Intelligence is not only innate, but can be modified thanks to the great plasticity of the neural system that changes in relation to life experiences and skill training.
Intelligence is a multifaceted reality that even the scientific community struggles to define.On the whole we can say that it is a superior mental function, which characterizes the human being and makes him capable of using knowledge, strategies and schemes in an adequate way. of action and thought, to respond adequately to situations, achieve goals and results, but it is also the ability to create, adapt, relate, have a flexible mental attitude and use an adequate language. And much more! In short, it is that feature that allows you to interact with the world and act in a more or less functional way.
Intelligence: fixed or modifiable?
Although the genetic and innate nature of intelligence is well known, which defines its higher or lower level, it can be modified.
The brain, in fact, is endowed with great neural plasticity, that is a characteristic that allows it to change, in size, structure and neural connections, in relation to the experience and stimulations coming from the environment.The greater efficiency of the brain improves the intelligence and guarantees a neural basis to increase knowledge and the possibility of adapting to reality.
So given the potential of the cognitive and brain system, some good habits can help improve the levels of intelligence possessed.
Increase intelligence: move!
A study conducted at the University of Illinois, led by Laura Chaddock-Heyman, showed that sports children have more developed and connected brain structures. This is true at any age. Specifically, the white matter, responsible for the efficiency of neural connections, is increased and more functional.
The most efficient and effective connections between areas of the brain by increasing the learning potential. In addition to connections, movement increases the brain’s gray matter, therefore the functioning of individual mental areas and functions.
Mainly involved are the frontal areas, seat of executive functions (such as attention, planning, control, …) and memory (hippocampus), thus favoring greater control of information, their organization and memorization.
Increase intelligence: rest!
Moving, yes, but it is also good to rest and sleep. Many researches, such as that carried out at the University of California by Matthew Walker, have in fact shown how during sleep the stored information is transmitted to the cerebral cortex and stored there. intelligence.Resting is not only sleeping but also disconnecting from work and spending time having fun or doing activities that keep the mind active but without stress, giving lightness and regenerating the mind.Rest allows you to have greater brain energy and ability to reaction to reality.
Increase intelligence: meditate!
Meditating, or bringing attention to the here and now and to the self, reduces stress and increases self-awareness and attention.
Stress is the enemy of concentration and the use of functional strategies, making the person less suitable to adapt to the context Meditation lowers cortisol levels in the brain by stimulating attention and brain efficiency, thus increasing learning skills and intelligence in general.You don’t have to be an expert in mindfulness, yoga or relaxation techniques, it is enough to allow yourself a few moments in the day to focus on your breath or perform relaxation exercises.
Increase intelligence: stimulate the mind!
Human beings tend to remain in their own comfort zone, that is, in an area of knowledge and safety. This creates a stalemate in the brain which, not receiving new stimuli, does not increase its functionality and dimension. Having new experiences and looking for alternative solutions to reality stimulates the intelligence as it requires the implementation of new strategies and knowledge that must be consolidated. So even the neural pathways are stimulated. Positive effects are obtained with learning a new language, meeting new people who are different from each other, living new cultural, creative and educational experiences, etc.
In short, the novelty stimulates intelligence and provides a new set of strategies for acting in the world.
Increase intelligence: train!
It doesn’t matter if you have a low, average or extraordinarily high IQ, and what kind of intelligence it is (multiple intelligence theory, Gardner 1991), without training the skills remain latent and may never manifest. tests the cognitive abilities possessed, always raising the bar of the difficulty in the tasks performed, stimulates the increase of skills and pushes improvement.According to the psychology professor Anders Ericsson, even subjects with a high cognitive level or gifted their genius only by concentrating all of themselves and their energies in what makes them brilliant.Passion and determination, together with good training and environmental support, are necessary to improve the levels of intelligence, both in subjects more in difficulty than in those naturally more equipped. “Intellectual growth must begin at birth and cease only at death.” (Albert Einstein)