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Game Play Builds Intelligence
By halliesteube
4/23/2012 11:50:00 PM
Do you believe you are either born with the know-how to solve this puzzle or are not? Or does your intelligence increase with practice? Read on about this debate and leave us your solution to this IQ puzzle in the comments below. A recent New York Times article, 'Can You Make Yourself Smarter?' written by Dan Hurley, highlights studies involved in the debate over whether people are born with a certain level of intelligence or if they can indeed build intelligence and actually become smarter through game play and other cognitive challenges. We all know that practice is important. We believe that the more we practice the better we will be at cooking, reading, speaking another language and swinging a bat. But, there seems to be hesitancy to agree when it comes to brain-building exercises, games and challenges. Some do not believe that practicing memory recall, problem solving and critical thinking increases intelligence levels; some believe you are born with an IQ level that will not be affected by practice, but that our intelligence is rather based on genetics and the environment during early development. Recent studies claim otherwise.åÊIn a recent study, Susanne Jaeggi and Martin Buschkuehl, now of the University of Maryland, found that young adults who consistently played a simple memory recall game on the computer actually increased fluid intelligence, or the ability to make connections and solve problems. In the article, Jaeggi goes on to say, "We see attention and working memory as the cardiovascular function of the brain. If you train your attention and working memory, you increase your basic cognitive skills that help you for many different complex tasks." In another recent study by Ulman Lindenberger and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Lindenberger concluded that improvements in "broad abilities" occurred in those who participated in a consistent training program. Both young and old alike found significant improvements after participating in 100 daily one-hour training sessions.
Silva Bunge at the University of California, Berkeley, found increased IQ test results in children,from low socioeconomic backgrounds,who played games like Qwirkle and other reasoning games for 75 minutes a day for eight weeks. Though the games have nothing to do directly with the nonverbal IQ test administered at the end of the study, children scored 10 points higher on average and several children up to 20 points higher on the test after consistent game play.
The article concludes that it will be decreasingly difficult to prove that these exercises are beneficial for brains of all ages, but that the biggest challenge will simply be human nature. Just like with physical exercise, the article mentions the hardest part is in motivating humans to consistently make brain-building exercises part of their routine. Read the full article here. Interested in taking an IQ test? Get started here. Then, play Marbles games for a month, take it again and tell us if you improved... eh, (nudge), eh?

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Categories: Critical Thinking, Memory


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