If you’re old enough, you may remember a time, maybe back in your childhood, when someone measured your intelligence and assigned a number to it. I suspect that you have been either proud of that “IQ,” or perhaps a little bit chagrined about it, from that day to this. The general belief back then was that intelligence was a genetic endowment, along with eye color or a propensity for baldness.
We now know this is simply not true. Your brain — every brain — is a work in progress. It is “plastic.” From the day we’re born to the day we die, it continuously revises and remodels, improving or slowly declining, as a function of how we use it. If a brain is exercised properly, anyone can grow intelligence, at any age, and potentially by a lot. Or you can just let your brain idle — and watch it slowly, inexorably, go to seed like a sedentary body.
I woke up in a cheerful mood this morning because yesterday the results of a scientific study were published and they once again demonstrated that very strong benefits can be achieved through only 10 hours of Posit Science brain training. The cognitive benefits were not just seen in the tasks themselves, but in measures of […]
Do we really use only a small portion of our brain? If the answer to this question is yes, then knowing how to access the “unused” part of our brain should unleash untapped mental powers and allow us perform at top efficiency. Let’s examine the issue and attempt to get at the truth behind the […]
Meet Sumarri Sumarri is an eight-year old girl from Oakland, California. Sumarri is in the second grade. While she likes all of her classes, her favorite times of the day are art class and ballet lessons. Lately, Sumarri has been learning about what goes on in her brain as she does all the things she […]
When I first met Bill Calvin it was at a convention of Futurists, in a loud room filled with passionate people discussing important issues such as the societal impact of nanotechnology and alternative fuels. Dr. Calvin’s voice was barely a whisper. A soft-spoken man, his tone sharply contrasts with the impact of his thoughts. An […]
For more than three decades, Dr. Michael Merzenich has been a leading pioneer in brain plasticity research. In addition to teaching and doing research at the University of California, San Francisco, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the recipient of numerous awards and prizes. Dr. Merzenich’s work has been covered […]
Duval County, Florida School Superintendent Dr. Joseph Wise has only been on the job for 10 months, but already he is making a big impact on the 165 schools, 130,000 students and 14,000 employees in his district. Taking the lessons he learned from his last position as Superintendent of the Christina School District in Wilmington, […]
As the Superintendent of Schools in Lawrence, Massachusetts for the past six years, Dr. Wilfredo T. Laboy has set an outstanding example of what one educator dedicated to change and success can do in a short period of time. Upon his arrival, he declared a Year of Literacy, focusing the entire school system on one […]
In the opening pages of his recent book, The Myth of the First Three Years—A New Understanding of Early Brain Development and Lifelong Learning, John Bruer recalls a 1996 phone call he received from a journalist at a national parenting magazine. “Based on neuroscience” she asked, “what can we tell parents about choosing a preschool […]
Most parents have, at one time or another, gazed lovingly at their newborn child and wondered whether someday their offspring would grow up to be the next Einstein or Newton. If Alison Gopnik were watching, she might suggest that the newborn in the bassinet doesn’t need to grow up. Perhaps they already think like a […]