & Strategy Training

Dual ‘Core-Strategy’ Brain Training

IQ Mindware brain training apps combine two evidence-based brain training methods:

  • 1. CORE working memory training. Our apps are a development of the most well-established working memory training – the dual n-back – incorporating interference control which is now known to be critical for IQ gains. 20 days of 2G n-back training substantially expands your working memory capacity – your brain’s ‘mental workspace’ and processing power.
  • 2. Problem solving STRATEGY training – i.e. learning effective rules and strategies for IQ tests (i3 Mindware) or general problem solving and decision-making (HighIQPro). These mental strategies are also called ‘mindware’.


And there is built in learning synergy between these two: The larger your working memory capacity and the more processing power you have, the more mindware strategies you can absorb and apply to mental challenges.


1. Core Working Memory Training

All IQ Mindware apps train your working memory. Working memory is a core neural circuit underlying all higher brain functions – including intelligence and emotion regulation.


Working memory can be understood as our ‘mental workspace’. The larger your mental workspace, the more you can process for comprehension, problem solving, reasoning, planning & decision-making. Working memory training can also help improve attention-related disorders such as ADHD, dyslexia & ASD.


Multiple peer-reviewed studies have confirmed the effective transfer of core working memory training for a wide range of cognitive functions

IQ Mindware apps train two working memory brain circuits.


1. Fronto-Parietal Circuit for IQ

i3 Mindware
 is designed to increase IQ (as measured on IQ tests) while HighIQPro is designed to improve general problem solving ability. Both these apps target the fronto-parietal circuit, also known as the cognitive control network. This is the circuit that becomes active when you focus on a task. It is shown in the fMRI brain scans below:


Working memory training results in changes in the connectivity of the fronto-parietal network as demonstrated in this study and this study. [space]


2. Cortico-Limbic Circuit for Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

i9 training can help with emotional regulation, and improve decision-making and learning under emotional stress (emotional intelligence) – as well improve working memory and IQ. It can also reduce the impact of anxiety, depression and mood disorders on cognition.

The circuitry targeted by i9 training involves not just working memory circuitry but the emotional ‘limbic’ system.



  • i9 trains the same fronto-parietal brain circuit as working memory training.
  • i9 training also results in successful down-regulation of emotional distress via its inhibitory effect on the amygdala – which underlies emotional reactivity.



i9’s specific ‘cortico-limbic core circuit’ is shown here:


cortico-limbic system

Training with IQ Mindware apps can result in long term neuroplasticity change in both the fronto-parietal circuit (for IQ) and the cortico-limbic circuit (for EQ).



2. Strategy ‘Mindware’ Training for IQ


Mindware:  The rules, knowledge, procedures, and strategies that a person can retrieve from memory in order to aid decision-making and problem solving.



It is known that training problem solving and reasoning strategies improves intelligence. Like dual n-back working memory training, strategy brain training can actually improve the connectivity of the fronto-parietal network that underlies our intelligence.  After just three months of reasoning training Dr. Mackey found plasticity in the white matter structure of the frontal and parietal lobes.


“These findings should not be understated, as they challenge traditional notions that intelligence is fixed, and that patterns of connectivity in large-scale brain networks at rest are stable across time.”  Scott Barry Kaufman, University of Pennsylvania.


i3 Mindware’s Strategy Training Sets


 i3 Mindware incorporates 40 sets of optional brain-teasers that exercise fluid intelligence (Gf), verbal (crystallized) intelligence (Gc), visual-spatial processing (Gv), quantitative intelligence (Gq) and general intelligence (G). This covers all the types of subtests you will encounter on an IQ test (e.g. KAIT, WAIS, Stanford-Binet, Raven Advanced Progressive Matrices).



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HighIQPro’s Strategy Training Sets


HighIQPro trains fluid intelligence (Gf) – your general analytic and problem solving skills. It incorporates 20 daily sets of brain-teaser challenges to build mindware for general problem solving, reasoning and decision-making skills. Each of these problem sets is linked to more extensive online tutorials that explain the principles behind the problem solving strategies, and give opportunities for further practice. Specific focus is also given to Raven Advanced Matrices Test training – the kind of aptitude test problems often used by employers to assess your problem solving skills.



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Brain Basis of Core-Strategy Brain Training

Core working memory training and strategy mindware training work synergistically together to improve IQ. A large working memory capacity enables us to learn and apply new strategies (‘mindware’) more effectively. When we first try to learn new strategies, working memory based brain circuits are activated and as these strategies become practiced, they are encoded in more frontal parts of the brain [reference].


core-strategy brain training