We’d all love to be smarter, but is there much we can do to make a real difference? There are two types of intelligence: crystallized and fluid. Crystallized is the information and functional knowledge stored in the brain—think of the smarts needed to perform well at trivia. Fluid intelligence is the ability to learn and think critically—think of the brainpower needed to adjust to constantly evolving situations in a game of chess.
Previously believed to be untrainable abilities, information process and problem solving skills are now believed to be improved by executing a number of tasks. Memory training certainly helps. Use strategic activities to increase activity in the prefrontal cortex and target the brain’s weak memory centers. Working puzzles is another great activity, as it requires the integrated interpretation of multiple sets of information such as shape, pattern and orientation. Want to really get smarter? Go take a nap! Resting for 90 minutes recharges and strengthens power in the hippocampus, thus improving memory and navigation skills. Drinking coffee strengthens electrical activity between neurons. Physical exercise stimulates production of BDNF, which nurtures the creation of new neurons and synapses.
Are you doing any of these activities on a regular basis? Please share in the comments, and be sure to check out the infographic below to learn more!