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Smarten up

Practicing a challenging memory task spurs a surprising intelligence gain

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5:11pm, April 28, 2008

If you're looking for an intellectual picker-upper that doesn't come in a pill, remember this: A relatively brief memory-training program jump-starts general reasoning skills and problem-solving proficiency, according to a new study.

This brand of mental prowess, known as fluid intelligence, contributes to academic and professional success. Many scientists have long regarded it as a genetically ingrained, relatively stable trait that varies from one person to another.

“Our finding that cognitive training can improve fluid intelligence in healthy young adults is a landmark result because this form of intelligence has been claimed to be largely immutable,” says psychologist and st

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