Your brain is a muscle, don’t let it wither away, it could be crying out for some exercise! You may have heard it be said that we only use 10% of our brains, that may be the case for some(!), but fortunately it’s not strictly true. Over the course of 24 hours, a person will likely use 100% of their brain capacity but there are always some easy ways to stimulate it and increase our intelligence.
The following tips are not rocket science but sometimes you just need to take a step back and give your brain a bit of a revamp! It’s been proven that regular exercise helps to increase brain function and enhances neurogenesis.
Reading relieves tension & stress (brain-cell killers) because it’s a form of escapism.
Stress & anxiety kill existing brain neurons and also stop new neurons from being created.
You don’t need to participate in the Mathematical Olympic Games in order to stretch your brain capabilities. This might sound a little out there but when you’re in your car or in the shower, try singing about something you’re working on.
An expert at the University of Nottingham has found that eating chocolate gives the brain a powerful short-term boost to cognitive skills!
Increased blood flow to these areas enhances overall alertness and task-performance for the short-term. Creative Thinking SkillsTurn your creativity up with the power of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy. How is it some always seem to be able to generate new ideas and think creatively and others seem to struggle to do so? This is why hypnosis is so effective for boosting your creative skills.  When the mind is calmer and more in-tune, you can access that incredible bank of creativity at-will. At Meridian Peak Hypnosis in Naperville, we work with clients of all ages to increase their creativity. In a study in American Health Magazine, hypnosis and hypnotherapy have a 93% success rate compared with lower results from other methods of therapy which require far more sessions.  Click here to learn more about hypnosis and its high success rate. Ever since my dad tried to convince me to meditate when I was about 12, I’ve been fairly skeptical of this practice.
More recently, I’ve actually found how simple (not easy, but simple) meditation can be and what a huge benefit it can have for my day-to-day happiness. There are different ways to meditate, and since it’s such a personal practice there are probably more than any of us know about. The other type of meditation that’s often used in research is open-monitoring meditation.
The overall difference is that our brains stop processing information as actively as they normally would. In the image below you can see how the beta waves (shown in bright colors on the left) are dramatically reduced during meditation (on the right). This is the most highly evolved part of the brain, responsible for reasoning, planning, emotions, and self-conscious awareness.
This part of the brain processes sensory information about the surrounding world, orienting you in time and space. The gatekeeper for the senses, this organ focuses your attention by funneling some sensory data deeper into the brain and stopping other signals in their tracks. As the brain’s sentry, this structure receives incoming stimuli and puts the brain on alert, ready to respond.
Because meditation is a practice involving focusing our attention and being aware of when it drifts, this actually improves our focus when we’re not meditating as well. Focused attention is very much like a muscle, one that needs to be strengthened through exercise. For example, when you experience pain, rather than becoming anxious and assuming it means something is wrong with you, you can watch the pain rise and fall without becoming ensnared in a story about what it might mean. Research on meditation has shown that empathy and compassion are higher in those who practice meditation regularly. Part of this comes from activity in the amygdala—the part of the brain that processes emotional stimuli.
Another study in 2008 found that people who meditated regularly had stronger activation levels in their temporal parietal junctures (a part of the brain tied to empathy) when they heard the sounds of people suffering, than those who didn’t meditate. Mindful meditation has been shown to help people perform under pressure while feeling less stressed.
Meditation has been linked to larger amounts of gray matter in the hippocampus and frontal areas of the brain. Meditation has also been shown to diminish age-related effects on gray matter and reduce the decline of our cognitive functioning. Here’s a great infographic that gives an overview of the different kinds of meditation and some tips for fitting in meditation at work. The way it works is that Andy guides you through 10 minutes of simple meditation every day. Links, news, commentary and ramblings on Singularitarianisms and the coming changes to our future world through the explosion of technological singularity. H&E stained sections reveal that at low power (40x) there is no obvious increase in cellularity and that the tissue resembles normal brain parenchyma.
Picture this: you are trying to add up all the costs of your shopping trip to Target, in order to figure out how much you have to pay at checkout. Before you can go ahead with enhancing your working memory, you need to know what it is all about first. As you can see, working memory has a strong connection in the prefrontal cortex, more so than the connection to the anterior cingulate gyrus. Crystallized intelligence, on the other hand, governs an individual’s capacity to use knowledge, experience and skills. One’s fluid intelligence and working memory work hand in hand, as reported by many researches. From the conclusion of Fry and Hale’s study, psychologists and educators have immediately recognized the need to improve a person’s working memory – so his fluid intelligence can be upgraded along the way. Research from Andreas Fink at University of Graz found that when study participants were thinking of creative ways to use everyday objects and products, the areas of the brain associated with working memory were activated.

Mindfulness exercises such as meditation has been shown to improve attention and concentration. If the other methods prove to be bothersome for you, a great way to boost your working memory is to play brain training games. While this is the most unconventional advice that you would receive for enhancing working memory, several studies suggest that the act of running stimulates the prefrontal cortex – known as the seat of working memory. Tracy Alloway and Ross Alloway also recommended exercising outside, specifically recommending a type of exercise advocated by MovNat. N-back is claimed by some to be the de facto method of increasing IQ (points) in children and adults. If you are interested in doing n-back exercises, the best place to find them through your app store of your mobile phone.
Cognitive enhancements (like in the movie Limitless) have been extremely controversial in academia and scientific circles. I am not here to make an ethical or medical judgment on the use of cognitive enhancements—but science has shown that it does provide a modest increase in memory and does boost overall cognition.
Other than prescription drugs, there is a booming field in brain supplements (also called nootropics). Netflix enthusiast, horrible speller, jiujitsu hobbyist, weekend drinker, and occasional poker player.
DisclaimerDisclaimer: None of the statements made on this website have been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is the anterior part of the frontal lobes of the brain, lying in front of the motor and premotor areas. Research has also shown that using your imagination is a great way to train your brain because you force your mind to ‘picture’ what you are imagining. Our brains consume over 20% of all nutrients & oxygen we consume – so remember to feed your brain with the good stuff!
Don’t get stuck in a rut doing the same old things, day in, day out – the only way to change the structure of your brain is to do something new. Research has shown that positive thinking, especially in the future tense, speeds up the creation of cells and dramatically reduces stress & anxiety.
It also introduces your mind to new concepts and new ways of looking at things (in English we are afraid, whereas in Spanish we have fear). Games and activities as simple as Sudoku or crosswords will already have a tangible impact upon your brain performance.
This is when your body regenerates cells and removes all the toxins that have built up during the day.
A study lead by Professor Ian McDonald found that a cocoa drink rich in “flavanols” — a key ingredient in dark chocolate — boosts bloodflow to key cognitive areas of the brain for 2-3 hours after consumption. We have worked together for a strong business relationship with AccountAbility, they are one of few agencies that have consistently delivered.
At Meridian Peak Hypnosis in Naperville, we work with clients to increase their right brain thinking. It always seemed to be so vague and hard to understand that I just decided it wasn’t for me. I had a look into meditation to see what’s going on inside our brains when we do this, and what I found is pretty interesting. This is where you pay attention to all of the things happening around you—you simply notice everything without reacting.
Using modern technology like fMRI scans, scientists have developed a more thorough understanding of what’s taking place in our brains when we meditate, kind of similar to how scientists have previously looked at measuring creativity in our brains. We start to show a decrease in beta waves, which indicates that our brains are processing information, even after a single 20-minute meditation session, if we’ve never tried it before. The more we meditate, the less anxiety we have, and it turns out this is because we’re actually loosening the connections of particular neural pathways. This means that we don’t react as strongly to sensations that might have once lit up our Me Centers. Unfortunately, it’s not the easiest thing to study, but there is some research into how meditation can affect our creativity.
During meditation, this part of the brain normally shows decreased activity, but in this experiment it was exceptionally responsive when participants were shown images of people.
Catherine Kerr, a researcher at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging and the Osher Research Center found that people who practiced mindful meditation were able to adjust the brain wave that screens out distractions and increase their productivity more quickly that those that did not meditate. A 2012 study split a group of human resources managers into three, with one-third participating in mindful meditation training, another third taking body relaxation training, and the last third given no training at all. Invented by a former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe, this is meditation geared towards busy people like you and me.
For any beginning meditator, this is the best option I’ve come across to start reaping the amazing benefits of meditation and start on a new path to a happier life. The great variety in the size and shape of the neurons is better appreciated at higher magnification (200x). Psychologists define working memory as an individual’s ability to keep and manipulate in mind several facts in a short period of time. It is also utilized in remembering a phone number when you do not have a paper to jot it down, or recalling spoken directions to an unfamiliar place. It enables one to improve his smarts because it gives him a space to hold important information, while his mind is currently engaged in other activities.
Postulated by Raymond Cattell and developed by John Horn, they are fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence. It makes use of long-term memory, that is why it is defined as a person’s cumulative intellectual prowess.
And in a new twist, some science supports the assertion that meditation can also increase working memory capacity. A slew of apps and programs are available in the websites such as Brainmetrix, Lumosity and Fitbrains to name a few.
Barefoot running is recommended more so as research by Tracy Alloway, PhD and Ross Alloway, PhD show that shoeless runners exhibited better working memories than those who ran with shoes on. The exercise is also a primary method of measuring working memory in the field of neuroscience.

In addition to questions of long-term health effects, many have posited an ethical dilemma, stating that cognitive enhancement is a form of cheating by artificially boosting one’s brain power. The products and supplements mentioned on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, alleviate or prevent any diseases. You become actively involved, unlike when watching TV where you are passively involved as your brain simply soaks up what’s happening on screen. Try and get a handle on negative thoughts and make an effort to replace them with positive ones.  You’ll end up being a happier person too! Have you ever noticed how it is easier to rhyme when you sing than when you just speak or write?
So, health experts recommend restricting your intake of the following foods if you care for your intelligence.
These are focused-attention, or mindful meditation, which is where you focus on one specific thing—it could be your breathing, a sensation in your body or a particular object outside of you. Normally the neural pathways from the bodily sensation and fear centers of the brain to the Me Center are really strong. As we weaken this connection, we simultaneously strengthen the connection between what’s known as our Assessment Center (the part of our brains known for reasoning) and our bodily sensation and fear centers. Researchers at Leiden University in the Netherlands studied both focused-attention and open-monitoring meditation to see if there was any improvement in creativity afterwards.
A stressful multitasking test was given to all the managers before and after the eight-week experiment.
More gray matter can lead to more positive emotions, longer-lasting emotional stability and heightened focus during daily life.
Binucleate ganglionic cells were extremely rare and in this micrograph, it is difficult to see both nuclei, although the Nissel substance is clearly visible as increased peripheral basophilia. It is viewed as a cerebral workstation where a person can store info for later use in mental exercises. For example, it gives the student the opportunity to remember the instructions while she is writing his name on the test paper.
Cattell and Horn define fluid intelligence as a person’s ability to solve problems and think logically amidst new situations, without calling the need for acquired knowledge.
In their paper, they postulated that improvements in fluid intelligence were widely affected by working memory.
A study published by Santa Barbara researchers in the journal Psychological Science found that working memory of undergraduates improved after going through an intense two-week meditation course.
Stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall and nootropics (brain drugs) such as modafinil have been shown to enhance cognition in many people taking it.  Currently, the majority of cognitive enhancing medications are prescribed for people with ADHD or other neuropsychological disorders (such as narcolepsy and shift work sleep disorder in the case of modafinil). All articles on this website are the opinions of their respective authors who do not claim or profess to be medical professionals providing medical advice. You could take a new route to work, try a new recipe for dinner, take up a new hobby or plan a trip somewhere you’ve been meaning to visit.
I got that idea from Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits blog, where he points out how starting with a tiny habit is the first step to consistently achieving it. The point of this type of meditation is to focus strongly on one point and continually bring your attention back to that focal point when it wanders.
When you experience a scary or upsetting sensation, it triggers a strong reaction in your Me Center, making you feel scared and under attack. So when we experience scary or upsetting sensations, we can more easily look at them rationally.
They found that people who practiced focused-attention meditation did not show any obvious signs of improvement in the creativity task following their meditation.
In the final test, the group that had participated in the meditation training reported less stress during the test than both of the other groups.
It gives you the opportunity to make use of the other parts of the brain that are otherwise unengaged.
Apart from improving the learning process, working memory is vital for focusing on a certain activity, tuning out distractions and updating yourself with what is happening around you. Drawing inspiration from a 1990 study by Shell, Carpenter and Just that noted that age-related improvements in working memory contribute to better fluid intelligence, the duo went on to study the cascade that occurs with these factors.
The metric used to determine increases in working memory capacity was a reading comprehension test. Further testing needs to be done on the transferability of these brain training games—but results do look promising. Your task is to determine if the current visual or auditory stimuli matches the one from n steps back. By doing this brain exercise regularly you can train yourself to tap into the power of the right brain.
For those who did open-monitoring meditation, however, they performed better on a task that asked them to come up with new ideas. Working memory differs per person, but the universal belief is that it improves with age, especially during childhood.
Results show that improvements in mental processing speeds helped improve working memory, which, in turn, enhanced the individual’s fluid intelligence. You should consult with your doctor or another qualified health care professional before you start taking any dietary supplements or engage in mental health programs.
In a population of 8 year olds, about 3 of them have the working memory of 4 year olds, while 3 more have that of 11 year olds (near adult levels).
This website is supported by different affiliates and we receive a paid commission on certain products from our advertisers. Any and all trademarks, logos brand names and service marks displayed on this website are the registered or unregistered Trademarks of their respective owners. It can directly impact your intelligence, cause confusion and may also impair your memory and judgement.

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