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Increasing Intelligence and capability to learn.


PokePat321
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I'm a freshman in High-school, and I feel I need to increase my I.Q. and thought process towards critical thinking. I obtained a 92.43% last quarter, but I feel I can achieve better. I'm currently trying to expand my vocabulary, but I need help in memorization and overall thinking. There are many websites with games and/or strategies, but I feel I should ask for help on this forum first, as answers are sincere and un-biased. Any help is appreciated, as I want to study and major in physics in the future, and I suppose preparation will be vital.

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While I lack any specific recommendations, old beliefs that say you are born with your maximum life-long number of brain cells are being shown by good peer reviewed science to be wrong wrong wrong. I am 70 years old. You are the hope of people like me. go go go.

Edited by oldsalt19
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Great, think that is a good thing to aim for. While your 'IQ' might not always give an accurate reflection of you abilities or intellectual capabilities, but it does stand for something. To improve yourself there are a few things you could try. You have to constantly be using your brain and try learning new things. Puzzles, video games and board games are said to work. Do not think that there is much solid evidence to support this but its worth a shot.

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Great, think that is a good thing to aim for. While your 'IQ' might not always give an accurate reflection of you abilities or intellectual capabilities, but it does stand for something. To improve yourself there are a few things you could try. You have to constantly be using your brain and try learning new things. Puzzles, video games and board games are said to work. Do not think that there is much solid evidence to support this but its worth a shot.

Thank you, I will try to do this consecutively, and will see if it helps. I'm glad you replied :)

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Before you read i'll put in my 2 cents; Cognition is an innate ability, every person is born with a natural ability to be good at something or other, your brain is like any other muscle and can be trained to work in a particular way, much the same way you can train to become a long distance runner or sprinter however you are still limited by your genome. If your going to invest in a particular aspect of cognition be willing to trade off some other aspect of intellect. If you want to be a math wizard you may find it harder to relate to people less inclined in your field for example, or if you want to master problem solving you may overthink social situations et cetera.......That being said, this information is invaluable if you wish to increase your overall brain capabilities by simply applying science to that which you require.....hope this helps.

 

Cheeky copy and paste from another forum i found useful.

 

 

 

 

"When looking at the brain and human memory you have to consider a variety of things which increase the ability to store, process, and recall information:

1) Cerebral blood flow - Neurons require large portions of our bodily blood flow to function effectively. More blood flow equates to increased oxygenation, which is required for energy formation from the powerhouse of our cells, mitochondria, when needed. More blood flow also increases nutrient and protein availability in order to express brain relevant genes and help in the conversion of precursor nutrients into relevant molecules that are required for optimal brain processing.

2) Adequate supply of nutrients required for the formation of neurotransmitters - these include amino acids such as tyrosine (precursor to adrenaline/epinephrine, noradrenaline/norepinephrine and dopamine), tryptophan (precursor to serotonin), acetyl-CoA and choline (precursors to acetylcholine formation), etc. Sufficient vitamins/minerals/nutrients are also needed as co-factors in many cellular reactions that are used to clear out debris from inside of our cells, and maintain proper cell functioning. Glucose is the primary food source for neurons of the brain. Better glucose regulation leads to better brain functioning (i.e. eat right and exercise to avoid diabetes - diabetes messes with brain functioning!).

3) A large supply of antioxidants - When parts of your brain are very active then generate large quantities of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which go on to damage cellular proteins, cell membranes, etc. Antioxidants act to "mop up" these ROS and prevent their eventual "brain fog" causing properties. Phytonutrients (e.g. from blueberries) can also help to make cells in our body produce more of our own "endogenous" anti-oxidants, which are best at countering ROS and keeping brain cells happy and firing.

4) Excitability level - Neurons only send transmission after they have received enough activation in order to "fire" and send on their signal. The most prevalent source of excitation for cerebral cortex neurons is through activation of glutamate channels by glutamate neurotransmitter. This excitation is mainly opposed by GABA and glycine neurotransmitters acting on GABA and Glycine channels, respectively, which effectively blunt the signal as they are inhibitory. The brain requires the precise and correct combination of excitation and inhibition in order to work optimally. Both too much excitation, or too much inhibition and the system will not function at its best.

5) Levels of neuronal branching - Neurons receive signals primarily through their dendrites, which are like the arms of a tree. If a neuron is very healthy it will be more branched, and the more branched the more information the system can hold (more connections between concepts are able to be formed).

6) Metabolic health - Neurons, as cells, are required to produce large amounts of ATP (the energy molecule of the cell). Sufficient production of ATP is needed in order to sustain neuron activity for prolonged amounts of time. ATP is broken down during use into ADP and AMP, which can signal to the cell that it is tired and needs to rest. If you can recycle ADP and AMP back into ATP faster, then the brain thinks it is less tired and can maintain high activity for longer.

Alright, now that you have a little background let’s get in to what to do to boost brain function. Here are the basics first:

A) A general multivitamin (best/cheapest I find is LifeExtension's 2 per day multi's) - Provide you with the general nutrients to manufacture brain chemicals. I buy mine from iherb.com. You can use my coupon code "DET108" for $5 off if you are a first time customer. NO, I don't have any affiliation with them, they just have pretty good prices (but you can find better prices for bulk items on other sites!)
B) Get plenty of exercise - While not a nootropic pill per say, this is one of the best for increasing levels of nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), both of which increase the amount of dendrite branching and increase connections between difficult concepts, which helps with memory and with solving problems. Also, exercise helps with maintaining blood vessel elasticity and compliance so that blood flow can be better directed to different parts of the body when needed (i.e. makes the blood vessels of the brain more responsive to changes in neuron activity, and therefore helps neurons become more efficient at getting nutrients and functioning at their maximal capacity). Exercise also stresses cells, and makes them decide to clean out cellular junk/debris so that they function more efficiently. Further, it helps neurons build up a tolerance for functioning at high capacity with lower levels of available resources (neurons can adapt to exercise over time by becoming more resistant to becoming tired - means that you can study for longer without feeling as tired and without getting as much brain fog).
C) Get 7-10 hours of sleep a night - helps with keeping neuron energy stores high and promotes larger brain levels of NGF and BDNF. Proper rest, and a consistent sleep-wake schedule, can be the most effective "nootropic" that most people can give their bodies. The recommended amount of sleep for most adults is 8 hours, but if you need more for functioning best; work it into your schedule.

After you have those ones down pact, here are certain supplements/drugs/herbs that will help you out. Most can be bought from iherb.com or nutrabio.com (cheap sources). Take all on an empty stomach. All separate doses should be taken 4-6 hours apart. Do not take less than 4 hours before bed:

D) Coenzyme Q10 + Bioperine - Aids in ATP production in cells. Bioperine, which is usually found combined with CoQ10 helps with absorption of many different nootropics - recommend 100-200mg CoQ10 per day divided between 2 separate doses
E) Acetyl L Carnitine (ALCAR) - Acts as an acetyl donor in the formation of acetylcholine. Helps transport fatty acids across the mitochondrial cell membrane to be used in the production of ATP. Increases receptors for NGF - Take 200-500mg, divided into 2 equal doses per day
F) CDP-choline - act as the choline donor in the formation of acetylcholine - take up to 500mg per day, divided into 2 doses
G) Ginkgo biloba - Increases cerebral blood flow and acts as a antioxidant. - Use 50-100mg, divided into 2 separate doses
H) Rhodiola Rosea and Eleuthero - These ones have pretty complex mechanisms of action, but in short they acts to reduce stress from long study hours, increase attention, act as antioxidants, boost levels of synaptic neurotransmitters or act directly on neurotransmitter receptors. They have a primary function of acting as "adaptogens" which help the body adapt to long periods of stress. They increase the amount of time that you can concentrate on a task at hand without becoming too tired to continue studying from the stress. I recommend relatively low doses of these when combined together and when taken with the other supplements on this list. Rhodiola Rosea - 50-200mg, Eleuthero - 100-300mg. Divide all of these into 2 separate doses.
I) Omega 3 fatty acids - Help with cell membrane stability, increases ability to concentrate and relieves stress over the long term. - Take up to five capsules per day.
J) Creatine monohydrate - Take 2 grams per day, PLUS 2-5 grams right before a big study session. Creatine plays a role within the cell of acting as a temporary energy carrier (as phosphocreatine), and is able to help replenish cellular levels of ATP by donating a phosphate group to ADP."

 

Regards.

Edited by DevilSolution
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@DevilSolution, thank you so much, I will try to accomplish the tasks you gave to train up the brain, but I will try to hold out on the minerals, vitamins, etc. until later, as I will need to consult with my parents and do more research. You were a lot of help, and it seems that what you say makes sense. For now, I will try to exercise and train my brain daily, with puzzles, board games, and running laps. I'll consider the multivitamins as a priority, and try to sleep the 9 hours to rest efficiently. Any other help can also be appreciated.

Edited by PokePat321
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Hello, just a question, do you go to a public or private school? What is the degree of difficulty in the work? Are you taking all honors classes?

 

Answer those questions. Now, what food do you eat... I feel like you must not be happy about yourself if you need to ask these questions. Do you have a cell phone, do you surround yourself with technology? How much do you read?

 

I don't believe at all that you need to take drugs to become smarter. It is not "natural". What will happen is you will gain a dependency on these drugs, and will have to take them all the time. It's like come on, 15 pills at least a once a day!!! I don't know, but I say listen to music. Breath oxygen(learn how to breath like a baby again, THATS HOW YOU INCREASE YOUR OXYGEN FLOW, baby's fill their whole lungs with oxygen, not just their chest). Get in some good habits. Have good hygiene. Exercise, and do stuff that is healthy. Hey, if you want to increase your memory capacity, play memory games. If you want to increase your reaction times, play fast games, get a hobby like four wheeling. If you want to help your over all thinking, play chess once a day against the computer. If you want to increase your vocabulary, play scrabble against yourself with a speller, or go to a dictionary site and learn one word a day, or how many you want.

 

What I'm saying don't do, is take the drugs. I am a freshman as well, and I am probably the nerdiest person to ever walk into my school. I read all the time, so I learn new stuff all of the time. Because I'm reading higher level science books or story books, I gain a bigger vocab. I run cross county so I could re make my breathing so I could do deep breathing. Hey, also get into the arts. I make music, and am probably the best artist in my grade.

 

All I am saying is smarts or the ability to think outside of the box isn't something you can pray for or have a doctor give you a pill for. The smart people had to work for were they are now.

 

Joshua

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Very very odd advice in this thread. One major thing to do to increase mental capacity is reading. You want to remember something? Get interested in it. Increase oral skills? Join a debate club or just talk with someone about advanced topics.

Studies on students taking a variety of drugs that are supposed to help them focus have shown little to no benefits in terms of test scores. Another thing to note is that the ability to cram (memorize) facts will help you through exams, but believe me, they are not that relevant as you may think they are. If you want to study physics. get into physics text books. If you have genuine interest and devote time to it in trying to understand some fundamentals (rather than memorizing them) you will have a leg up over easily 80% of your fellow students.

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Try www.lumosity.com

It's a brain training website.

I tried it a long time ago, and I might restart the courses. Thank you for reminding me!

Hello, just a question, do you go to a public or private school? What is the degree of difficulty in the work? Are you taking all honors classes?

 

Answer those questions. Now, what food do you eat... I feel like you must not be happy about yourself if you need to ask these questions. Do you have a cell phone, do you surround yourself with technology? How much do you read?

 

I don't believe at all that you need to take drugs to become smarter. It is not "natural". What will happen is you will gain a dependency on these drugs, and will have to take them all the time. It's like come on, 15 pills at least a once a day!!! I don't know, but I say listen to music. Breath oxygen(learn how to breath like a baby again, THATS HOW YOU INCREASE YOUR OXYGEN FLOW, baby's fill their whole lungs with oxygen, not just their chest). Get in some good habits. Have good hygiene. Exercise, and do stuff that is healthy. Hey, if you want to increase your memory capacity, play memory games. If you want to increase your reaction times, play fast games, get a hobby like four wheeling. If you want to help your over all thinking, play chess once a day against the computer. If you want to increase your vocabulary, play scrabble against yourself with a speller, or go to a dictionary site and learn one word a day, or how many you want.

 

What I'm saying don't do, is take the drugs. I am a freshman as well, and I am probably the nerdiest person to ever walk into my school. I read all the time, so I learn new stuff all of the time. Because I'm reading higher level science books or story books, I gain a bigger vocab. I run cross county so I could re make my breathing so I could do deep breathing. Hey, also get into the arts. I make music, and am probably the best artist in my grade.

 

All I am saying is smarts or the ability to think outside of the box isn't something you can pray for or have a doctor give you a pill for. The smart people had to work for were they are now.

 

Joshua

Thank you for asking, and I think you're right. I go to a public talent school for the arts, Frank Sinatra High School of the Arts. I take some sophomore courses, like geometry and chemistry. I'm in general a good student, and I'm happy, but I feel I should do better and I don't know how. I'm am also addicted to the internet, mainly youtube, and no matter what I do, but I still end up coming back to it. Right now, I'm reading "A briefer history of time" by Stephan Hawking, as my library on has that version. I'm 14 years old, and there are no AP (advanced placement) courses for freshman. I thank you for warning me about the pills, and I wish you an apology for quoting the entire comment, I'm relatively new to this website, and I'm still learning the basics.

How old are you? i may have made a novice mistake here......

I'm 14, and now that I'm thinking about it, I may be too young. I'll try to exercise daily, but that's about it, unless you can give me hints on something relatively my age.
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I'm 14, and now that I'm thinking about it, I may be too young. I'll try to exercise daily, but that's about it, unless you can give me hints on something relatively my age.

 

Anything in your age group. Take a trip over to the planetarium in NYC. I've always loved astronomy. See if your state has a online school. With me, I have VLACS (www.vlacs.org), and that is a free online school for residents of New Hampshire, and I'm sure that New York has the same thing. Currently, I am taking Latin I, Astronomy, and Geometry on top of my classes I am taking in high school. Also, there is another learning place called Khan Academy. It is free, and you can learn a lot.(http://khanacademy.org/). Just learn, and love learning.

 

Some good books that I would suggest is as follows:

The Fabric of The Cosmos, The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene (String Theory)

Any of Carl Sagans Books, but my Favorite is Cosmos.

 

Also, NOVA has some good free science movies that you can watch, instead of watching your youtube.

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Some good books that I would suggest is as follows:

The Fabric of The Cosmos, The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene (String Theory)

Any of Carl Sagans Books, but my Favorite is Cosmos.

 

Also, NOVA has some good free science movies that you can watch, instead of watching your youtube.

I would agree, and would add that the book "The Hidden Reality" by Brian Greene is another excellent and comprehensive work covering aspects of modern physics. The book could prove to be tough going for a high school student, but Dr Greene and also Dr Lawrence Krauss have put good material out as videos available on YouTube, aimed at appealing to a broad audience.

I have also found that "audiobooks" versions of some science books, including "The Hidden Reality" by Dr Greene, can prove to be an alternative to the printed version worth investigating.

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Another note. Unless you're malnourished taking excess vitamins or metabolites won't really do anything for you. All of the pathways have regulatory function and will produce the metabolites they need, or will degrade those they don't. So taking those supplements effectively amounts to spending money on excrement with no benefit, and that's ignoring the non-regulation those industries have. The only way to increase any skill is to work at it, you want to be more intelligent you need to study and work at whatever it is you want to learn. There isn't really any other way around it.

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