By: Staff Writer

A new study, appearing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Journal, discovers that one hour of brain training will increase IQ by five to 10 points, however, the catch is only if you believe the training will work. A study from George Mason University put two kinds of posters around the campus. One set invited students to join a study whose aim was to train their brains. The other invited students to take part in training that would provide credits. The people who believed the training would boost their cognition performed 5 to 10 points better on a later IQ test than the other group.

Previous studies have suggested that other existing methods may work just as well. Meditative yoga for example, has at least as many benefits for cognition as brain training programs. Yoga especially excelled over brain training when dealing with spatial memory. The changes were seen on the level of the brain via MRI, and even extended to the participants’ mood, coping skills and stress levels. This study is not suggesting brain training technology doesn’t work; however, it is simply emphasizing the other factors involved in whether they will work. Our personal beliefs going in tend to weigh heavily on the results. Brain training may well be a helpful tool, if you want them to be.

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