Ways to Become Smarter Every Week

Meant for children aged four and older, the free games are designed to improve cognitive skills, including working memory, concentration and mental flexibility. They are a product of a four-year project funded by the Education Department. The research that went into their design effectiveness is documented in eight peer-reviewed scientific papers.

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The Future of Everything

At the same time, education experts are working to understand how classroom education and other experiences affect brain development. They are tracking cognitive changes among 11,000 young people for a decade through the largest long-term study of childhood brain development ever conducted in the U.S.

New brain-computer interfaces, like those under development by Elon Musk’s Neuralink and others, promise to transform learning by increasing the number of high-speed communication links within the brain. Most, though, require brain surgery, limiting their use among healthy children and adults.

Advances in the neurotechnology of learning promise to alter how the brain functions, and ultimately our sense of self, scientists say. Brain stimulation techniques, for example, can trigger changes in demeanor and character traits, sometimes leading to changes in a sense of personal identity, according to a new review of brain monitoring technology in the journal APL Bioengineering.

The advances also raise challenging ethical issues of access, equity and privacy. “If there were a prosthetic that improved a person’s memory, is that an unfair advantage?” says neuroscientist Robert Hampson at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Linking Minds

Imagine a world where students see not just eye-to-eye with their teachers, but mind to mind. A wireless headset that can share information between one brain and another may begin preclinical testing in the coming months, scientists say, bringing a world of classroom mind melds and wireless brain connections to computer networks one step closer to reality.

In an $18 million Defense Department project, scientists led by Rice University neuro-engineer Jacob Robinson are combining advanced optical physics, nanotechnology, magnetic stimulation and genetic engineering in a wearable system that uses light to decode neural activity in one brain and magnetic fields to encode that activity in another brain, all in less than one-twentieth of a second.

Spend time reading every day.

Through reading, you can discover new things and educate yourself on any topic. Reading also helps develop your creative side by engaging your imagination. Words, both spoken and written, are the building blocks of our social existence — and through words, you can go anywhere in the world.

If you’re looking to quickly grow your knowledge, one easy way is to speed up your reading so you can charge through books, written material and even online articles (like this one!). Most people read at an average rate of 250 words per minute. At that rate, it would take you about six minutes to read this article. But with speed reading, you could cut that time in half. Just remember, the goal is to help you rapidly consume more information, not just zoom past words without fully comprehending their meaning.

Play board games (e.g., Scrabble, chess, or Battleship).

From 2008 to 2009, a pair of researchers studied 31 middle school special needs students. Sixteen of the students were given their typical math instruction, while the remainder of the students went through a 30-week chess training program in addition to their regular math instruction.

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When the school year was finished, those who participated in the chess program had higher grades in math and higher standardized test scores than those who didn’t. This suggests that playing games keeps your brain sharp and helps you comprehend new information better.

Make a list of the things you’ve done.

Intelligence is often seen as a predetermined trait, which limits people’s motivation to try to change their own level of intelligence. However, studies have shown that there is a link between IQ and happiness beginning in childhood and spanning across one’s life.

When it comes to confidence, if you have a healthy self-esteem, you will be more accepting of yourself. Other people will be able to see this confidence, and will give you more credibility when you are talking about any given subject.

Making a list of the things you have completed can act as a reminder of how far you have already come in whatever you are working on. This can keep you motivated to keep moving forward with your work and continue to learn.

Pursue Athletics

Multiple studies have shown active children typically do better in school and have a better chance of continuing their education after high school graduation. Although athletic pursuits can feel grueling at the time, the overall benefits of intense physical activity are wise for your future.

Controlling and calming the brain is as powerful as enhancing activity through instruments and puzzles. Doctors have been studying the effects of mediation on the brain for several years, and the results are impressive.

Transcendental Meditation yields impressive results for the brain. People who struggle with fear, anxiety, depression, and other mental ailments should experiment with meditation to calm themselves and develop a stronger sense of focus.



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