Saturday, August 13, 2011

N-back Training Improves IQ?

New Dual n-back Testing on the computer could possibly improve IQ scores. Very interesting read:

Dual n-back

The dual-task n-back task was proposed by Susanne Jaeggi et al. in 2003.[2] In this variation, two independent sequences are presented simultaneously, typically using different types of stimuli, such as one auditory and one visual.
In a 2008 research paper Jaeggi et al. claim that practicing a dual n-back task can increase fluid intelligence (Gf), as measured in several different standard tests. This resulted in some attention from popular media, including an article in Wired. The paper's methodology has been criticized by David Moody. He draws attention to the fact that different tests were used to evaluate the control and test groups. Due to the way in which the tests were administered, he also questions whether they were valid tests of fluid intelligence. For example, the progressive nature of the tests was undermined by severe time-restriction (10 minutes were allowed to complete a normally 45-minute test). In a subsequent study, Jaeggi et al addressed Moody's timing restriction criticism by noting "that scores in timed versions of the APM are nicely predictive of scores in untimed versions (Frearson & Eysenck, 1986; Hamel & Schmittmann, 2006; Heron & Chown, 1967; Salthouse, 1993; Unsworth & Engle, 2005)".
The study was replicated in 2010 with results indicating that practising single n-back may be almost equal to dual n-back in increasing the score on tests measuring Gf.
There is a growing amount of evidence that cognitive training can have significant effects on the brain. In 2009, it was reported in Science that '14 hours of training over 5 weeks' on a variety of working memory related tasks (not including the n-back) led to measurable density changes for corticaldopamine neuroreceptors."

You can try it for yourself at  - I'm on my first day and will be updating my progress. Please comment your experiences with the software if you can, this almost sounds a little too good to be true. :)


  1. You can do anything with a computer now a days, pretty soon we won't have to leave our homes for anything.

  2. Huh. That's interesting... Maybe that'll help me be a bit more intelligent... hahaha

  3. I had no idea you could train for I.Q in such a way.

  4. This is a good example as to why I have n-back training bookmarked.

    I've tried Lumosity... seems to maybe be a bit better for benchmarking than improvement... especially since it costs money now :O