Saturday, April 26, 2014

can you build your brain power?

According to Dan Hurley (see who appears on his web page with a bowtie (?! maybe he doesn't CARE what YOU think ...) -- IQ is malleable (maybe not the word he used).

Short term memory are two types:
- remembering things, which does not help with anything other than remember them
- working memory, which can be strengthened with exercise (like a muscle?)

(Most) entities selling software to "improve your brain" will likely claim to "improve your working memory",  without actually saying doing these things will make you ? smarter ? more intelligent ? higher IQ ? -- BUT  will point out a strong correlation between high level of function in working memory (short term), and all of those other things.    Better concentration, handling more things in your head simultaneously, what can go wrong ?  - you've heard the ads on NPR  - bought out by Pearson

There is something really appealing to the idea of improving "working memory", the ability to solve problems, vs. "crytallized memory" of static facts and unchanging body of knowledge.

Sadly all of these are playing on the boomer generation's fear of dementia, which ranks as a fate worse (more to be feared) than cancer.  Skeptics continue to take pot shots:    Some are not even ambiguous about it: :

"I sure could use a little memory boost. Unfortunately, despite the growing popularity of brain-training apps and programs like LumosityCogniFitCogMed, andJungle Memory, I’m not going to find any help here.

They're totally bogus, you see."

[updated 4/27]

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