Is it possible to make yourself smarter? Some researchers say yes. Proponents of "brain training" say that people can improve their short-term memory that in turn improves fluid intelligence.
A recent New York Times Magazine piece looked at the research. Priti Shah, associate professor in cognition, perception, and educational psychology at the University of Michigan, will join The Daily Circuit Wednesday to discuss the research.
The researchers say that spending 15 to 25 minutes a day "brain training" for even as little as four weeks improved subsequent performances on cognitive tasks that measure our capacity to problem solve, learn, reason and see patterns in the world.
Other researchers aren't so sure. They say there have been hundreds of attempts to increase intelligence over the years with no success. Zach Hambrick, associate professor of psychology at Michigan State University, is a skeptic. He'll also join Wednesday's discussion.
"We do have pretty good evidence that intelligence is modifiable by training," he said. "It can change with practice and persistence. But not with 10 hours per week."
We want to believe this research is true, but there isn't enough evidence, he said.
"This would be fantastic if this was true," Hambrick said. "If it's true, it would be revolutionary. But we have to be skeptical. It's an extraordinary claim that is lacking the necessary extraordinary evidence."