New research has found that it may be possible to train people to be more intelligent, increasing the brainpower they had at birth.
Until now, it had been widely assumed that fluid intelligence, the ability to solve new problems without relevant previous experience, is innate and cannot be taught. In a new study, however, researchers described a method for improving this skill, along with experiments to prove it works.
The key was carefully structured training in working memory -- the kind that allows memorization of a telephone number long enough to dial it. This type of memory is closely related to fluid intelligence, and appears to rely on the same brain circuitry.
It is currently unknown how long intelligence gains will last after training stops, and the experiment’s design did not allow the researchers to determine whether more training would continue to produce further gains.
* New York Times April 29, 2008