Brain Training Part 5 – Intelligence… Built-in or Trainable?
Previous Brain Training posts have discussed opportunities for increasing your Attention, Speed, Memory, and even your People Skills. In Brain Training Part 5, I will address the nature v. nurture question of intelligence.
We all know there is a big difference between being an intelligent person (having the ability and capacity to learn, understand, and act upon the knowledge) and being an educated person. Many intelligent people have not necessarily had education opportunities. (And educated people are not necessarily intelligent!)
So is it possible to train and increase your intelligence – that is to say, your capacity to learn? Yes! Through a few exercises, you can increase and improve your brain’s ability to learn, retain, and act upon new data.
#1 Auditory Ace
Using auditory information, such as being given oral directions to a new location, or applying action to discussions and decisions made in a company meeting, is a critical intelligence function.
In Auditory Ace, you will hear information about a playing card (such as suit or face value). You have to retain and compare the information to the next card through auditory clues. If the information is the same, select “Yes.” If it is different, select “No.”
Seems simple enough… but as you improve, you will be given more data. Can you recall if the new card matches the card from three clues ago? By sorting and filing auditory clues, you improve your capacity to recall and act upon more complex data.
#2 Card Shark
Who knew playing cards could be so useful in increasing intelligence capacity? In Card Shark, playing cards are utilized once again. However, unlike Auditory Ace, this exercise focuses on your ability to retain, process, and act upon visual information.
You will be shown a playing card, then it will turn face down as you are shown a second card. Your task is to recall if the second card matches the first. But just like a real deck of cards, the cards are continuously dealt. So you must continue to retain information about the card you just saw.
As you progress through the exercise, new challenges will be presented, such as:
- Recalling both value and suit of the card, instead of just suit.
- Having to match a card from further back (four cards ago, instead of one).
- Seeing the cards for shorter periods of time.
By focusing on visual data, your intelligence capacity increases in its ability to see and determine the daily questions with which you are confronted. (Is the bigger container actually a better value at the grocery store? Do you have enough fuel in your vehicle to get to your destination, accounting for distance and possible traffic? Or should you fill up before you embark?)
#3 Juggle Factor
Oftentimes it can feel like we’re juggling a million things at once. But what if juggling is just what we need to be able to quickly recall, compare and manipulate data in a timely and appropriate manner?
Juggle Factor uses this theory by showing a series of circles in motion. Numbers appear briefly in some of the circles. You then have to select the circles in the correct order. As your ability increases, the task becomes more challenging.
- The number of circles to recall increases.
- The order in which the numbers are presented changes. (For example, they may be shown in descending order, but you must select in ascending order.)
- The pattern of motion changes.
- The speed of motion increases.
The motion, speed, and complexity of order in this operation applies directly to daily intelligence. Juggling improves your capability to solve problems and make decisions quickly in complex environments.
#4 Mind Bender
Brain function includes both lower order and higher order processes. Mind Bender challenges the brain’s “executive control,” asking your brain to be flexible, organized, and strategic while managing multiple pieces of data simultaneously. This requires you to use several parts of the brain at the same time, then put these functions together usefully and creatively.
This exercise challenges you with shifting sets of rules. For example, if two numbers are presented with digits, choose the higher number. If numbers are presented as words, choose the lower number.
As the exercise progresses, additional rules and images will be added and the speed increased. These ever-changing rules and images challenge your brain to real-life intelligence, in which you are constantly challenged with different scenarios, rules, expectations, and cultures in which to operate.
Train for Intelligence
Isn’t it amazing to know that you can actually increase and improve your capacity to learn and act upon information? Intelligence isn’t simply something you’re either born with or not. Intelligence is something you can grow and improve upon. If you’d like to learn more about improving your intelligence, we can help. Contact us at (888) 549-5519 or open an online chat for more information.