Brain Training Guide

Brain Training Starters Guide

A brain training guide on SMART brain training from RaiseYourIQ. All the questions and answers on brain training in general whether for a kid or adult plus information from RaiseYourIQ on how SMART can raise IQ by 20-30 points.

smart-brain-training

SMART brain training to exercise the mind


Brain Training : What Is A Relational Skill?

A relational skill is a skill involved in understanding the relationship between things in the world. Understanding the relationships between a set of cousins, or understanding that a particular group of plants are all of the same kind (e.g., flowers), or understanding that a Poodle is a type of dog but a dog is not a type of poodle, are all examples of basic relational skills. But of course, they get more complicated than this. The relational skills you need to understand high level mathematics or to read and speak well, are more advanced skills. SMART brain training teaches a range of basic but crucial relational skills and brings your relational skills to expert levels, so that all intellectual tasks come easier. SMART brain training makes you a faster and better learner, it helps new information make more sense, and helps you think more clearly.

Why Is SMART “Brain Training” different?

SMART is not like any other form of brain training, and at RaiseYourIQ we use the term “brain skills training” , or a behavioural training course.
SMART Brain Training has been developed by education leaders and published psychologists following over ten years research in schools and university. SMART Brain Training does not work by merely improving working memory or teaching users how to perform well on IQ tests.  Instead, our SMART brain training course teaches the fundamental cognitive skills necessary to improve learning and reasoning in school,business and in everyday life.
SMART Brain Training enhances the entire intellectual skill set.
Some brain training “games” just focus on working memory, the SMART Brain Training course (we want our users to see this as an educational course with real world benefits) covers the 4 key areas of “Intellectual Performance”
(1). Verbal Comprehension – improve ability to listen to a question and draw upon learned information
(2). Perceptual Reasoning – improve ability to examine a problem, organize thoughts, create solutions, and then test them
(3). Processing Speed – increase attention to quickly scan, discriminate between and order visual information
(4). Working Memory – increase the ability to memorize new information, hold it in short-term memory and concentrate

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What Does Brain Training Involve?

The SMART brain training course from RaiseYourIQ is divided into levels with blocks of questions. The course involves teaching the user how to answer blocks of logical questions, first with feedback – and then on their own without any help. There is 30 seconds to answer each question. During training blocks we tell you whether or not your answer is correct. During test blocks you need to answer all of the questions on your own. Once you pass a test, you move on to the next level. You progress like this through the levels, collecting points as you go. You even get bonus points for revising stages you have passed before, because the more you revise the smarter your brain will get. The course should take between three to six months to complete.

Is SMART Brain Training for Kids and Adults the same?

The brain training methods in both SMART Kids and SMART Adult are the same. However the SMART brain training course for children has backgrounds and animated characters that make it a lot more fun learning experience for children and big kids.Regardless of whether you want to raise your IQ for school,business or personal development, the SMART brain training course should take between 3 and 6 months to complete.

Can I use SMART brain training on my iPad?

Yes. SMART brain training site has been optimized to work on iPad and other portable computer devices. It also works across all browsers including Safari, Chrome, Explorer and Firefox. All the lessons and progress are stored on your account regardless of what device or app you are using to access RaiseYourIQ site.

Brain Fitness

To key to brain fitness is to schedule in a few times a week to complete the modules on the SMART brain training course. The fitter your brain becomes, the easier learning becomes. Brain training is all about having a fitter brain, it does take time and effort and over the course of the 12-16 weeks on average it takes to complete the SMART course users will see a marked improvement to how psychologists measure brain fitness namely, thinking ability, ability of the brain to focus better and improved memory skills. Think of brain fitness like a gym membership, you make best use of it when you make the time to exercise.

N Back Training

RaiseYourIQ offers n-back training for free as part of the SMART brain training course. N back is a brain performance task for memory and intelligence that is used as an assessment tool in cognitive neuroscience to measure working memory or fluid intelligence. The free RaiseYourIQ N-Back training is scientifically proven to improve the brains working memory and when combined with SMART brain training course can raise IQ levels by over 30 points.

Intellectual Skills

Intellectual skills training has to to with the brains reasoning, analytical, processing and problem-solving skills. Brain training is really intellectual skills training by another term as intellectual skills are what is needed to master tasks the brain performs. Psychologists define intellectual skills as behavioral capability to facilitate the performance of relevant tasks in a business,work or education setting. Intellectual skills training can be applied to most educational or business subjects or indeed psychological related activity to do with memory improvement and cognitive functions.

Brain and Cognitive Skills

Brain and cognitive skills exercises are at the core of the SMART brain training system. Based on over 10 years clinical research in universities and schools, SMART brain training consists of over 70 modules made up of several brain exercises with increasing difficulty levels that target all cognitive skills including verbal comprehension, reasoning, processing speed plus working and long term memory. Brain and cognitive abilities are the brain-based skills we all need to effectively carry out any task from the easiest to the most difficult. Brain training works by improving skill specific changes in the brain which then carry into bigger changes across many different types of skills training and learning ability.IQ tests and results demonstrate that as the brain becomes smarter at a skill, the brain no longer needs to work as hard at it. The brain now shifts to more automatic processing as that skill is learned.

Intellectual Development Help

Intellectual and cognitive development is not limited to children as adults brain functions also continue to grow throughout life stages. Intellectual development is all about our ability to process information,learn, think and understand various strands that surround our living world. Brain training works to improve our cognitive abilities and develop skills in logical reasoning, memory, maths, science, reading, writing and verbal comprehension. RaiseYourIQ has developed the “SMART” platform to help people improve IQ, expand their logic and reasoning abilities while matching thinking and planning abilities with actions.

Cognitive Training Exercises

Cognitive training exercises are a series of brain games, tasks and puzzles to be completed by the adult or kid user. Cognitive training (brain training by another name) works to increase fluid intelligence which can be defined as the the ability to solve “on the spot” problems that cannot be performed by relying on previously learned habits. Research has shown large improvement in the brains reasoning skills when people engaged in working memory training while people who consume trivia knowledge via games show no improvement in reasoning skills. Clinical data shows people who complete cognitive training will attain (a) high working memory, (b) high cognition skills while (c) addressing any cognitive deficits.

What is IQ?

IQ stands for “Intelligent Quotient” IQ relates to a score that a person or child scores from conducting a IQ test usually delivered by a qualified psychologists to assess level of intelligence. A persons IQ level should be used in conjunction with several intelligence scales and most modern psychologists consider IQ as a general indicator of intelligence. The most used standardised IQ test used today is known as the “WAIS”. This IQ test consists of seven verbal tests and seven brain performance tests. IQ is still used in schools, education and business – it can be used as a predictor for academic results and in a corporate setting as a predictor for job performance, usually through the guise of psychometric testing. Also you can read “How is IQ measured” elsewhere in our FAQ’s.

Brain fitness exercises

Brain fitness exercises are really intellectual skills development. Intellectual development like the “brain memory” game on RaiseYourIQ will enhance memory and cognitive skills. Designed by psychologists all the RaiseYourIQ brain training games work to improve the brains fitness levels leading to scientifically proven gains in thinking skills, information processing, fluid intelligence and reasoning skills. These intellectual development areas lead to an overall increase in IQ which can be used as a measure to see how fit or healthy the brain has become over a period of time. RaiseYourIQ includes a pre and post IQ assessment as well as ongoing intelligence assessment as the brain fitness routine progresses through the various learning stages in our intellectual brain training skills course.

Improve Concentration and Focus

Brain training exercises improve concentration, focus and memory. At RaiseYourIQ we see improving concentration as learning a skill which requires practice whether it is for school, business, work or help with ADHD. The RaiseYourIQ brain games which work to improve concentration, focus and memory are “Brain Speed” and “Brain Memory” , the user will see a big improvement in these cognitive areas after 4 to 8 weeks brain training. Over the training period the brain learns to ignore distractions, prioritize information and focus on detail plus a marked improvement in the brains attention skills which are needed to improve working memory. Upon completion of the brain training, the brain is more productive and tests will prove an improvement in IQ by 20-50 points.

Improve IQ Test Score

Improve IQ test score via a standardized IQ test is one of the measures to validate brain training success. Most people improve their IQ by 20-30 points but improvements by 50 points is a regular occurrence following the completion of the SMART brain training course. How to improve IQ takes practice and regular scheduled brain training sessions where the brain completes a series of ever increasing in complexity challenges which not only improves the brains fluid intelligence but also working memory, processing speed and problem solving skills. IQ test scores are still used in industry and business while most educational entrance exams would mirror IQ tests.

What age group can benefit from SMART brain training?

At RaiseYourIQ we recommend that a person needs to have a mental age of at least 8 years of age to be able to engage fully with SMART brain training. There is no upper limit – older adults will benefit from the training, just as young people will. SMART brain training will help keep you at your peak mental performance, whatever your age or profession.

Is there a Brain Training Free Trial Option?

Yes. Our brain training free trial which includes a free assessment does not need any credit card details. Signing up could not be easier. Simply click on the “get started” button, fill in some details that we will ask you for, and that is it. Start raising your IQ today.Brain Training Free Trial

Information Boosts Brain Health

Information boosts brain health as psychologists will testify that curiosity is good for the brain on a number of levels. Curiosity actually stimulates our intellectual functioning and benefits our brain health. Some experts in the field of psychology have also posited that a healthy dose of curiosity may be the key to leading a happier, more meaningful and fulfilled life.

The brain loves information and  scientists now know that our brain cannot malfunction due to “excessive curiosity”. Here are the reasons why.

1. Your brain is a work-horse.

The more you exercise it, the healthier and more efficient it will be. In fact, if you want to really train your brain and increase your intellectual ability, stoking your curiosity about the world is one of the best ways to achieve that.

2. Your brain is not a computer.

In the 70s, the cognitive branch of psychology was dominant and scientists saw all of human development in terms of a computer-based metaphor of a brain as information processor. The information processing approach (see Woolfolk, Hughes & Walkup, 2008) saw the mind as a machine that takes in information, performs operations to change its form and content, stores the information, retrieves it when needed, and generates responses to it. So learning, remembering and thinking involve gathering information, encoding, storage and retrieval. This is a useful analogy in many ways and it makes it easy for people to understand how information might be processed by the brain. The problem with it is that people then assume that the brain actually is a computer, with only as much memory storage or capacity as is available on the hard drive. If the hard drive doesn’t have enough capacity, then you need a new one that is bigger, better or faster.  This is a very limiting view of our brain’s capabilities and some have called it a form of “negative psychology”.

human-brain

3. We don’t know the limits of human learning.

We may never know them. Thankfully, many psychologists have eschewed the notion that our brain has limited storage capacity which is great news for the whole field of education as well as for the curious natured individual. A nice illustration of this can be seen in Psychologist Steve Hayes’ (1993) discussion of Lerner’s (1993) epigenetic approach to human development. Lerner argued that there may exist predetermined genetic limits to human development. But Hayes explained that because we know that stimulating environments can help to make us smarter, there are no limits to our intellectual development until they have been reached. These limits can only be reached through exhaustive attempts to create ever more exceptionally stimulating environments.

In Hayes’ (1993) words; “Lerner seems too quick to say how high pygmies can grow or how well a person with Down syndrome can do. There presumably are such limits, but we cannot know them when we have reached them”.

4. Scientists have learned a lot by being curious.

We used to think that persons with Down Syndrome would never present with measured IQ scores of more than 60, but now many persons with this genetic condition have received excellent intervention and high standards of teaching in enriched environments and are now capable of attending college. Thirty years ago the only outcome for persons presenting with Down Syndrome when, for example, their families could no longer care for them was to be institutionalised in a state care facility. Now many are living completely independently while others enjoy various levels of assisted or partially independent living and working environments. This only happened because the so called “limits” were pushed by psychologist that did not believe that curiosity can kill a cat.

In order to develop the range of powerful educational methods that have enriched the lives of those with Down syndrome, scientists themselves needed to be curious about what might happen if you continually enriched the educational environment of someone with a developmental difficulty. Isn’t this the way all great scientific breakthroughs occur? In the latter example, the curiosity of psychologists about the intellectual “limits” of someone with Down Syndrome actually improved people’s lives. Thankfully those psychologists had not believed the old feline cliché when they were young.

5. Neurogenesis.

Neurogenesis is the stimulation of brain growth. It is the process by which neurons are generated from neural stem cells and progenitor cells. Most of this neural activity happens during pre-natal development, but we also know that it continues to happen throughout the lifespan. It is now a well-established phenomenon and we often hear about it in the context of brain training software used for older adults who may be experiencing some level of cognitive decline or for anyone who simply wants to increase their IQ. Indeed there is much evidence supporting the efficacy of brain training interventions in studies examining its effects on stroke recovery and management of dementia in the elderly (e.g., Smith et al., 2009).  Some of the intellectual skills improved by such training are very important foundational skills like memory and attention that had perhaps been quite well developed at an earlier time in the person’s life (see also Ball et al. 2002). The important point here is that the stimulation of specific brain regions through brain training supports ongoing growth and development in areas of the brain which are important for intellectual pursuits.

6. Brain Training has been shown to improve intelligence.

In a groundbreaking 2011 study conducted at the University of Michigan, and widely reported in the media, Susan Jaeggi, John Jonides and colleagues reported improvements in one aspect of intelligence known as fluid intelligence that the researchers achieved for their research volunteers by having them engage regularly in a brain training task known as the n-back procedure. Another research study conducted in Ireland (Cassidy, Roche & Hayes, 2011) reported significant IQ rises as a result of an intensive computerized “relational skills” brain training program. These large IQ increases were maintained 4 years later without any further intervention (see Roche, Cassidy & Stewart, 2013). Both of these studies moved people’s intellectual ability well beyond its assumed limits- without any disastrous consequences for anyone!  (For more research in this area visit this brain training science). So it appears that there may indeed be no real limit to our ability to develop our minds. This kind of research pushes the boundaries of what many experimental psychologists and brain scientists thought were the limits of learning.

7. Curiosity can help us to lead more fulfilling lives.

Our brain is naturally curious and as I have argued, it cannot fill up because it is infinitely “malleable” or “plastic”, like play dough. Learning never stops, and we continue to learn and develop across the whole lifespan. One of the key ingredients to keeping that development on an upward trajectory is to nurture your native curiosity. The Psychologist Todd Kashdan wrote a whole book on the topic called The Curiosity Advantage, in which he presents the evidence that our brains are infinitely expandable, and that curious people lead more fulfilling lives. Kashdan is not talking merely about healthy cognitive development, but extols the virtues of curiosity for our mental health and our emotional well-being, too. And here is an important paradox he outlined. Too many of us have been sold on the idea that enjoying ourselves and being happy is the only, or most important, goal in life. But, instead of chasing happiness, Kashdan outlines the evidence that we should focus on trying to create a rich and meaningful life, guided by core values and interests. We can do this by chasing up the things that make us curious in every area of life.

According to Kashdan, “The greatest advantage of curiosity is that by spending time with the new, increased neurological connections are made possible. Facts and experiences are synthesised into a web, paving the way for greater intelligence and wisdom. We become more efficient when making future decisions. We become better at visualising the relativity of seemingly disparate ideas, paving the way for greater creativity.  It is the neurological equivalent of personal growth. New pathways in the brain are inevitable when you seek out new information and experiences and integrate them into the previously known.”  (p. 57).

8. Being curious increases our “flow”.

Kashdan’s ideas fit perfectly with what neuroscientists have been telling us about keeping our environments “stimulating”.  But Kashdan adds the important advice that by being fully engaged with life, we also derive more happiness from it – as a pleasant by-product. Positive psychologists call this state of total immersion in whatever fulfils you “flow”. The concept of flow was the brainchild of Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi, (1990) who used it to refer to a genuinely satisfying state of consciousness, which is the optimal human experience. You are in a state of “flow” when you are so deeply and effortlessly involved in what you are doing that you forget all else. Flow activities challenge you and engage you with all your senses and all your being. Flow activities are not necessarily enjoyable when you are doing them (e.g., competing in a swimming competition or staying up all night studying) because they really and truly push you to your limits, but the sense of accomplishment you gain from doing them is what leads to you feeling so happy and so positive about the experience in the aftermath.

So being curious is about being engaged with your environment in a deep and meaningful way. It is about chasing the things that interest and stimulate us. It is about doing these things to the best of our abilities. Being curious is not about being nosy or getting involved in other people’s business. Being curious is about increasing our quality of life in all domains. Being curious is a good thing. In fact, it is a great thing.

Doctor Sarah Cassidy

Dr. Sarah Cassidy is an educational psychologist, behaviour therapist and mother of three. She provides assessment/treatment for children with learning and emotional/behavioural difficulties in school systems and in private practice. She lectures in educational psychology, child development and early childhood education at National University of Ireland. She is a professional member of the American Psychological Association, the National Educational Psychological Service and founder /Chief Education Officer at RaiseYourIQ.

Increase Intelligence For Higher IQ?

People can and do increase intelligence to achieve a higher IQ. Let us start with what the word “intelligence” means. When the psychologists at RaiseYourIQ  talk about intelligence, they are about increasing a persons fluid intelligence, or a persons capicity to learn new information, retain it, then use that new knowledge as a foundation to solve the next problem, and learn the next new skill.

IQ or intelligence was once believed to be constant, fixed for life, today main stream science (do a Google search for “Relational Frame Theory”) has now accepted the ability for each of us to readily improve the fitness and power level in our brains.

Why increase my intelligence or IQ?.

A persons Intelligence is defined at the ability to learn, understand and make judgments or have opinions that are based on reason. Being intelligent means having the ability to acquire and use knowledge for solving problems and adapting to the world. IQ is simply the unit of measure for expressing the results of intelligence tests. Specifically, IQ is the ratio of a subject’s mental age (as determined by their performance on an intelligence scale) and chronological age.

There are many types of intelligence, but only standard IQ predicts your success at school and in work. In fact people with higher IQ scores complete more years in school and have higher status jobs. Recent research has also found that people with higher IQs are also happier and healthier. While you do not need to have a high IQ for its own sake, improving your intellectual ability will help you deal more effectively with school and work challenges, as well as make decisions and solve everyday problems more easily.

So to make the most of the intelligence we all have, improving our memory with a brain training tool will help this significantly, think of it like using the very best and latest parts to help a machine to perform at its peak.