Ah, the age-old question, can you do anything to improve intelligence? Well, science does lean on the side that brain-boosting is indeed a possibility. That completing tasks that test your executive control, memory, and visuospatial reasoning do expand cognitive abilities.
Know that there are two types of intelligence, fluid and crystallized. The first gets associated with abstract reasoning, instinctual problem-solving, while crystalized helps you come up with solutions via accumulated knowledge. Genes do factor in the development of both categories, but the National Library of Medicine claims that education, nutrition, parenting, and home life can also affect them. Thus, most scientists believe that intelligence is not a human attribute that remains unchanged throughout life.
If you want to know of thoughtful activities that keep your brain engaged, here are some games that might improve the areas of your mind that make you sharp.
According to a 2019 study published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, puzzle games such as Sudoku can improve brain function in people over fifty. The research evaluated data from over 19,000 participants to gauge the attention, reasoning, and memory of those that regularly do puzzles. Its results showed that people with this hobby have a brain function of someone ten years younger than their actual age.
Cognitive skills that decline with age include divided attention capacity, ignore distractions, and mental quickness. Therefore, Alzheimer’s disease researchers believe that it is essential to challenge your mind to ward off decline. Sudoku is a logic-based number-placement puzzle that does just that. It is a newspaper mainstay and is available for free online.
You may be thinking, playing Call of Duty can make me sharper? Well, yes, it can. Any first-person shooter will do because these games improve mental flexibility. They make you better at quickly switching between tasks. They also improve spatial memory, recognition ability, reaction time, and visual processing.
There have been several studies on this subject, and all of them have yielded pretty much the same results. First-person shooters have a myriad of cognitive benefits, mainly relating to attentional processing and visual-spatial skills. Famous American developmental psychologist, Howard Gardner, lists the latter as one of the nine human intelligences.
No doubt blackjack is mainly luck-based. It is a casino staple that falls into the family of banking games with roots dating back to 18th century France. You play it against a dealer, and whoever gets closest to 21 wins.
Playing it without incorporating optimal strategy will do nothing to enhance your mental abilities. However, if you implement card counting, you will give your brain a more-than-decent exercise that will help it expand. It is a system that involves keeping a mental tally of the cards that get played to calculate the probability of specific ones coming up next. There is a form of live blackjack with a real dealer to experience this game online with lower limits than in a brick-and-mortar casino.
We all know and love Tetris. Yet, what few people are aware of is that this classic is the brain-child of Russian software engineer Alexey Pajitnov, who invented it in 1984 for the Soviet Electronika 60 computer. It then swiftly spread like wildfire and is now as mainstream as puzzle games get.
In 2009, scientists from Albuquerque’s Mind Research Network used imaging technology to investigate the impact of Tetris on the brain’s gray matter. They had 26 adolescent girls play it for 30 minutes per day over three months. After the end of the study, the Albuquerque scientists noticed that these girls had thicker brain cortexes and displayed greater mental efficiency. So, tile-matching can make you smarter if you do it long enough.
The game of kings is likely the most popular competitive brain twister ever. It increases perseverance, patience, and concentration while helping you develop intuition, creativity, memory, and the ability to extract information from general principles to problem solve.
In the 1980s, a study in Venezuela showed that studying chess can raise second-graders IQ by strengthening their language, reading, and mathematical skills. The research took place over four and a half months, and it involved over 4,000 students from different socio-economical groups. After its conclusion, most participants displayed higher IQ levels on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children compared to before the study began.
To Wrap Up
Hobbies that keep your brain active and alert will likely lead to an increase in intelligence. It is the same principle as exercising a muscle. If you do not do it, it will lose its strength. If you continuously challenge it, it has no choice but to grow. To improve your IQ, you must focus on activities that teach your mind abilities connected to fostering fluid and crystallized intelligence, such as the games mentioned above.
About the Author
Shelly Schiff has been working in the gambling industry since 2009, mainly on the digital side of things, employed by OnlineUnitedStatesCasinos.com. However, over her eleven-year career, Shelly has provided content for many other top interactive gaming websites. She knows all there is to know about slots and has in-depth knowledge of the most popular table games. Her golden retriever Garry occupies most of her leisure time. Though, when she can, she loves reading Jim Thompson-like crime novels.