How to Increase IQ
Brain Exercises

Benefits of Meditation
Mental Math

Riddles and Puzzles
Lateral Thinking

Brain and Mind

I get a lot of questions about the brain and the mind from subscribers to my Brainpower Newsletter. With the personal information left out and the questions edited for clarity and grammar, here are some of the emails along with my replies.

Q: Interesting article on how early our mental powers start to decline, but what about the many people throughout history who have contributed their best and most complex work at an advanced age?

A: You are absolutely right. I expect that those of us who are older (okay, I'm only 45, but I'm getting there) will continue to contribute disproportionately, because in the end one's raw brainpower has less to do with productive new ideas than a solid base of knowledge and wisdom, both of which hopefully come with age. Researchers easily measure our "computing power," but it's more difficult to measure the things that are most important, like creativity and experiential intuition and willingness to open one's mind to new ideas.

Q: I heard from others that eating walnut helps in increasing our IQ. Is this true?

A: The omega 3 fatty acids in walnuts have been shown to be good for the brain. I'm not sure if actual IQ increases have been measured after eating them for a while, but they are certainly a healthy food, so it seems safe to self-experiment.

Q: Which type of music has a greater chance of increasing our IQ, rock or rap?

A: I'm not sure whether rap or rock is better for the brain (or if either is all that great for it), but it makes sense to go with what works for you, meaning the music that helps you concentrate, get creative or get motivated.

Q: Does motivation increase our IQ?

A: Motivation certainly can help you do the things that increase the effectiveness of your thinking. Whether that translates into a higher IQ score doesn't seem terribly important. It is enough to have better functioning of your brain and mind, with or without the score.

Q: I did my IQ test on three different sites and the results showed for the first: 128, and the second: 136, and then the third 113. Why the difference?

A: You're score will be different most times that you take an IQ test. They really aren't that precise nor consistent, but for reference you could average the three scores and say your IQ is at least 125, which is pretty high.

Q: Does hearing Mozart helps us in increasing our IQ?

A: In a study done at UC Irvine's Center for Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 36 students were given three spatial reasoning tests from a standard IQ test. Prior to the first test they listened to Mozart's sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, K. 448 for ten minutes. Prior to the second they listened to a relaxation tape, and before the third, they just sat quietly.

The average scores: 1st test: 119. 2nd test: 111. 3rd test: 110.

An increase of 9 IQ points was achieved from listening to Mozart, but it's assumed their intelligence didn't actually increase. The music more likely put them in a state that gave them better access to mental resources they already had available. But some studies have shown that repeated exposure to slow music (like some Mozart pieces) can permanently increase your IQ, at least if this starts in early childhood.

Q: Do you think playing on a high level of Tetris (a quick-paced game that involves fitting shapes into a line to make it go away before you hit the top of the playing field, meaning you lose) is a good mental challenge to keep/increase brainpower?

A: I think Tetris is a great hand-eye coordination game, and therefore good for the brain. Most games and other activities only work certain parts of the brain though, so I wouldn't spend too much time on one activity. I used to play Tetris years ago, and it is one of the few video games I enjoy.

I will have more questions and answers on all of these topics related to mental capacity in the future. Watch the "newest pages" listings on the homepage (and they will also be announced in The Mind Power Report).

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