Changes in Attitude?

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Arkanj3l

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Feb 12, 2011, 10:31:06 PM2/12/11
to Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence
I have a friend who consistently frowns when I bring up the idea of
"intelligence improvement", "cognitive training" or any variation of
such in conversation. Granted, it's not everyone's cup of tea,
especially when I bring up the technical-ish side of things (You: "The
fool!"). But her chief concern was that I'd be focusing too much on
this, and forget that it's hard work -- blood sweat and toil -- that
causes one to ever achieve anything.

Fair enough. It's something that I do often forget. But it did get me
wondering about whether or not what I do and/or read here is all that
worth it, beyond arranging and rearranging a cabinet or curiosities.
Is it absurd? If there is no change in one's approach to life
(assuming that the current one is acrasial), then should one bother?

I'm not sure what science says about the correlation of IQ and one's
choices. I've heard that beyond the 50th or so percentile it's shaky.

Say that one follows all the collective advice here, on the mailing
list, for forty days. Say, for example, that one does the activities
in the list below, daily, and assume that the infrastructure is all in
place so as to be minimal overhead in the following program (e.g., a
computer that can run all the necessary software and hardware, someone
that can cook your meals in the downtime so you don't have to and so
on):

-30 minutes of N-Back (of course)
-An hour of aerobic exercise
-Neurofeedback
-Learning an instrument
-Learning a language
-3 meals, say 30 minutes each, featuring all of the good stuff: fish
oil, tumeric, complete amino acids and so on.

From this, I'll exclude what I consider stimulant nootropics,
including piracetam, deprenyl, modafinil and huperzine A, as those
seem to be spoken for; what I'm really concerned about is the
baseline. micro/macronutritional supplements (nootrients?) I include
in the program as it's hard to avoid the consequences.

What kind of salient increases could one expect from a program such as
this, really? What are the changes in *one's outlook* and *one's
approach to daily life* that would occur? What lifestyles could be now
accessed that couldn't have been accessed before with a higher degree
of hard work? If the answer is a moot one, then should one really
spend one's time on all of these things?

We can measure all we'd like the improvements in mathematical or
scientific terms, but I don't think having a high I.Q. in itself makes
life worth living. And yet, the two seem to be intertwined on some
level, and it's the extent about which I wonder. How do the supremely
intelligent look at life, as opposed to the less so? Is it any better?

Sorry for the rant.

whoisbambam

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Feb 12, 2011, 11:23:16 PM2/12/11
to Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence
I think you could get by with 30minutes of nbacking and 30minutes
aerobic exercise 5days a week

As for supplements, consider magnesium l-threonate and bcm-95 curcumin
as promising possibilities--word is still out.

As for thinking skills, consider:
http://www.teach12.com/tgc/courses/Course_Detail.aspx?cid=5932
http://www.teach12.com/tgc/courses/Course_Detail.aspx?cid=1426
http://www.teach12.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=4294

if you have a mathematical foundation:
http://www.teach12.com/tgc/courses/Course_Detail.aspx?cid=1483

Consider expanding your vocabulary (2000 most common GRE-level words
or whatever) in a way that teaches you to USE them--your working
vocabulary.

Arkanj3l

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Feb 12, 2011, 11:44:36 PM2/12/11
to Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence
I've seen all of these.

I'm wondering how the perceptions of individuals have changed, if
noticeably, if at all, through or after cognitive training. Not of
cognitive training itself, but about the world.

On Feb 13, 12:23 pm, whoisbambam <smath...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I think you could get by with 30minutes of nbacking and 30minutes
> aerobic exercise 5days a week
>
> As for supplements, consider magnesium l-threonate and bcm-95 curcumin
> as promising possibilities--word is still out.
>
> As for thinking skills, consider:http://www.teach12.com/tgc/courses/Course_Detail.aspx?cid=5932http://www.teach12.com/tgc/courses/Course_Detail.aspx?cid=1426http://www.teach12.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=4294

ailambris

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Feb 12, 2011, 11:48:06 PM2/12/11
to Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence
I don't know, man. You're confused. No offense: you're forgetting that
all of the things you describe should be part of a healthy lifestyle.
Peripheral improvements, incidental. I don't get your case, really.
Maybe you're consumed by the concept, spending too much time mulling
about it. Just follow the rules and forget about them. They should not
weigh so heavily on your conscience. In retrospect, you'll thank
yourself.

On Feb 12, 8:23 pm, whoisbambam <smath...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I think you could get by with 30minutes of nbacking and 30minutes
> aerobic exercise 5days a week
>
> As for supplements, consider magnesium l-threonate and bcm-95 curcumin
> as promising possibilities--word is still out.
>
> As for thinking skills, consider:http://www.teach12.com/tgc/courses/Course_Detail.aspx?cid=5932http://www.teach12.com/tgc/courses/Course_Detail.aspx?cid=1426http://www.teach12.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=4294
> > Sorry for the rant.- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

Arbo Arba

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Feb 13, 2011, 1:52:34 AM2/13/11
to Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence
Good questions. I did find a lot of changes come to my brain and
personality, but I'm not sure if it's from improving WM or if it's
just from spending a lot of time in an alpha-wave dominant state. I
think it's being in a prolonged alpha-brain wave dominant state, tbh,
because I found that when I was younger and took up heavy reading
projects I felt the same improvements--that is, having more focus,
being able to 'hear' myself think very distinctly to the point where I
could compose poems/emails in my head without effort.

I don't know why this is, but it happens so much with me that I can't
doubt that there is a real effect on my personality and default mental
state when I'm doing 'intellectual' things. I don't think it's related
to a dopamine release from the pleasure of studying, I think it's more
like the effects of meditation/neurofeedback training--that something
about the alpha-brain wave presence alters functionality of the
brain(feel free to supply other evidence to this or other
interpretations of the meditation research showing plasticity). In
short, plastic changes -- without concrete IQ/WM changes -- to me
offer more promise than improvements to WM/IQ.

Anyways, I don't worship IQ, because almost every intellectual pursuit
rewards intense multi-step reasoning. Engineering/Philosophy -- any
subject. Someone with high IQ will be able to go through the steps
faster, but the only thing that's going to keep that person from going
through the endless steps or 'mental leaps' involved in intellectual
accomplishment is motivation and undamaged executive function. Those
two things are in our control. Therefore, we can create the
'intellectual temperament' which is at the base of every intellectual
accomplishment.

This is why a lot of high IQ people(doctors/scientists) sound like
freshman when they talk about philosophical matters. Because that high
IQ doesn't free them from grueling step-by-step reasoning.

This revelation -- that everything of merit is a result of step-by-
step reasoning -- explains popular findings such as the 'ten thousand
hour rule' talked about in 'Genius' and 'Outliers' (as well as backed
up in numerous studies).

Conclusion : what we need is the intellectual discipline of a zen monk
or a champion writer. We need dominant alpha brain wave activity and
heavy pre-frontal activation. Why? Because very few things rely on
rapid cognition--hence why IQ is not nearly as predictive of success
as many would like it to be. Want to change your attitude and default
mental state to become more 'thoughtful'? Start doing more
intellectual work that requires thought. Start a reading project on
something that interests you because you'll find that when you read
something that you're interested in you get transferred to a
thoughtful state and you can stay in that engaged state for most of
the day(unless you're depressed/have some other ailment effecting PFC
activation)

Anyways, there's a huge interest in the extent of brain plasticity so
a lot our theorizing will hopefully be unnecessary soon when more
researchers begin publishing on these topics.

Take care bud, don't get discouraged :)


Darius Malik

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Feb 13, 2011, 2:39:29 AM2/13/11
to Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence
> as many would like it to be. Want to change your attitude and default
> mental state to become more 'thoughtful'? Start doing more
> intellectual work that requires thought. Start a reading project on
> something that interests you because you'll find that when you read
> something that you're interested in you get transferred to a
> thoughtful state and you can stay in that engaged state for most of
> the day(unless you're depressed/have some other ailment effecting PFC
> activation)

I agree with this. If you apply self-discipline often, it not only
becomes easier to apply it, but boring things like maths become less
boring, much like not eating sweet things for a year will make you
able to eat lemons without them tasting unbearably sour, or not
watching TV will make you start seeing most TV shows as extremely
boring.

I think whether n-back is worth it depends entirely on your goals. If
all you want is happiness, you're looking in the wrong place.
If you want to be productive, other things like cutting out TV-
watching and using spaced repetition can deliver an order of magnitude
as much as n-back.

Arbo Arba

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Feb 13, 2011, 2:51:59 AM2/13/11
to Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence
Absolutely on cutting out TV!

Great post.

likeprestige

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Feb 13, 2011, 4:20:03 AM2/13/11
to Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence
It's good that you have these questions at 18 Arkanj3l. I'm 22, at
your age I was not half as mature as you seem to be. Don't be
discouraged by some people's comments, one intellectual attribute that
is by far underused and or undervalued is that of curiosity. There is
never a stupid question, only stupid answers.

ailambris

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Feb 13, 2011, 9:26:56 AM2/13/11
to Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence
This isn't intellectual curiosity. This is like asking for
verification something you already know to be true.

whoisbambam

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Feb 13, 2011, 11:31:39 AM2/13/11
to Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence
Arkanj3l

The fact that the question was asked at all says much: Arkanj3l is on
the journey, lol, perhaps much like Siddhartha was, or Buddha, or
anybody else toward discovery, enlightenment.

Therefore, he probably is doing what he is supposed to be doing having
even asked


ailambris

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Feb 13, 2011, 4:52:32 PM2/13/11
to Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence
I'm not attacking him. I don't know why all of a sudden he has two
lawyers representing him.

whoisbambam

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Feb 13, 2011, 7:45:50 PM2/13/11
to Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence
ailambris,

i hope you were not referring to me since i didnt mention you
attacking him nor was i representing him..........

i merely tried to give some recommendations and then commented on the
insight he already has.........

certainly not coming after you--i appreciate your comments.

all is well here........

thanks for all your help and feedback...........

likeprestige

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Feb 14, 2011, 3:55:11 AM2/14/11
to Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence
Not in reference to you or anyone specific; speaking generally. If I
mean to speak about someone specific it will be much more obvious.

KD Jones

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Feb 14, 2011, 9:18:50 AM2/14/11
to Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence
Yeah... in my opinion, you're right. But oddly, so are the points
about intellectual curiosity. There's nothing to defend here, and I
think at some level it's known to all.
Confusion is a natural part of real curiosity. As an example, my
father used to teach in the same school with a math hardcore who gave
his students INSANE problems to work through. It was not unusual for
no one in his higher level classes to come up with any solutions after
working themselves raw on his assignments. He'd have parents coming
in and complaining, asking if even he knew the answers. Sometimes
he'd say "not right now, but give me a week and I'll let you know."
And he meant it. But the parents wanted mostly to feel good about
their smart kids, and to have the school wok serve as a foundation for
feeling secure, or proud, or whatever, while what the instructor was
after was driving the process, and trying (partially under radar) to
give them a chance to see first hand that good - even brilliant - work
wasn't a ticket to some magical entitlement. He wanted them to see
the value in the struggle first and formost. The kids would actually
argue about the beat ways to approach the problems... they were
inspired, exhilerated and frustrated, and he drove and encouraged
that. And this was in high school, in a nowhere Montana town. I
can't imagine it happening now.
In the end, the parents were shocked when their kids, having "wasted"
thier time on "pointless" drudge blew their college entrance tests
through the roof, and found college work surprisingly understandable.
My brother studied with
him, and was quite surprised when, having gone to college going in
with no pride or puffery and even being quiite naïve about the work
he'd done in high school was a year and a half into college math
before he ran into anything the felt foriegn or truly difficult.
I hope the connection there isn't too opaque. My point is that (I
think) it's important that we learn to be our own guinea pigs,
because there a few set courses in a meaningful and conscious life.
And the process of getting to that point is confusing and even
frightening if we sense too clearly what's at stake. And yeah... many
of us want confirmation along the way because of that. And yeah
again... it's important that we somehow come to a point at which we
chuck the concern and just do the work, making course corrections and
learning from assorted broken bones and chemical burns on the way,
because at some point it (hopefully) clear that a need to "figure it
out" beforehand is a clever and quiet little lie that death tells us.
So, I think it's important to bless the process, and continue to call
the cautions when it seems necessary, understanding that both can be
in error. And so what?

On Feb 12, 8:48 pm, ailambris <ailamb...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I don't know, man. You're confused. No offense: you're forgetting that
> all of the things you describe should be part of a healthy lifestyle.
> Peripheral improvements, incidental. I don't get your case, really.
> Maybe you're consumed by the concept, spending too much time mulling
> about it. Just follow the rules and forget about them. They should not
> weigh so heavily on your conscience. In retrospect, you'll thank
> yourself.
>
> On Feb 12, 8:23 pm, whoisbambam <smath...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > I think you could get by with 30minutes of nbacking and 30minutes
> > aerobic exercise 5days a week
>
> > As for supplements, consider magnesium l-threonate and bcm-95 curcumin
> > as promising possibilities--word is still out.
>
> > As for thinking skills, consider:http://www.teach12.com/tgc/courses/Course_Detail.aspx?cid=5932http://...

Oinchack&#39;Olp

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Feb 14, 2011, 5:29:46 PM2/14/11
to Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence
> -30 minutes of N-Back (of course)
> -An hour of aerobic exercise
> -Neurofeedback
> -Learning an instrument
> -Learning a language
> -3 meals, say 30 minutes each, featuring all of the good stuff: fish
> oil, tumeric, complete amino acids and so on.

Dr. Gunther Karstens, Memory Worldchampion 2007, recommends to learn
juggling to strenghten brainpower, too. I assumed much earlier, long
before I read that statement of him, the same, but never started. I
still think I should make up for that. To learn juggling, every
juggler recommends to buy professional juggling balls. Luckily, I did
that already.

Gizmo

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Feb 15, 2011, 12:37:13 AM2/15/11
to Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence
Wow, I've found a few of these posts in this thread to be very
powerful an inspiring.

UOchris1

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Feb 15, 2011, 4:45:14 AM2/15/11
to Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence
Long story short...Triple-N-Back at .5sec intervals and piano notes
instead of letters has greatly improved my subjectively perceived
fluidity of thought. I am much more engaged in class, can read much
quicker, and am coming up with many more creative solutions now than
ever before. I didn't notice the improvements as much when I was
using slower intervals--I feel I make more decision cycles in a given
amount of time before coming to a solution.

Develop a strong sense for when you need deep focus and task switching
in daily tasks and then look to draw parallels from your DNB training
so you can apply your gains. This is still a conscious process for
me. Although its easier to focus, I still have an intuitive sense
when my mind is or is not in focus mode...when I need focus and rapid
thinking I just apply that same mindset to the task at hand.

Its alot like balance training for sports...if you can't make the
parallel to a particular sport you wont recieve as much benefit. But
in nearly every sport balance is absolutely essential if one wishes to
be really good...and it can be selectively trained.
> > > > - Show quoted text -- Hide quoted text -

sutur

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Feb 16, 2011, 3:43:57 PM2/16/11
to Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence
Wow, .5sec ?! That's about twice the mean human reaction time. How the
hell do you do that? What's your average n-back level? What's your
average Percentage?
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