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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 May 13;105(19):6829-33. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0801268105. Epub 2008 Apr 28.

Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, East Hall, 530 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1043, USA. sjaeggi@umich.edu

Abstract

Fluid intelligence (Gf) refers to the ability to reason and to solve new problems independently of previously acquired knowledge. Gf is critical for a wide variety of cognitive tasks, and it is considered one of the most important factors in learning. Moreover, Gf is closely related to professional and educational success, especially in complex and demanding environments. Although performance on tests of Gf can be improved through direct practice on the tests themselves, there is no evidence that training on any other regimen yields increased Gf in adults. Furthermore, there is a long history of research into cognitive training showing that, although performance on trained tasks can increase dramatically, transfer of this learning to other tasks remains poor. Here, we present evidence for transfer from training on a demanding working memory task to measures of Gf. This transfer results even though the trained task is entirely different from the intelligence test itself. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the extent of gain in intelligence critically depends on the amount of training: the more training, the more improvement in Gf. That is, the training effect is dosage-dependent. Thus, in contrast to many previous studies, we conclude that it is possible to improve Gf without practicing the testing tasks themselves, opening a wide range of applications.

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PMID:
18443283
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2383929
Free PMC Article
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