Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain-training To Improve Memory Boosts Fluid Intelligence

Date:
May 6, 2008
Source:
University of Michigan
Summary:
Brain-training efforts designed to improve working memory can also boost scores in general problem-solving ability and improve fluid intelligence, according to new research. Many psychologists believe general intelligence can be separated into "fluid" and "crystalline" components. Fluid intelligence --- considered one of the most important factors in learning --- applies to all problems while crystallized intelligence consists of skills useful for specific tasks.

New findings show that multiple efforts designed to improve memory skills similarly improve fluid intelligence.
Credit: iStockphoto/Kiyoshi Takahase Segundo

Brain-training efforts designed to improve working memory can also boost scores in general problem-solving ability and improve fluid intelligence, according to new University of Michigan research.

"Considering the fundamental importance of fluid intelligence 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," U-M psychology researchers Susanne Jaeggi and Martin Buschkuehl concluded.

Many psychologists believe general intelligence can be separated into "fluid" and "crystalline" components. Fluid intelligence—considered one of the most important factors in learning—applies to all problems while crystallized intelligence consists of skills useful for specific tasks.

"Working memory and fluid intelligence both seem to rely on similar neural networks,'' Jaeggi said. "Our study does not permit us to know how long the training-gain persists. Longitudinal studies will be required to address that issue."

Previously, many psychologists believed the only way to increase fluid intelligence was through direct practice of the tests themselves, rather than by training. But the new findings show that multiple efforts designed to improve memory skills similarly improve fluid intelligence.

After initially giving subjects a standard test for fluid intelligence, the researchers gave subjects a series of training exercises designed to improve their working memory.

The training was given to four groups, who repeated the exercises for eight, 12, 17, or 19 days. After the training, the researchers re-tested the subjects' fluid intelligence.

Although the performance of untrained controls improved slightly, the trained subjects showed a significant performance improvement, which increased with time spent training.

"The more training, the more improvement in fluid intelligence," Jaeggi said.

The researchers suggest that the training exercises strengthened multiple "executive processes" in the brain that function in problem-solving, noting that fluid intelligence is usually seen as "robust against influences of education and socialization, and it is commonly seen as having a strong hereditary component."

The research is detailed in a recent article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Michigan. "Brain-training To Improve Memory Boosts Fluid Intelligence." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080505075642.htm>.
University of Michigan. (2008, May 6). Brain-training To Improve Memory Boosts Fluid Intelligence. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080505075642.htm
University of Michigan. "Brain-training To Improve Memory Boosts Fluid Intelligence." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080505075642.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) A study published in the journal "Neurology" interviewed more than 19,000 people and found 15 percent suffer from being "sleep drunk." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Painkiller Overdose Deaths?

Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Painkiller Overdose Deaths?

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) A new study found fewer deaths from prescription drug overdoses in states that have legalized medical marijuana. But experts disagree on the results. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Heart Group: E-Cigarettes May Help Smokers Quit

Heart Group: E-Cigarettes May Help Smokers Quit

AP (Aug. 25, 2014) The American Heart Association's first policy statement on electronic cigarettes backs them as a last resort to help smokers quit and calls for more regulation to keep them away from youth. (Aug. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Push For Later Start Times As School Year Kicks Off

Doctors Push For Later Start Times As School Year Kicks Off

Newsy (Aug. 25, 2014) The American Academy of Pediatrics is the latest group pushing for middle schools and high schools to start later, for the sake of their kids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins