Many people in Western society view IQ as a basic measurement of intelligence, and, so, they are interested in increasing both their own IQ and the IQ of their loved ones, especially their children. Whether a person believes that IQ (which stands for Intelligence Quotient) really measures intelligence, as there is some controversy over this assertion, IQ is believed to measure creativity which can be useful for advancement in a person’s academic and work life.
In light of that, new research is revealing a fascinating new way to increase IQ in research subjects. To do this, researchers intentionally induced synesthesia in their research subjects, demonstrating “for the first time that it is possible to train people to exhibit some of the characteristics of synesthesia.”
Synesthesia is defined as
“a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.”
In layman’s terms, what this means, for example, is that a musician may literally see certain colors when they here certain notes played or a person may hear certain sounds when they experience a feeling or see certain colors when they see certain letters. The new research used the last variation in their research subjects, and inducing this form of synesthesia led to a 12 point boost in IQ.
Co-lead author of the study, Dr. Daniel Bor, writes,
“”The main implication of our study is that radically new ways of experiencing the world can be brought about simply through extensive perceptual training […]. The cognitive boost, although provisional, may eventually lead to clinical cognitive training tools to support mental function in vulnerable groups, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity (ADHD) children, or adults starting to suffer from dementia.”
The researchers noted that, when they retested their research “participants three months after training, they had largely lost the experience of ‘seeing’ colours when thinking about the letters.” This makes it difficult to argue that inducing synesthesia would provide a permanent boost in IQ, but the research could be used in conjunction with other research by Dr. Win Wenger, for example, who has developed a tool to increase creativity called “Image Streaming.”
The intentional cultivation of creativity could both help to prevent cognitive impairment later in life, as research shows that regular use of the brain for creative and non-passive cognitive functions on a regular basis decreases the likelihood of dementia, and also may help students in school and later in life in helping them succeed in their work.