Can a children's game actually make you smarter?!

We all want to have kids who are intelligent, right? I don't think parents ever wish for a kid who isn't smart and dedicated. I don't know about you but a good education is definitely a #1 in my family. Studying hard has always been important to me and it's a quality I hope to pass down to my kids.

I've always heard that you're born with a certain amount of intelligence and that there was nothing much you could do to improve it. Now science is changing their tune, though, and saying that there might actually be a way to make yourself (and your kids) smarter.


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Apparently it's all thanks to a concentration game that had a dozen third graders testing their memory as they looked at a computer flashing images of a cartoon haunted house. The house had five windows and every few seconds, a black cat would appear and vanish. The game tested how well kids (and adults) remembered where the cat was, but it got trickier as you went along: with having to remember where the cat was 2 appearances ago on Level 2 and progressively harder as it went on. The New York Times explains how the game, after training and with practice, helped us learn something about intelligence:

In a 2008 study, Susanne Jaeggi and Martin Buschkuehl, now of the University of Maryland, found that young adults who practiced a stripped-down, less cartoonish version of the game also showed improvement in a fundamental cognitive ability known as "fluid" intelligence: the capacity to solve novel problems, to learn, to reason, to see connections and to get to the bottom of things. The implication was that playing the game literally makes people smarter.

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Fluid intelligence has long been known to peak in early adulthood and it's part of the reason for the existence of I.Q. tests, since testing someone at a young age supposedly predicts all sorts of things in the future since it was believe that fluid intelligence is fairly immutable. But if this game can help improve your intelligence and maybe raise the I.Q. score, would you do it? It's amazing to me that, after all these years, science is proving that you can get smarter with age. It's definitely something I'm looking forward to.

Would you play a game if you knew it would make you smarter?

Image via pryogenic/flickr