IQ and your Brain

IQ and your Brain

Like an unbreakable bond, IQ and your brain are inseparable. For some, learning seems innate; mathematics seems effortless. But for many of us, it is a different story. So, can we improve our own IQ.

The debate has been raging for centuries; is intelligence innate or can it be improved by interventions? Are we born with the necessary intelligence for learning and success or is our environment responsible for shaping us? Can we, in fact, shape our own cognitive ability?

Many people believe that our intelligence levels are limited by biology on IQ and memory. While other psychologists have shown that IQ can be raised (see Cassidy, Roche & Hayes, 2011) leading to permanent increases in IQ (Roche, Cassidy &Stewart, 2013). Note: Cassidy and Roche are co-founders of RaiseYourIQ.

There can be different meanings to what we term intelligence. There is our “biological intelligence” (also known as neural efficiency. Then we have “psychometric intelligence” which is our measured IQ score (a method of estimating our biological intelligence).

The question is can we increase our biological intelligence? The research carried out in the past decade using various intervention tools (aka, brain training) have proven that it is possible for us to boost our neural efficiency and mental horsepower. Our cognitive ability can be made to work more efficiently. and in a more synchronized manner.

More research from Jaeggi (2008) showed that intellectual functioning could be improved. So, do these studies show us that our IQ score is no longer a number that limits our ability to grow. Interestingly, some of the greatest scientific minds of recent times possessed IQs below what we would call highly intelligent. People such as Richard Feynman, James Watson and William Shockley all had average IQs.

Another point worth making is that to measure improvement in IQ also requires us to consider how our intelligence is being measured in the first place. We should not confuse ability with knowledge. Any of us can study and improve our vocabulary. But does that make us smarter? To really measure intelligence, we need to measure the abilities that underlie the acquisition of knowledge, not the knowledge we current process.

“High, but not the highest intelligence, combined with the greatest degree of persistence, will achieve greater eminence than the highest degree of intelligence with somewhat less persistence”

Other psychologists have discovered that there is a strong link between what they term “relational skills” and IQ scores (O’Hora, Pelaez & Barnes-Holmes; 2005, O’Toole & Barnes-Holmes;2009, Cassidy, Roche & Hayes; 2011, Roche, Cassidy & Stewart; 2013). They showed that these relational skills can be taught which in turn triggers an increase in IQ scores.

What does relational skills have to do with IQ?

The psychologist mentioned above state that “relational skills are the understanding of mathematical relationships between concepts or objects such as things are the same as other things, more or less than other things, opposite to other things etc” The proved that having a strong handle on the relationships between and among other things has been shown to enhance thinking and problem solving skills. Relational skills are now referred to as the building blocks of intelligence by psychologists in the field of Relational Frame Theory.

Research from 2011 has shown that using Relational Frame Theory as an intervention can significantly improve IQ scores in children. A more recent study using this intervention also found improvements in IQ, verbal reasoning, and numeric reasoning.

Activities that involve relational training include:

  • language learning books (“this is a…” and “that is a…”)
  • object comparisons (full cup versus empty cup)
  • amount comparisons (penny versus dime)

“While we may continue to use the words smart and stupid, the monopoly of those who believe in a single general intelligence has come to an end

A study aimed to replicate and extend the pilot findings of Cassidy et al. (2011) which found that teaching children to derive various relations among stimuli leads to increases in the full scale IQ scores of both typically developing children and those with educational and learning difficulties. In the first experiment , fifteen 11–12 year old children were exposed over several months to an intensive training intervention to improve their understanding of the relations Same, Opposite and More and Less. Significant increases in full scale IQ of around one standard deviation were recorded for each child. In the second experiment, the same intervention was delivered to thirty 15–17 year old children. Significant increases in verbal and Numerical Reasoning were recorded for almost every child. These findings corroborate the idea that relational skills may underlie many forms of general cognitive ability.

IQ and our Mindset

Scientists now believe that our mindset matters not just on an emotional level, but also on a physiological level. The fact that we believe we can improve our learning capability will enhance our performance in any learning environment. Persisting with tasks even when they are difficult will help us complete them. We have evidence of this in business and sport. The ability of those who are less gifted technically, working harder to achieve higher results. As one psychologist put it “when the chips are down, the person or kid who works harder will help themselves to deliver the results.”

This mindset is about getting outside of our comfort zones in a focused way, having clear goals, with a plan for reaching those goals, and a way to monitor our progress. Research shows that we can increase our brain’s functioning by pushing ourselves to learn things that are outside of our current skill set.  Learn to play an instrument, a new language, or a new skill. This has the effect of exercising our brain in a new way which expands our brain’s neural networks.

Also, as some of our abilities such as fluid reasoning, crystallized intelligence or verbal abilities are more stable over time, others are less stable as in short-term memory and cognitive processing speed. So, working our brain or doing brain exercises can increase brain functioning.

IQ and our Brain

More and more evidence based, and scientifically validated research seems to point to the fact that it is possible for us to raise our intelligence levels through brain training activities.Memory training, executive control, and reasoning can help to boost our intelligence levels. The best way to train these areas of our brain is to engage in thoughtful activities and games, learn new skills, and keep our brains active.

Source: IQ and your Brain

The science behind brain training

The science and scientific evidence supporting brain training from RaiseYourIQ

Source: The science behind brain training

The Science behind SMART Intellectual Skills Training

Dr. Bryan Roche and Dr. Sarah Cassidy have worked as scientists for many years in the development of the SMART brain training method. The RaiseYourIQ approach to brain health is based on Relational Frame Theory – a modern theory of cognition that our team has helped to develop over the past two decades. Dr. Roche was the co-editor of the two seminal texts on this theory. Dr. Cassidy was the leading researcher behind the first demonstration of IQ gains resulting from relational skills training.

RaiseYourIQ offers the only brain training system in the world that is based on tried and tested systems of intellectual skills interventions used in the clinical setting (for example the methods of Applied Behaviour Analysis), and that has been shown in published scientific research to lead to real, large, and objectively measurable gains in general intelligence (IQ). No other method benefits from even a single study, showing large and reliable IQ gains as a result of training.

Our SMART system has achieved the holy grail of brain training across several different published studies. That is, we have achieved what scientists call evidence of “far transfer”. This means that increased scores on an IQ test have been proven to result from training on skills that are not directly assessed on the IQ test. In other words, the benefits of our SMART training have been proven to transfer far into intellectual areas that we do not train directly in our system but which are assessed in general intelligence tests (e.g., vocabulary, verbal comprehension, analogical reasoning, numeracy, and so on). This makes SMART training truly unique and revolutionary in its approach to intellectual skills enhancement.

Some of the other tools that we have made available here to schools or clinics (SMART for Dyslexia, KidStarter, FAST emotional flexibility training) are also based on Relational Frame Theory concepts, or on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) methods, which are heavily conceptualized in terms of Relational Frame Theory.

The SMART Brain Training course from RaiseYourIQ is developed and run by education leaders and published psychologists. The founders of RaiseYourIQ are Dr. Bryan Roche and Dr. Sarah Cassidy who have used scientific evidence gathered from over 10 years university research to create this online brain training platform. Numerous published studies have proven that the better your relational skills, the higher your IQ will be. Several other published studies have shown how we can best teach relational skills. Published experiments have also shown that relational skills training like SMART brain training are followed by very significant increases in IQ (at least 10 points) that last for several years. These sorts of IQ rises are enough for a slow learner to be re-classified as normal, or for a normal individual to be reclassified as above normal.

brain training does work

Brain training does work and the team behind RaiseYourIQ has the scientific evidence to prove it. Brain training can boost learning, cognitive development and improve IQ.

Source: brain training does work

Brain training does work despite the volume of uneducated articles you may read on so called lifestyle websites. Brain training is a science, not some developers creating some nice games with graphics. While some of fun, they have zero scientific evidence or research they work or are even beneficial.

So, here are RaiseYourIQ, we will continue our mission to provide published, scientific proof that brain train based on the science of Relational Frame Theory does work to increase a child’s or adults IQ. In fact, RaiseYourIQ is the ONLY brain training which has been created following years of scientific studies by the co-founders of the company, Dr. Bryan Roche and Dr. Sarah Cassidy. If anyone would like to know more about how brain training can better equip the ability to learn, then either Dr. Roche or Dr. Cassidy will be delighted to answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to reach out to us directly via this site or any of our social media channels.

Brain Training Evidence

One such scientific paper that the co-founders of RaiseYourIQ produced along with other academic colleagues, published in the journal “Learning and Individual Differences” ,Brain Training Science shows that significant increases in overall intelligence, of 28 points on average, can be produced by undertaking online relational skills training or brain training as it’s commonly known. In fact, the research showed that significant improvements in overall educational aptitude can be achieved by the user in a few months of practising these relational skills.

We continue in our mission to provide scientific evidence that a Relational Frame Theory (RFT) approach to a person’s intellectual development holds the key to a functional approach to brain training. Our research into RFT has identified a series of basic building blocks of intellectual development, which center around the ability of someone to understand complex inter-relations among stimuli.

Brain Training in Action

A good example of these building blocks is that if we understand that if something is opposite to two other things, then those two things must be the same as each other. This calculation involves a relation skill. Another example to this is if one object is worth more than another, the second one is worth less than the first. The belief that these types of skills do not just underlie intelligence, but actualy constitute it, is core to RFT. We call this a modern behavioral approach, however it sits well with more mainstream cognitive assessment approaches.

Brain Training Research

The reality is that most people and children are relatively proficient in basic relational skills. However, many people are quite deficient in solving the more complex relational problems. To address this deficiency, we created our online brain training system and called it SMART training (Strengthening Mental Abilities with Relational Training). This system was developed by Relational Frame Theory researchers (psychologists to you and me) at Maynooth University in Ireland. Another piece of study by Dr. Cassidy et al. was the second such study to be published by the Maynooth University team to show that SMART training can increase general intelligence as measured by standardized IQ tests, such as the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC). In fact, this second study provided new additional evidence that scholastic ability, as measured by a gold standard aptitude test known as the Differential Aptitude Test (DATs), also increases as a result of SMART brain training or “intellectual skills training” to give its proper medical name.

We documented in previous research that a person’s IQ increase cannot be easily accounted for by practice at the IQ test, because the IQ test was administered only twice, with several month intervals between administrations. Furthermore, IQ rises due to practice are usually very small compared to the rises reported in this latest study. Further still, the training administered to the sample of 11-12-year-old children employed in Experiment 1 of this study, was dissimilar to an IQ test. The same applies to the DATs aptitude test. This was administered only twice, and the increases in scores observed for numerical and verbal reasoning far outstripped the increases expected by practice at the test itself.

It is important to note that the online relational skills training did not in any way teach the items on the DATs test. This was the second SMART study to achieve what critics of “brain training” treat as the benchmark for acceptable brain training; the transfer of skills from the training to other tasks. In this regard the Cassidy study provides more evidence that brain training can work to enhance essential intellectual skills, at least if it focuses on relational skills, or what RFT researchers call Arbitrarily Applicable Relational Responding.


Brain Training Evidence

One of the more common criticisms of brain training programs is that while it can improve the cognitive skills needed to complete the training, any benefits will have no practical relevance to a person’s daily life. In one study, however, a sample of thirty 14 to 15-year-old kids were tracked across several months of online training. This was completed 2-3 times a week for approx. 30-45 minutes. The evidence proved that practice at relational skills, increased their numerical and verbal reasoning abilities, as measured by the DATs (administered and scored by independent third parties) by a significant degree.

These numerical indices were then used by educators to assess a child’s overall “educational aptitude”, which is the child’s ability to perform well in school across the board. By finding a significant increase in learning ability, the current study suggests that SMART brain training can make a real and measurable difference to the education of a child. While more evidence is always required when such promising results are reported by any new Brain training method, the case is mounting that a relational frame theory approach to intellectual development may indeed have identified some basic building blocks of intelligence, once thought to be an unchangeable trait.

We are not suggesting that brain training games is the answer to improving everyone’s learning ability or to raise their IQ, however our scientific research goes a long way to proving that brain training does work.

Online Brain Training

Online brain training is the scientific way to improve cognitive abilities and make the brain fitter, brain training also improves working memory and fluid intelligence. In a digital world, information or data loading from multiple streams and a longer life expectancy can expose the brain to more demands than ever before. Meanwhile in the education system, there is a lack of effort helping kids how to learn and acquire knowledge easier.


Online brain training as part of a weekly routine can raise memory retention, increase IQ, and help the brain focus better, develop fluid intelligence skills and improve the brains processing speed. This is the real world benefits experienced by tens of thousands of people who are serious about improving their intellectual capacity.

Smart Brain Training from RaiseYourIQ is the only scientifically proven brain training game to raise IQ by 20-30 points while also helping people to think faster, focus better, and remember more with as little as two 20 minutes sessions per week. Smart brain training with over 70 brain exercises in 3 modules has been developed by psychologists and is a clinically proven brain training course that improves the brains cognitive ability. It is easy for anyone, child or adult to challenge the brain a few times week with a series of brain games and exercises designed by neuroscientists to exercise memory, attention and cognitive functions.

RaiseYourIQ have the best free online brain training exercises plus FREE bonus brain training games included with every account. First is our “N-back Brain Training” this brain game is great for improving fluid intelligence. Next a user can play our “Brain Speed” game which is ideal for thinking on your feet. Also free is “Brain agility” which has been designed to improve multi-tasking. The fourth free brain training game is “Brain Memory” which is perfect for memory enhancement.

Science and educational psychologists now promote online brain training for the real-life benefits clinical studies have shown that brain training improves IQ and general intelligence. Brain training online does take work and discipline to have a sharper, smarter and fitter brain, for example at RaiseYourIQ we see most IQ and intellectual gains from users doing two sessions of forty minutes duration twice a week. This can be scheduled into any person’s routine and within three short months, most people see IQ gains of between 20-30 points with others seeing as much as a 50 point IQ gain.

So brain training online will not just help a brain to become fitter, it also raises IQ and fluid intelligence where the benefits can be seen in school, tests, business and working memory situations.

Can Brain Training Work for Seniors

Can brain training work for seniors or people advancing in age?. Research seems to now prove that brain training or some form of cognitive training can benefit seniors, the elderly and adults to improve the brains functions. As any doctor wil point out, the brain will deteriorate as we age, and the process of ageing can begin as early as mid-adulthood. Today, senior people are alert to the fact that they need to take care with their mental health to reduce the risk of cognitive diseases such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.


No matter what age or stage of life, people never stop learning and the brain never stops processing information. In recent published articles from a study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) it was found that brain training conducted by older adults had positive effects on the brain that could last for ten years. Science has demonstrated that keeping the brain active as people age can be beneficial not just for cognitive functioing but to overall health aswell.

Brain training exercises need not be stressful for older people says RaiseYourIQ founder Doctor Bryan Roche, an author and who also lectures in “Interventions to enhance intellectual skills” at NUIM University. Doctor Roche’s support for brain training is backed up by his research interest in the experimental analysis of complex human behavior and in particular in the analysis of language and cognitive processes vis-à-vis Relational Frame Theory (RFT).  He employs the concepts of Relational Frame Theory in social psychological research into implicit testing the development of teaching protocols to enhance general cognitive functioning

Brain training and cognitive training should help seniors and adults to continue to learn and enhance the brains ability to processes information. These “relational brain training skills” teaches a range of crucial relational skills that help to sharpen intellectual and cognitive ability in people of any age. When these skills are improved, the scientific research suggests, all intellectual tasks come easier. It can help seniors and adults make sense of new information the mind encounters while also helping people to think more clearly.

Research being carried out at Johns Hopkins University, Baylor College of Medicine, and NUIM University along with other universities into brain training science for seniors and adults is shattering the myth that seniors, and older people, can’t learn new information. The real life benefits into cognitive training is that people who participate in brain training exercises report they have an easier time with daily activities such as managing medications, cooking meals or handling financial matters. The brain training programs they interact with are focused on teaching strategies to improve cognitive performance, like memory training to teach seniors how to remember names or lists or reasoning training to help older people recognize number sequences.

Brain training for seniors has become an important part of mental and life wellbeing. Other studies have shown that seniors who are cognitively active are 2.6 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia than those who are not. This is not a scare statistic but one that might encourage older adults to consider taking some time in their weekly routine to sharpen the cognitive skills.

As people age, there is a tendency to concentrate on diet like eating healthier food and doing light physical exercises to be in shape however scientists point out that some amount of brain activity is also needed for a more complete lifestyle that supports the ageing process. Brain training is not time demanding, in fact just spending 20 to 30 minutes a day on playing brain games to keep the brain active and agile will see changes that last a decade. Brain training for seniors will be a habit that sees them stay sharp for a longer time leading to a longer self-reliable life.

Brain Games – Science or Fiction?

Are brain games based on science or fiction?. Brain games should be designed to provide some benefit to the user that is meaningful in helping the brain along lifes journey. However a quick Google search will reveal sites with strap lines like “Give your brain a workout” or “Games that sharpen your mind”, strap lines that have little scientific evidence or academic research to support any boosts. The term “brain games” has been hijacked by software gaming companies hoping to sell thousands of apps leaving the real science based brain health companies wondering should they jump on the bandwagon. Maybe they could use punch lines like “Brain training helps you use 90% of your brain power”.


It would be funny except brain training and brain games have huge real world brain health benefits for kids and adults to raise IQ, address learning difficulties and improve intellectual capabilities. People whether kids or adults who turn to brain games, do so in the vast majority of cases to improve their learning ability or remedy some intellectual skills. They will also be paying in the belief that this will help them for school or business. Brain games companies will happily take their money knowing apart for some fun games users will extract little or none real life or learning improvement as there is no science, no research, and no credibility.

Some brain games companies just copy or quote a few lines of research from a psychologist on brain training or cognitive health to try and gain customers trust. Then they just create some quirky games that might amuse but can never amount to anything else. People should be asking, can brain games really help improve my intelligence, what method and research has gone into a company’s brain products, has the brain game company any published research or clinical trials to support their business model. Brain games are part and parcel of cognitive health and psychology. Psychologists and scientists cannot just make up wild claims about their services. What sensible person would pay a doctor who told them they could cure them of some disease just by hoping around on one leg while clapping your hands? Well brain games companies who can “sharpen your mind” will gladly take your money based on similar claims.

Don’t misunderstand the point here, marketing and messaging a product is important, every brain training solution has a right to inform a potential customer the benefits of their product and it is all part of the packaging which consumers love. This article is all about asking customers, schools, educators or psychologists, who want to use a brain game to look under the hood, educate themselves on the real science and research going into brain health, is it a gaming company with a brain game product or a scientific based company with brain games.

To nail our colors to the mast, RaiseYourIQ (and we are not the only ones) are on the side of science. Why, well simply we are first and foremost educational psychologists who have dedicated over 10 years research into intellectual skills training using “relational frame theory” at NUIM University. The outcome which is we have devised a scientifically proven method to raise IQ and intelligence based on relational skills training which we called SMART. We have not copied, borrowed or just quoted this SMART brain training method, we created it, completed the research (and is still on-going today), done clinical trials, published articles in scientific journals and we even wrote a book on it.

The power of brain games within schools, education and business to improve intellectual skills and remedy learning difficulties is too big, too serious, and too important to be left to some large gaming companies who wish the science would go away. Only people can decide, brain games or game based intellectual brain skills training.

IQ Tests

IQ tests and the testing of intelligence levels was devised by French psychologists in the early 1900s to help describe differences in how well and quickly children learn at school. Defined loosely, intelligence refers to our ability to learn quickly and adapt to new situations. IQ tests measure vocabulary, ability to problem-solve, reason logically and so on. IQ scores were only interesting because it was thought that IQ was fixed for life.

The standard IQ tests used by clinical psychologists for diagnostic purposes, such as the Weschler scale, are designed in such a way that it is not easy to prepare for them. The contents are kept surprisingly secret and they are changed regularly. The score given for an individual is a relative one, adjusted based on the performance of people of the same age.


But even as we become better educated and more skillful at the types of tasks measured on IQ tests (a phenomenon known as the “Flynn effect”, after James Fylnn who first noted it) our IQs stay pretty much the same. This is because the IQ scoring system takes into account the amount of improvement expected over time, and then discounts it. This type of score is called a “standardised score” – it hides your true score and merely represents your standing in relation to your peers who have also been getting smarter at about the same rate.

This apparent stability in IQ scores makes intelligence look relatively constant, whereas in fact we are all becoming more intelligent across and within our lifetimes. The IQ test and the IQ scoring system are constantly adjusted to ensure that the average IQ remains at 100, despite a well-noted increase in intellectual ability worldwide.

The idea that a kids or adults IQ is fixed for life is built into the questionable politics of IQ testing. The most serious consequence of this is the use of IQ tests to blame educational difficulties on students rather than on teaching systems. But it is the job of psychologists to find better ways to teach, not to find better ways to justify the poor performance of students. This particular use of IQ tests has caused one leader in the field of intelligence research, Robert Sternberg, to refer to IQ testing as “negative psychology” in a 2008 article.

IQ Can Be Improved

Those who still beleive that IQ is fixed for life have managed to ignore decades of published research in the field of applied behaviour analysis. This has reported very large IQ gains in children with autism who have been exposed to early intensive behavioural interventions once they have been diagnosed with learning difficulties. Another 2009 Norwegian study examined the effects of an increase in the duration of compulsory schooling in Norway in the 1960s which lengthened the time in education for Norwegians by two years. The researchers used records of cognitive ability taken by the military to calculate the IQ of each individual in the study. They found that IQ had increased by 3.7 points for every extra year of education received. More recent studies by John Jonides and his colleagues at the University of Michigan reported improvements in objective measures of intelligence for those who practised a brain-training task called the “n-back task” – a kind of computerised memory test.

As a co-founder of RaiseYourIQ and the SMART brain training course,  Doctor Bryan Roche has conduced his own research, in the field of relational frame theory, which has shown that understanding relations between words, such as “more than”, “less than” or “opposite” is crucial for our intellectual development. One recent pilot study showed that IQ scores can be raised by 20-30 points by training children in relational language skills tasks over a period of months. Again, this finding challenges the idea that intelligence is fixed for life.

Now is the time to dispell the idea that IQ as a trait that cannot be changed. Undoubtedly, there may be some limits to the development of our intellectual skills. But in the short term, the socially responsible thing to do is not to feel bound by those limits, but to help every child work towards and maximize their intellectual ability. Read more science into RaiseYourIQ.

Every Kid Needs Access To Brain Training

Every kid needs access to brain training because schools are not equipped to help students reach their full intellectual potential. As much parents may like to believe it, schools are not perfect places in which to educate a child. While schools do their utmost within constraints to impart the knowledge and skills a child needs to function in the world as an adult, they simply cannot provide the one-to-one attention that a child needs to reach their full intellectual potential. Even if a parent is fortunate enough to afford private schooling of the highest standard, or private tutoring from leading scholars, this still cannot maximize intellectual development for a surprisingly simple reason: those experts don’t know what to teach to make that happen.

While an expensive tutoring company will boast about improvements in school grades, they achieve this only by “teaching to the examination”, whatever that may be; SATs, a University entrance exam, or whatever. In other words, intensive education usually focuses on knowledge content and some basic skills tested directly in examinations. None of this will enhance a child’s overall intellectual ability much. That approach simply does not provide practice at skills basic enough that learning itself becomes easier. And the reason that most education leaves the child knowing more, but not any smarter, is because until now educational psychologists and neuroscientists did not fully understand what skills precisely underlie “being smart”.

The Good News for Every Child Psychology research in a field known as Relational Frame Theory has identified what are known as “relational skills” as the building block skills that underlie intelligence. The good news is that relational skills can be taught to any child through a form of “brain training”, and dozens of published research studies have now shown this, and argue that this is the kind of training every child needs to really maximize their potential in school and in life.

Relational skills brain training teaches a range of crucial relational skills that help to sharpen intellectual ability. When these skills are improved, the research suggests, all intellectual tasks come easier. Relational skills training make you a faster and better learner. It helps new information make more sense, and helps you think more clearly.

Because the school system does not directly teach relational skills, a child can quickly fall behind as they rote learn what is required to do well in school, but without the intellectual skill foundation to make that information meaningful and easy to remember. As a result, they can fall further and further behind over the years, as the effects of their poorly developed basic intellectual skills increase with the increasing demands of education. However, the identification of relational skills as the basic building blocks of intelligence, offers the possibility of re-mediating these deficits in a very efficient way so that educational efforts will be more effective and so that even disadvantaged children can reach their educational potential.

What Does Relational Skills Training Involve and Where can I get it? Currently, relational skills brain training, which is a form of brain training, is only available online at It can be taken by children or adults, and simply requires completing a series of game-like tasks, for a few short sessions each week, for several weeks. The training involves teaching the user how to answer blocks of logical questions, first with feedback, and then on their own without any help. The user is taught by the software how to solve these short logical problems, and is gently guided through increasingly difficult tasks that become increasingly easy for the user to solve.

The method employed at was developed by behavioral psychologists over a decade of laboratory research, and is called SMART (which stands for Strengthening Mental Abilities with Relational Training). SMART teaches the user how to learn and how to think more clearly and logically.

Published research shows that SMART training increases the IQ scores (i.e). the standard measure of our intelligence level) of users by at least 10, and up to around 30 points, which represents a highly significant increase in intellectual ability. It also appears that a high starting intelligence level does not reduce the effects of the training, with intelligent children, becoming even more intelligent. This is because there is no limit to how relationally skilled a user can become. SMART Brain Training For Kids allows infinite improvement because users are encouraged to regularly revise stages of training that they have already mastered, and this helps them become more accurate and faster in solving problems. Even after completion they can continue to train at their own convenience. Our child users typically attain at least a typical adult level of logical reasoning and ability following their training.

SMART brain training targets the foundational intellectual skills that underlie just about everything we do, but specifically the following activities rely heavily on relational skills.

• Using vocabulary
• Understanding word meaning
• Grasping basic and advanced logic
• Remembering information
• Using numbers for mathematics

You can learn more about relational skill brain training here, Brain Training Free where everyone is welcome to sign up for a free trial course.

Brian Health Improvement

The web is full of claims on how to improve brain health or how to train your brain to be sharper. This article is about separating the wheat from the chaff when it comes to dispensing brain health advice. These ten tips on improving brain health for a happier life all have some evidence in their favor. As we work our way down we outline the techniques that are backed up with hard evidence.

 Quit smoking

Not smoking is one of the first steps you can take to improve your brain health. But smoking is not just any old bad habit. One Archives of Internal Medicine study published in 2010 followed 21,123 smokers from 1978 to 2008. Those people who smoked more than two packets of cigarettes a day had twice the rate of dementia when they were older. This was true even when the researchers accounted for other factors that could explain the results, such as education level, race, age, diabetes, heart disease and substance abuse. Those who smoked between half and one pack a day had a 44% increased risk of developing dementia.   Even the lowest level of smoker had a 37% increased risk.   The good news is that those people in the study how used to smoke, but had stopped, had no increased risk of dementia and had normal brain functioning into old age.

 Have good relationships

One particular form of memory that we practice in relationships of all kinds is known as “transactive” memory – a concept first developed by psychologist Daniel Wegner in 1985. This is a form of memory in which we become expert in one particular type of information and often have sole responsibility for it. For example, at a party your spouse may be excellent at remembering someone’s job and taste in music once she is introduced, but she may be close to useless at remembering faces and names and even if she has met someone before. So couples often work as a team, with each being relied upon to be expert in their area of talent. While each partner may struggle without the other, together they appear to have no problems at all remembering anything in social situations. And so each partner benefits from the relationship in never feeling forgetful in social situations.

 And it turns out that the more diverse your friends are in type, the more they challenge you to think creatively. They provide you with information you would not normally have and they give you different perspectives on everything. Your friends figuratively keep your mind open.

 Think positive

There is a well-known effect in the psychology of education referred to as the “Pygmalion effect” (after the Greek myth Pygmalion) whereby teachers, often unknowingly, expect more of particular children, who then in turn strive to meet those expectations. This effect is so well known that is referred to by psychologists as the Rosenthal-Jacobsen 1968 finding after the two psychologists who first discovered it.

 In other words, if we set high standards for ourselves and are helped believe achieving them is possible, they become possible. On the other hand, children who are made to feel that there is little point in them trying to give up easily and do not reach their potential.

 In one study, psychologists taught members of an educationally disadvantaged community to believe that it is possible to become more intelligent. The children from that group showed improved mathematical ability compared to a comparable group of children who were not encouraged to raise their expectations of what is possible. So positive attitude counts.

 Get good quality Sleep

The brain does not shut off when we are asleep. There is a lot of work going on while you sleep and much of it involves consolidating the learning that took place during the day (see work by Walker, Stickgold, Alsop, Gaab, & Schlaug, 2005). Psychologists have long understood that our dreams, for example, are really just a reflection of all the work our brains are doing trying to make sense of all the information we have been taking in but have not yet fully interpreted and made sense of. So if this is true, you can solve problems and make of sense of things by “sleeping on it”. On the other hand, if you do not sleep properly, you can lose the benefit of your learning experiences. You also will not learn as well the following day. Adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night to benefit fully and perform at their cognitive peak each day. However, this method of keeping your mind sharp only makes number seven because there are now some scientific doubts about the importance of what is known as “sleep consolidation” (see work by Vertes in the journal Neuron, 2004).

 Eat Well

There are quite a range of food ingredients that are good for your brain and no end of marketing experts who will try to sell you the extracted ingredient in pill form or added to yoghurt. But the truth is that many food components can increase our mental functioning. Ginko Bilboa (extracted from the Ginko tree) has good effects on memory. Vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, some berries, and the omega 3 oils found in oily fish (and some grains) appear to improve memory and overall brain function, as do green teas and protein in general.   Protein, which we take in through meat, eggs and beans and peas (pulses) contain high levels of amino acids, such as tyrosine, which in turn cause neurons to produce the very important neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine, which are associated with mental alertness.

 The evidence is getting clearer on the effects of healthy diet and breast-feeding for an increased IQ.  Mothers who breast feed their babies for more than just a few weeks provide them with essential Omega 3 fatty acids that are generally not available in baby formula.  The same essential oils are also found in fresh fish, so kids fed plenty of fresh food and grains, including fresh fish from as early as possible, have higher IQs than kids fed on formula and processed food. Perhaps the best evidence for this comes for a gold standard Randomized Controlled Trial study published in the Journal Pediatrics by Helland, Smith, Saarem, Saugstad, & Drevon in 2003. That study compared the IQs of children fed on Omega-3 enhanced milk formula compared to those who were not. The researchers found that the IQs of the Omega-3 fed children were several points higher at four years of age – long after milk feeding had stopped.

 A child’s IQ is also helped by the diet of the mother, especially in the last trimester. If the mother eats a healthy diet high in omega 3 oils AND feeds her infant well, that infant will gain several IQ points that will last a lifetime. A mother and infant diet based on processed meals and processed foods like fizzy drinks, cheap breads and cakes, will actually reduce your child’s IQ below its expected level.


In recent years psychologists have become more interested in some ancient wisdom around mindfulness and mediation. Some impressive evidence has sated to come in that these practices improve our physical and mental health. Meditation techniques vary widely, but they all have in common some form of stillness, focus on breathing, and achieving calm.

 Research is showing that mediation improves concentration and memory.   Studies have also tracked the growth in important brain areas associated with intelligent thinking over time as research participants practiced meditation. In one study published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience Professor Eileen Luders of UCLA reported that long-term meditators were found to have larger amounts of gyrification or “folding” of the brain cortex. The researchers did not prove it directly, but this process should allow the brain to process information faster and more efficiently. Another study by the same researchers and published in the Journal Neuroimage in 2009 found that those of us who meditate have more cell density in the hippocampus (associated with memory) and frontal lobes (associated with forward planning and control of behavior).

 Stress prevents good learning and it is designed to do so. The stress response prioritizes immediate information and actually shortens attention span. However, in order to think intelligently we need to think more broadly, and in a considered way. This is not possible when we are stressed. So mediation can help us to calm the mind, and so increase our ability to attend to each learning experience fully.   Some studies also appear to who that extended practice can even raise our general intelligence.

 Stay Physically healthy

It has come as a surprise to psychologists over the past decades that physical exercise is a sort of miracle cure or “panacea” for a wide range of physical, emotional and now intellectual problems. Exercise is free and there are no side effects. Physical exercise increases your blood flow, which in turn increases the amount of oxygen and glucose your brain is receiving. Exercise also generally involves physical coordination, and so your brain also gets a workout as it coordinates all of that complicated physical activity.

 Exercise helps with the growth of new brain cells (neurons) and the connections between brain cells (neurogenesis) by promoting the production of three essential “growth factors”, called brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), insulin-like growth factors (IGF-1), and endothelial growth factor (VEGF). These factors also minimize inflammation, grow new blood vessels, and slow down cell self-destruction. A good workout can also awaken dormant stem cells in the hippocampus, a part of the mid brain that controls our memory system.Some research seems to suggest that their may be genuine intellectual benefits to exercise in terms of IQ gains.

 Stay mental activity from a young age.


The more conversations you have with your child, the more intelligent they will be.  Simple games involving naming objects and solving little puzzles together, making learning a social as well as an educational matter, improves your child’s IQ. Talking to your child increases their vocabulary and that is really important for their general intelligence levels. Talk to your child interactively as much as possible.  Make sure to ask open-ended questions, and show interest in the answer. Ask more questions and encourage the child to elaborate. Telling stories is very good for a child’s intellectual development, as very well documented in the text What reading does for the mind by Cunningham & Stanovich (1998).

 You can raise your child’s IQ by 6 points by simply doing this over a few years when they are young. However, the evidence suggests it may be too late by age four, so start early.

 Kids whose parents read to them most days have higher IQs.  The key, however, to an increased IQ is not just to read – but to read interactively to a child.  That means that you should use an interesting and varying tone of voice, showing lots of relevant emotion as you read.  Look for signs of interest or reactions in the child and ask them questions as you go, making sure the child understands what is being read.  For example, you could stop and ask; “what do you think happens next’? You can also check to see if they can tell you the meaning of a word, or you can provide one for them. This makes reading a fun social activity and this is where the real IQ boost comes from.  This is probably the simplest and most important thing you can do for your child and it is why TV and audio stories played from CDs or computers just will not do the trick! It turns out that kids need their parents!

 But don’t worry if you were never read to as a child. Exercising the brain and keeping mentally active is always a good idea. Fun activities like crosswords, Sudoku or whatever teases your gray matter, has long been suspected by neuroscientists to help improve your cognitive ability.  Even struggling to understand a map, or a badly written flat-pack furniture assembly guide will exercise your spatial and reasoning abilities. One of the simplest things you can do to make your brain sweat is to try to understand points of views that you do not agree with. Open your mind and listen to arguments that make no sense to you – and try to find some sense in them.

 Extend your education

 Many countries have early intervention programs (such as HEAD START, in the USA) to provide intensive early education to children at risk.  They really work for school work – but have not really been shown to improve a child’s general intellectual ability. The main benefit of these programs seems to be that they provide a rich stimulating environment for the child and intensify their educational experience. We can all do the same thing for ourselves and our kids by actively embracing problem-solving and learning every day. Take courses.   Learn that second language. Read that heavy book your were avoiding. Even older children appear to show IQ gains if their environment becomes more stimulating and challenging.

 The idea that our intelligence (or IQ score) is fixed for life is a controversial one, but evidence in support of this is weakening in light of several recent studies. One such study was recently published by Norwegian scientists Christian N. Brinch and Taryn Ann Galloway. They got around the problem of trying to separate the effect of education on IQ from the possibility that more intelligent people simply choose to have more education. Their study involved examining the effects of an increase in the duration of compulsory schooling in Norway in the 1960s. This change extended the minimum time in education for all Norwegians from 7 to 9 years. The authors cleverly hypothesized that the IQs of people who experienced this extra mandatory education should have increased by the time they reached adulthood.

 The researchers had access to excellent records of cognitive ability taken by the military for all eligible males at age 19 and they used these to calculate the IQ of each individual in the study. This allowed them to show that IQ had risen by 0.6 of a point on average for all Norwegian males over the period of study, but had risen by 3.7 points for every extra year of education received. These findings provide very strong support for the ideas that education can increase IQ, but also that even those who are required to receive extra education will benefit from it.


 Brain Training

Psychologists have known for quite some time that fundamental cognitive skills (for example the speed at which you process information) are fairly stable throughout our life and while we can often do more with what we have got, it’s not so easy to improve your basic cognitive skill levels, at least until recently. Now the latest player on the self-improvement scene is brain training, with all its neuroscientific gravitas and promises of genuine improvements to our fundamental cognitive skills, such as working memory and decision-making speed.

Online Brain training usually is delivered in the form of entertaining games designed to stimulate important areas of the brain associated with basic cognitive activity. Practice at these tasks lead to real changes in the cell density of those areas (neurogenesis). The idea is that we can literally boost our brains with the correct types of mental exercises. Because psychologists now know quite a bit (although not enough) about what brain areas are involved in what types of skills, they can devise exercises to target those precise areas so that, at least in theory, we can all become more agile thinkers, have more creative insights and reason more logically.

 No doubt the field has become cluttered with all manner of charlatan riding the exciting new wave of interest in what is called “Cognitive training” by psychologists. The media have made the lack of evidence for the merits of brain training a recurring theme in their pop science supplements. And it is true that many brain training companies make over-stretched claims that have even the most optimistic psychologists raising their eye-brows and cringing in discomfort. But that should not take from the basic fact that we are as certain as we ever are in psychological science that a stimulated brain develops more fully and quickly than an under stimulated one. We are also as sure as we can reasonably be that brain cell connections really do grow in response to stimulation and that stimulated brain areas are measurably better developed as a result. We are less sure that we can actually become more intelligent, insightful, and creative in our thinking as a result of brain training although all the evidence and theory points in the right direction. Some very high profile research published by Professor Susan Jaegii and colleagues has led to a high degree of confidence among psychologists that a task known as the dual N-back task can indeed raise at least one important dimension of intelligence, known as fluid intelligence. Still other work reported by Cassidy, Roche and Hayes (2011) in The Psychological Record reports IQ gains of 13 points or so for children exposed to a form of intellectual skills training.

 It is true that particular brain training products have not stood up to the rigors of scientific investigation but that in no way undermines the principle that psychologists are on to something big with brain training.

 Decades of evidence from different laboratories, involving research with animals and humans all suggest that brains can be trained and developed by mental exercise. What is at issue is whether or not particular products can do this on their own and make changes where it matters; to our general intelligence, memory and mental processing speed. And because the benefits of brain training appear to surpass those of any other method for enhancing intellectual ability, it gets the number one position on this list of top ten ways to improve your IQ.

Scientific Evidence On Brain Training

When we read articles online about brain training, it would appear that parts of the media and the science community would have us believe this is little or no scientific evidence on the benefits of doing brain training. This is understandable as many brain training companies have little bye way of research and trials into the results of their products. RaiseYourIQ have been involved both as scientists and psychologists in the development of the SMART brain training educational method within the behavioral research community in which the idea of “relational skills” first evolved. The RaiseYourIQ approach to brain training is based on Relational Frame Theory – a modern theory of cognition, that our team of psychologists have helped to develop over the past two decades.

RaiseYourIQ is the only online brain training company offering online relational skills training based on the tried and tested methods of applied behavior analysis (ABA). These technologies have developed over decades in a research tradition started by the now legendary psychologist B.F Skinner. Skinner was not a brain scientist. He was an expert in the science of learning and teaching. Skinner’s ideas eventually led to the development of supremely successful treatments for a whole range of educational and intellectual deficits including autism spectrum disorders, and his approach taught us how to help individuals reach and surpass their intellectual potential.

In fact,so successful is the applied behavior analysis approach that it is widely considered to be the most effective treatment for autism known to science and it is used by leading scientists and therapists all over the world, in private clinics and in the mainstream school system to help children at every level of academic ability. SMART BRAIN TRAINING has emerged from this applied behavior analysis tradition, and provides a training system that teaches the fundamental concepts required for intellectual development.

Some Published Scientific Research Papers Supporting the SMART Brain Training Approach

Barnes-Holmes, Y., Barnes-Holmes, D., Roche, B. & Smeets, P. M.
(2001). Exemplar training and a derived transformation of function in
accordance with symmetry: II. The Psychological Record, 51, 589-603.

Barnes-Holmes, Y., Barnes-Holmes, D. & Cullinan, V. (2001). In
Relational frame theory: A post-Skinnerian account of human language and
cognition. Hayes, S. C. (Ed.); Barnes-Holmes, D. (Ed.); Roche, B.
(Ed.), (pp. 181-195). New York, NY, US: Kluwer Academic/Plenum

Barnes-Holmes, Y., Barnes-Holmes, D. & Murphy, C. (2004).
Teaching the generic skills of language and cognition: Contributions
from relational frame theory. In Moran, Daniel J. (Ed.); Malott,
Richard W. (Ed.), Evidence-based educational methods. San Diego, CA, US:
Elsevier Academic Press.

Barnes-Holmes, Y., Barnes-Holmes, D., Roche, B., Healy, O., Lyddy,
F., Cullinan, V. & Hayes, S. C. (2001). Psychological
Development. In Hayes, Steven C. (Ed.); Barnes-Holmes, Dermot (Ed.);
Roche, Bryan (Ed.), Relational frame theory: A post-Skinnerian account
of human language and cognition (pp. 157-180). New York, NY, US: Kluwer
Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2001.

Barnes-Holmes, Y., Barnes-Holmes, D., Roche, B. & Smeets, P. M.
(2001). Exemplar training and a derived transformation of function in
accordance with symmetry. The Psychological Record, 51, 287-308.

Berens, N. M. & Hayes, S. C. (2007). Arbitrarily applicable
comparative relations: Experimental evidence for a relational operant.
Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 40, 45-71.

Cassidy, S., Roche, B. & Hayes, S. C. (2011). A relational
frame training intervention to raise Intelligence Quotients: A pilot
study. The Psychological Record, 61, 173-198.

Cassidy, S., Roche, B. & O’Hora, D. (2010). Relational Frame
Theory and human intelligence. European Journal of Behavior Analysis,
11, 37-51.

Christoff, K., Keramatian, K., Gordon, A. M., Smith, R., &
Mädler, B. (2009). Prefrontal organization of cognitive control
according to levels of abstraction. Brain Research, 1286, 94-105.

Gómez, S. López, F., ; Martín, C. B., Barnes-Holmes, Y. &
Barnes-Holmes, D. (2007). Exemplar training and a derived
transformation of functions in accordance with symmetry and equivalence.
The Psychological Record, 57, 273-294.

Gore, N. J.; Barnes-Holmes, Yvonne & Murphy, Glynis. (2010). The
Relationship between Intellectual Functioning and Relational
Perspective-Taking. International Journal of Psychology &
Psychological Therapy, 10, 1-17.

Gorham, Marie; Barnes-Holmes, Y., Barnes-Holmes, D. & Berens, N.
(2009). Derived comparative and transitive relations in young children
with and without autism. The Psychological Record, 59, 221-246.

Christoff, K., Keramatian, K., Gordon, A. M., Smith, R., &
Mädler, B. (2009). Prefrontal organization of cognitive control
according to levels of abstraction. Brain Research, 1286, 94-105.

Luciano, C., Becerra, I. G., & Valverde, M. R. (2007). The role
of multiple-exemplar training and naming in establishing derived
equivalence in an infant. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of
Behavior, 87, 349-365.

McHugh, L., Barnes-Holmes, Y., & Barnes-Holmes, D. (2004).
Relational Frame Account of the Development of Complex Cognitive
Phenomena: Perspective-taking, False Belief Understanding, and
Deception. International Journal of Psychology & Psychological
Therapy, 4, 303-324.

McHugh, L., Barnes-Holmes, Y., & Barnes-Holmes, D.
Perspective-Taking as Relational Responding: A Developmental Profile.
(2004). The Psychological Record, 54, 115-144.

Murphy, C., Barnes-Holmes, D. & Barnes-Holmes, Y. (2005).
Derived manding in children with autism: Synthesizing Skinner’s verbal
behavior with relational frame theory. Journal of Applied Behavior
Analysis, 38, 445-462.

Murphy, C., & Barnes-Holmes, D. (2009). Derived more-less
relational mands in children diagnosed with autism. Journal of Applied
Behavior Analysis, 42, 253-268.

Murphy, C., & Barnes-Holmes, D. (2009). Establishing derived
manding for specific amounts with three children: An attempt at
synthesizing Skinner’s Verbal Behavior with relational frame theory. The
Psychological Record, 59, 75-92.

Oberauer, K. (2003). The multiple faces of working memory: Storage,
processing, supervision, and coordination. Intelligence, 31(2), 167-193.

O’Connor, J., Barnes-Holmes, Y., & Barnes-Holmes, D. (2011).
Establishing contextual control over symmetry and asymmetry performances
in typically developing children and children with autism. The
Psychological Record, 61, 287-312.

O’Toole, C., Barnes-Holmes, D., Murphy, C., O’Connor, J., &
Barnes-Holmes, Y. (2009). Relational flexibility and human
intelligence: Extending the remit of Skinner’s Verbal Behavior.
International Journal of Psychology & Psychological Therapy, 9,

Ramsden, S., Richardson, F. M., Josse,G., Thomas, M. S. C., Ellis,
C., Shakeshaft, C., Seghier, M. L. & Price, C. P. (2011). Verbal
and non-verbal intelligence changes in the teenage brain. Nature 479,

Rehfeldt, R. & Barnes-Holmes, Y. (2009). Derived Relational
Responding: Applications for Learners with Autism and other
Developmental Disabilities: A Progressive Guide to Change. Oakland, CA:
New Harbinger.

Roche, B., Cassidy, S. & Stewart, I. (2013). Nurturing genius:
Realizing a foundational aim of Psychology, In Kashdan, T &
Ciarrochi, J. (Eds.), Cultivating well-being: Treatment innovations in
Positive Psychology, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and beyond, pp.
267-302. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

Rosales, R., Rehfeldt, R., & Lovett, S. (2011). Effects of
multiple exemplar training on the emergence of derived relations in
preschool children learning a second language. Analysis of Verbal
Behavior, 27, 61-74.

Stewart, I., Tarbox, J., Roche, B., & O’Hora, D. (2013).
Education, intellectual development, and relational frame theory. In
Dymond, S. & Roche, B. (Eds.), Advances in Relational Frame Theory:
Research & Application, pp. 178-198. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

Vitale, A., Barnes-Holmes, Y., Barnes-Holmes, D., & Campbell, C.
(2008). Facilitating responding in accordance with the relational frame
of comparison: Systematic empirical analyses. The Psychological
Record, 58, 365-390.

Weil, T. M., Hayes, S. C., & Capurro, P. (2011). Establishing a
deictic relational repertoire in young children. The Psychological
Record, 61, 371-390.

Scientific Evidence.