Fluid Intelligence: 5 Ways To Improve Your Mental Abilities To Solve New Problems

Fluid Intelligence

However, as the participants gained expertise in playing the game, a reduction in cortical thickness and activity was noticed by the researchers. “Once their brain figured out how to play Tetris, and got really good at it, it got lazy,” adds Andrea Kuszewski. If you want to improve fluid intelligence, then efficiency is not going to be helpful. You need to constantly challenge your brain to keep it active and enable it to make new connections. Kuszewski writes “You want to be in a constant state of slight discomfort, struggling to barely achieve whatever it is you are trying to do. This keeps your brain on its toes.”

Read Also: 9 Genuine Signs of Intelligence That People Can’t Fake – How Many Do You Possess?

3. Think creatively

If you want to improve fluid intelligence, then you need to learn how to think more creatively. This does not mean that you start painting a masterpiece. It simply means that you utilize all aspects of your brain instead of just being analytical. Kuszewski says “Creative cognition involves divergent thinking (a wide range of topics/subjects), making remote associations between ideas, switching back and forth between conventional and unconventional thinking (cognitive flexibility), and generating original, novel ideas that are also appropriate to the activity you are doing.” 

A study titled The Rainbow Project found that students taught with creative methods achieved higher grades in a course than students taught using traditional methods. When we think differently and go beyond our normal sphere of thinking, we empower our brain to be more active than we do otherwise. Lachlan Brown explains “This increases our ability to generate original ideas and develop new and unconventional thoughts.”

4. Take the hard way out

Today technology is focused on making our lives a lot more comfortable and efficient. However, this prevents us from seeking new experiences and facing more challenges as we settle in our comfort zones. Modern technology allows us to accomplish a lot more than we can in a short period of time using minimal mental or physical energy. But this can be detrimental for our brain.

Technology does a lot to make things in life easier, faster, more efficient, but sometimes our cognitive skills can suffer as a result of these shortcuts, and hurt us in the long run,” says American cognitive scientist Andrea Kuszewski. Just like our bodies, our brain needs exercises or our brain muscles will atrophy. When we rely too much on technology and don’t use our cognitive skills, spatial skills and problem-solving skills, our brain starts to lose its power. 

Fluid Intelligence: 5 Ways To Improve Your Mental Abilities To Solve New Problems

Simple tools like translation software, spell-check and auto-correct can affect our cognitive abilities. Kuszewski adds “I think autocorrect was one of the worst things ever invented for the advancement of cognition. You know the computer will catch your mistakes, so you plug along, not even thinking about how to spell any more.So if you can afford spending the time and energy, it is best to avoid certain unnecessary shortcuts and let your brain do the hard work. It will keep your mind in good shape.

Read Also: IQ: It’s Your Learning Potential, Not Your Intelligence

5. Be more social

Networking and socializing is another great way to improve fluid intelligence. When you spend more time with others, you open your mind to new environments, opportunities, perspectives and ideas. Socializing compels you to remember details about others that would seem irrelevant otherwise. Being with others also allows you to gain new insight and perspectives on life which leads to new neural connections and learning.

Kuszewski writes “By exposing yourself to new people, ideas, and environments, you are opening yourself up to new opportunities for cognitive growth.” She adds “Learning is all about exposing yourself to new things and taking in that information in ways that are meaningful and unique – networking with other people is a great way to make that happen.

According to a 2008 study, social integration can delay memory loss and protect against various cognitive disorders in elderly adults. The study revealed that “high levels of social integration predicted a slower rate of memory decline in a nationally representative sample of US residents 50 years and older who were followed prospectively for 6 years.” Another study found that cognitively stimulating social activities may be beneficial for cognitive functions in the elderly and reduce the rate of cognitive decline. The paper concluded “Our research suggests that an effective way to maintain cognitive abilities at advanced ages may be to improve community facilities.” Spending time with other people can open new possibilities and challenges that your brain can work with.

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Theo Harrison

Hey there! I am just someone trying to find my way through life. I am a reader, writer, traveler, fighter, philosopher, artist and all around nice guy. I am outdoor person but heavily into technology, science, psychology, spiritualism, Buddhism, martial arts and horror films. I believe in positive action more than positive thinking.View Author posts