How do you increase IQ?
Sadly, while you can learn more, you cannot increase IQ. What
you are born with is what you have.
Despite this fact, some organizations do try to sell IQ
improvement techniques to those who don't know better.
There are a handful of effective IQ-increasing interventions
with a firm scientific basis - a basis in experimental laboratories
and the exacting standards of peer reviewed scientific journals.
Cognitive-enhancing nutrition, exercise and meditation are not
1. Brain Training
This includes specific exercises targeting the brain. There is a
popular website that offers daily exercises (games) you can do for
a subscription, and it grades you on your results and tracks your
progress. They claim permanent, life-changing effects such as
better social skills, better control of negative emotions, better
memory, and faster cognition. You likely don't have to go to their
site. Just play computer games that tax you mentally and which you
really hate to play.
You often can get better PC performance if you install more RAM
or a faster hard drive, so it stands to reason that if you can
improve your memory and make more neural connections, you could
improve brain function. You can exercise your muscles and build
them, so it stands to reason that you can improve mental function
in a similar manner.
Also, the earlier the intervention, the better and more lasting
the results. The younger you are, the more plastic the brain is.
There was an early project tried in North Carolina that was similar
to Head Start, but more intense, and started sooner. All the
participants, including the control group, received medical care,
monitoring by social services, and police involvement when
necessary to try to mitigate some of the effects of poverty to
avoid skewing the results. The participants were twice as likely to
finish high school and attend college, and about half as likely to
use drugs, get arrested, or be as sexually active while in
Recent studies have shown that Asians might not have as much
genetic influence on intellect (or even the severe nearsightedness
many over there have) as have been assumed for many years. So diet
and discipline may play a huge role. The US felt guilty for what it
did in WWII and brought in US business leaders and other experts to
try to rebuild the country as quickly as possible. Along with that
they brought a competitive spirit and strict self-discipline. The
techniques and ideas worked, and the entire country adopted them.
So they raised their kids to with such strict discipline and
fostered a sense of self-worth that comes from intellectual
achievement. The "smart Asian" stereotype didn't seem to exist in
the US prior to WWII.
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.
2. Nootropics ('Smart Drugs')
The issue of using medication for cognitive enhancement is
highly controversial, and there are ethical questions to be
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.
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.