Increase in IQ of nearly 10 points?

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jttoto

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May 1, 2009, 9:55:47 AM5/1/09
to Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence
Hey, when I was originally tested by a psychologist a year ago she
gave me an IQ of around 126.

I was n-backing for 5 days before today. I average at around a 4.2
right now. I found an online test made by a a group of Mensa members
and I scored around a 135. http://mensa.no/olavtesten/# How legit
is this test? (this was also a completely different test than the one
I took a year ago, the last one more verbal, this one more spatial)

Also, has anyone taken the test before and after n-backing and saw a
drastic change in your score? I felt pretty good about my changes,
but now I'm skeptical.

Gwern Branwen

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May 1, 2009, 12:19:10 PM5/1/09
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>
> Hey, when I was originally tested by a psychologist a year ago she
> gave me an IQ of around 126.
>
> I was n-backing for 5 days before today.  I average at around a 4.2
> right now.  I found an online test made by a a group of Mensa members
> and I scored around a 135.  http://mensa.no/olavtesten/#   How legit
> is this test?  (this was also a completely different test than the one
> I took a year ago, the last one more verbal, this one more spatial)

As you say, 2 different tests are basically incomparable. What I
recommend in my FAQ
http://community.haskell.org/~gwern/wiki/N-back%20FAQ.page is that you
take the same test at the beginning and end, hopefully having trained
for a long time (so as to minimize test-retest effects & maximize any
benefit from N-back). Even better is if you find a randomized Ravens.

> Also, has anyone taken the test before and after n-backing and saw a
> drastic change in your score?  I felt pretty good about my changes,
> but now I'm skeptical.

From my FAQ on precisely this topic:

'Reports of IQ tests have been mixed. Some results have been stunning:

> "LSaul [posted about](http://groups.google.ca/group/dualnback/browse_thread/thread/97b2340497476ecc/9959b6da18f8fbea) his apparent rise in IQ back in October. From what I remember, he had recently failed to qualify for MENSA, which requires a score of about 131 (98th percentile). He then got a 151 (99.97th percentile) on a professionally administered IQ test (WAIS) three months later, after 2 months of regular dual-n-back use." --[MR](http://groups.google.com/group/brain-training/browse_thread/thread/8af44f3b20df9904)

Some have not:

> "I took the Online Denmark IQ test again [after N-back training] and I got 140 (the same
result)
> I took a standardized (and charged) online IQ test from www.iqtest.com and I got 134 (though it may be a bit higher because English is not my mother tongue)" --[Crypto](http://groups.google.com/group/brain-training/browse_thread/thread/8af44f3b20df9904/c397c36355355d4c)

Tofu [writes](http://groups.google.com/group/brain-training/browse_thread/thread/d1e53e8c69c95c3a):

> "I've purposely not been doing anything to practice for the tests or anything else I thought could increase my score so I wouldn't have to factor other things into an improvement in iq, which makes improvements more likely attributable to dual n-back. Before I took the test I scored at 117, a score about 1 in about 8 people can get (7.78 to be exact), and yesterday I scored at 127 (a score that 1 in 28 people would get). Its a pretty big difference I would say."

The blogger of ["Inhuman
Experiment"](http://inhumanexperiment.blogspot.com/), who played for
~22 days and went from ~2.6-back to ~4-back,
[reports](http://inhumanexperiment.blogspot.com/2009/03/increasing-intelligence-by-playing.html):

> "The other test proved to be quite good (you can find it [here](http://www.iqout.com/)). In this one, the questions vary, the difficulty is adjusted on the go depending on whether you answer them correctly, and there's a time limit of 45 seconds per question, which makes this test better suited for re-taking. My first test, taken before playing the game, gave me a score of 126; my second test, taken yesterday, gave me a score of 132 (an increase of about 5%)....As you can see, it's kind of difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions from this. Yes, there was a slight increase in my score, but I would say a similar increase could've been possible even without playing the game. I think the variation in the IQ test questions reduces the "learning by heart" effect, but that's impossible to say without a control group."

Keep in mind, that if IQ is improved, that doesn't necessarily mean
anything unless one employs it to some end. It would be a shame to
boost one's IQ through N-back, but never use it because one was too
busy playing!'

--
gwern

jttoto

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May 1, 2009, 3:09:09 PM5/1/09
to Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence
Thanks for the reply. I could always take again the test I took a
year ago. I guess if I were trying to create the precise conditions
in the 2002 study I should wait another 14-15 days.

It does seem like most of the people reporting gains on this forum
already had above-average IQs to begin with, though that is probably
just a coincidence.

(I may have rehashed some other threads earlier with the same
content. This was not on purpose, at the time I was wondering why my
posts weren't immediately viewable.)

negatron

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May 2, 2009, 7:59:49 AM5/2/09
to Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence
On May 1, 3:09 pm, jttoto <jtdem...@uncc.edu> wrote:
> It does seem like most of the people reporting gains on this forum
> already had above-average IQs to begin with, though that is probably
> just a coincidence.

I doubt it. It takes a certain level of intelligence to recognize that
it would suit you well to have more and attempt to do something about
it. It would surprise me if the average IQ here was the global
average.

This would likely be of even greater benefit to people with lower
baseline working memory. I suspect an ADD individual would see far
more significant benefits than someone who is already a proficient
learner. Things could change a lot i they pushed this into the
standard public school curriculum.

Jonathan Toomim

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May 4, 2009, 2:56:39 AM5/4/09
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You guys will probably like this one.

Oral creatine monohydrate supplementation improves brain performance:
a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial.
Caroline Rae, Alison L Digney, Sally R McEwan, and Timothy C Bates

Abstract

Creatine supplementation is in widespread use to enhance sports-
fitness performance, and has been trialled successfully in the
treatment of neurological, neuromuscular and atherosclerotic disease.
Creatine plays a pivotal role in brain energy homeostasis, being a
temporal and spatial buffer for cytosolic and mitochondrial pools of
the cellular energy currency, adenosine triphosphate and its
regulator, adenosine diphosphate. In this work, we tested the
hypothesis that oral creatine supplementation (5 g d(-1) for six
weeks) would enhance intelligence test scores and working memory
performance in 45 young adult, vegetarian subjects in a double-blind,
placebo-controlled, cross-over design. Creatine supplementation had a
significant positive effect (p < 0.0001) on both working memory
(backward digit span) and intelligence (Raven's Advanced Progressive
Matrices), both tasks that require speed of processing. These findings
underline a dynamic and significant role of brain energy capacity in
influencing brain performance.

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=1691485
http://jtoomim.org/creatine_intelligence.pdf

Manuel Matías

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May 4, 2009, 7:21:10 AM5/4/09
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(emphasis mine:)

On Mon, May 4, 2009 at 8:56 AM, Jonathan Toomim <jto...@berkeley.edu> wrote:
> [...]In this work, we tested the


> hypothesis that oral creatine supplementation (5 g d(-1) for six
> weeks) would enhance intelligence test scores and working memory

> performance in 45 young adult, VEGETARIAN subjects in a double-blind,
> placebo-controlled, cross-over design.

So, how would this translate to those of us who regularly
eat meat? Do we already get enough creatine? Do we not?

childofbaud

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May 4, 2009, 10:13:47 AM5/4/09
to Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence
Jonathan, that is a very intriguing study to me, since I happen to
follow a vegan diet. Thanks for posting.

On May 4, 7:21 am, Manuel Matías <manuel.mat...@gmail.com> wrote:
> (emphasis mine:)
>
> On Mon, May 4, 2009 at 8:56 AM, Jonathan Toomim <jtoo...@berkeley.edu> wrote:
> > [...]In this work, we tested the
> > hypothesis that oral creatine supplementation (5 g d(-1) for six
> > weeks) would enhance intelligence test scores and working memory
> > performance in 45 young adult, VEGETARIAN subjects in a double-blind,
> > placebo-controlled, cross-over design.
>
> So, how would this translate to those of us who regularly
> eat meat? Do we already get enough creatine? Do we not?

From the study: "We would therefore expect to see a beneficial effect
of creatine supplementation on brain performance in most omnivores
apart from those who consume very high amounts of meat (ca. 2 kg d-1)."

Gwern Branwen

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May 4, 2009, 11:16:00 AM5/4/09
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There's another interesting study: Rawson 2008
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2008.05.009 (PDF available &
uploaded)

Abstract: "Creatine supplementation has been reported to improve
certain aspects of cognitive and psychomotor function in older
individuals and in young subjects following 24 and 36 h of sleep
deprivation. However, the effects of creatine supplementation on
cognitive processing and psychomotor performance in non-sleep deprived
young adults have not been assessed with a comprehensive battery of
neurocognitive tests. The primary objective of this study was to
examine the effects of creatine supplementation on cognitive
processing and psychomotor performance in young adults. Twenty-two
subjects (21 ± 2 yr) ingested creatine (0.03 g/kg/day) or placebo for
6 weeks in a double-blind placebo-controlled fashion. Subjects
completed a battery of neurocognitive tests pre- and
post-supplementation, including: simple reaction time (RT), code
substitution (CS), code substitution delayed (CSD), logical reasoning
symbolic (LRS), mathematical processing (MP), running memory (RM), and
Sternberg memory recall (MR). There were no significant effects of
group, no significant effects of time, and no significant group by
time interactions for RT, CS, CSD, LRS, MP, RM, and MR (all p > 0.05),
indicating that there were no differences between creatine and placebo
supplemented groups at any time. These results suggest that six weeks
of creatine supplementation (0.03/g/kg/day) does not improve cognitive
processing in non-sleep deprived young adults. Potentially, creatine
supplementation only improves cognitive processing and psychomotor
performance in individuals who have impaired cognitive processing
abilities."

An interesting area. We have results like:
- Helps elderly
- Helps young sleep-deprived
- Helps young vegetarians (avg. 27)
- Helps the moronic
- Doesn't help young omnivores

On the other hand, the Rawson study notes that they used 0.03 grams of
creatine per subject's kilogram, and given that the creatine subjects
were "73.8±13.6" kg, that means (87.4*0.03=2.622) that even the
heaviest subject was getting only about 2.5 grams, or less than half
Rae's young-vegetarian result and a quarter of the elderly result, and
possibly much less (60.2*0.03=1.806).

But oops, reading further I see the authors already considered that!

"The supplementation protocol used in the current study (0.03 g/kg/
day for 6weeks; ≈2.2 g/day) differs from the protocols used by Rae et
al. (5 g/day for 6 weeks) [14] andWatanabe et al. [15] (8 g/day for 5
days), and may be a factor in our negative findings. Our
supplementation protocolwas based on the seminal paper byHultman et
al. [4] inwhich it was demonstrated that the ingestion of 20 g of
creatine/day for 6 days, 20 g of creatine for 6 days followed by 2
g/day for 28 days, and 3 g of creatine (0.03 g/kg of bodyweight) for
28 days all cause similar increases in muscle total creatine.
Importantly, the majority of supplemental creatine was unabsorbed in
both the high dose loading (17% creatine retained following 20 g of
creatine/day for 6 days) and low dose longer term supplementation
protocols (30% absorbed during the first 14 d and 12% during the final
14 d following 0.03 g of creatine/kg for 28 d) [4]. Given that the
increase inmuscle creatine is directly correlatedwith the improvement
in post-supplementation performance, we believe that our
supplementation protocol provided an adequate amount of creatine.
Also, considering the smallermass of the brain relative to total body
skeletalmuscle mass,we are confident thatwe provided sufficient
creatine to our subjects."

Other interesting quotes:

"Based on the data of McMorris et al. [12,13,16], it is possible that
creatine only has a measureable effect on cognitive processing and
psychomotor performance in individuals who are either permanently
(i.e. disease, aging) or temporarily (i.e. sleep deprivation and
exercise) cognitively impaired. Specifically, creatine may be able to
blunt the decrease in cognitive processing or psychomotor performance
during sleep deprivation, but may not improve cognitive processing or
psychomotor performances in well rested/unstressed individuals."

"It is difficult to explain why our results differ from those of
Watanabe et al. [15] and Rae et al. [14] who also tested their
subjects in an unstressed and rested state. Potentially, the tasks
used by Watanabe et al. [15] and Rae et al. [14] were more cognitively
challenging than those used in the current study, placed a greater
demand on cerebral ATP re-synthesis, and thus produced a measurable
effect from the creatine. This, however, seems unlikely, in that the
tasks used in the current study included complex central executive
tasks, which may require more energy, as well as simpler tasks. Rae et
al. [14] examined the effects of creatine supplementation on brain
performance of vegetarians who are known to have lower plasma [22],
red blood cell [23], and muscle creatine [24]. Because those with the
lowest muscle creatine have the largest increase in muscle and blood
creatine following creatine ingestion, it is possible that the
vegetarian subjects in the study by Rae at al. [14] experienced a
larger increase in brain creatine than subjects in the current study,
who were not vegetarians. Recently Pan and Takahashi [7] demonstrated
that subjects with the lowest initial brain PCr/ATP ratio, as may be
the case with vegetarians, had the greatest increase in brain PCr/ATP
following 7 days of creatine ingestion. This may explain the
differences between our findings and those of Rae et al. [14]."

------

So in general, I think creatine is an interesting approach (and I note
creatine seems to be legal, widely available, and almost as cheap as
melatonin). But the research is rather conflicting!

Any n-backers using creatine? Any interested in starting?

--
gwern

Gwern Branwen

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May 4, 2009, 11:16:06 AM5/4/09
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On Mon, May 4, 2009 at 10:13 AM, childofbaud <sait...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Jonathan, that is a very intriguing study to me, since I happen to
> follow a vegan diet. Thanks for posting.

Well, see my other message. Creatine supplements sound kind of hard to
use, though! In the Watanabe study mentioned by Rae (uploaded), the
regimen was:

"Creatine tablets containing 1 g each of creatine monohydrate (Ezaki
Glico, Co. Ltd., Osaka, Japan) (n /12) or placebo tablets with similar
taste containing no creatine monohydrate (n /12) were randomly
numbered and assigned to the subjects in sealed envelopes so that both
the researchers and the subjects cannot tell which one was given. They
were instructed to take eight tablets per day (8 g creatine
monohydrate per day) four times a day, after meals and before sleep,
for 5 days."

The Rae setup is more reasonable:

"At the end of the first and third test sessions, subjects were given
an envelope marked with their study number and containing 5 g doses of
supplement (creatine monohydrate ((2-methylguanido)acetic acid); Pan
Pharmaceuticals, Australia) or placebo (maltodextrin; Manildra
Starches, Australia) in plastic vials. Subjects were asked to consume
this supplement at the same time each day for the next six weeks and
received advice on how best to take this supplement to ensure maximum
solubility and absorption."

But even a 5-gram pill seems like it might be a little hard to choke down. :)

(On a side note, while looking up creatine, I was amused how many of
the hits were for creatine's apparent utility in beating marijuana
tests.)

--
gwern

Gwern Branwen

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May 4, 2009, 11:16:31 AM5/4/09
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2009/5/4 Manuel Matías <manuel...@gmail.com>:

Hard to say. They also write:

"We note here that creatine supplementation in vegetarians results in
the same ergonomic increases in muscle performance as it
does in omnivores, despite vegetarians having lower tissue creatine
prior to supplementation (Shomrat et al. 2000)."

Kind of interesting. So vegetarians have significantly lower creatine
levels (the body can synthesize it), but the same doses result in the
same effects as for carnivores/omnivores? One rather wonders if that
carries over to mental performance. The most recent study suggests it
doesn't.

--
gwern

Thomas Joy

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May 4, 2009, 3:56:05 PM5/4/09
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On Mon, May 4, 2009 at 9:16 AM, Gwern Branwen <gwe...@gmail.com> wrote:
> (On a side note, while looking up creatine, I was amused how many of
> the hits were for creatine's apparent utility in beating marijuana
> tests.)

I've seen it work miracles.

Jonathan Toomim

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May 4, 2009, 5:42:36 PM5/4/09
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On May 4, 2009, at 8:16 AM, Gwern Branwen wrote:

> Creatine supplements sound kind of hard to use, though!

You can buy 1 kg jars of creatine monohydrate powder for about $30
either online or at stores like GNC. <http://www.google.com/products?q=creatine
> You take about 5 grams, stir it into a glass of water, and drink
it. It has no taste. I've done it for years. The hardest part about
it is remembering. I'm omnivorous, but I tend to not eat very much
meat because I'm cheap (and I live with hippies). I do think it makes
a difference. I'm more confident that I've noticed effects of
creatine than of DnB.

Side effects: You need to drink a LOT of water, otherwise you'll get
symptoms of dehydration. May cause mild bloating due to increased
water retention. May trigger problems if you have weak kidneys.

Be careful about the creatine ethyl ester stuff. It's advertised as
being better absorbed than the monohydrate. AFAIK, there's no
evidence for that. It also tastes really really nasty, and leaves a
sour film on your teeth for an hour or so. The monohydrate leaves no
such film.

Jonathan

Jonathan Toomim

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May 4, 2009, 7:10:06 PM5/4/09
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Thanks for the Rawson paper, Gwern. I hadn't seen that one.

I have two reasons why Rawson may have come up with a false negative.

First, the test battery they used may not be sensitive enough. They
used the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics (ANAM). The
ANAM measures reaction time and throughput on a number of cognitive
tasks. The correlations between ANAM and other tests are pretty low,
in the r=.2 to r=.6 range (Kabat 2001). The test is designed to
detect problems with attention or processing speed, such as are caused
by traumatic brain injury. Since reaction time and processing speed
tend to be poorly correlated with intelligence as measured by other
tests, it's plausible that the subjects experienced cognitive benefits
that had nothing to do with reaction time or answer throughput, and
which the test failed to observe. Also, the test might not be hard
enough: it's design goal was to detect differences between cognitive
capabilities of athletes before and after a brain injury; healthy
college students might be able to get essentially all of the questions
correct even without creatine.

Second, they only used 22 subjects in a non-crossover design. Rae et
al used 45 subjects and performed crossover design with within-group
comparisons. The higher subject number increases statistical power by
roughly a factor of 1.4. The within-subject comparison does much more
than that, since it provides twice the data per subject with much
lower noise--for a test with a reliability of 0.8 (the RAPM test-
retest reliability measures between 0.7 and 0.9), I think that would
reduce the measurement noise by a factor of about 2.8 (that's [1 / (1
- 0.8^2)]), which should be equivalent to using about 7.7 times as
many subjects. In total, if my statistics are correct (and they're
probably not), this would mean that Rae's crossover design had around
the same statistical power as a 700-subject non-crossover design.

On the other hand, Rae's results were significant at the p<0.0001
level. If Rae et al were able to achieve that level of significance
with a 45 subject crossover design, one would expect a 22 subject non-
crossover design to at least get to p<0.05. They didn't. The sample
size compounded with the poor quality of the ANAM and the lower dose
of creatine could explain it, though.

More information on the ANAM:

http://jtoomim.org/ANAM_corr.png
http://jtoomim.org/ANAM_construct_validity.pdf

Jonathan


On May 4, 2009, at 8:16 AM, Gwern Branwen wrote:

Gwern Branwen

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May 5, 2009, 2:53:01 PM5/5/09
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On Mon, May 4, 2009 at 7:10 PM, Jonathan Toomim <jto...@berkeley.edu> wrote:
>
> Thanks for the Rawson paper, Gwern.  I hadn't seen that one.
>
> I have two reasons why Rawson may have come up with a false negative.
>
> First, the test battery they used may not be sensitive enough.  They
> used the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics (ANAM).  The
> ANAM measures reaction time and throughput on a number of cognitive
> tasks.  The correlations between ANAM and other tests are pretty low,
> in the r=.2 to r=.6 range (Kabat 2001).  The test is designed to
> detect problems with attention or processing speed, such as are caused
> by traumatic brain injury.  Since reaction time and processing speed
> tend to be poorly correlated with intelligence as measured by other
> tests, it's plausible that the subjects experienced cognitive benefits
> that had nothing to do with reaction time or answer throughput, and
> which the test failed to observe.  Also, the test might not be hard
> enough:  it's design goal was to detect differences between cognitive
> capabilities of athletes before and after a brain injury; healthy
> college students might be able to get essentially all of the questions
> correct even without creatine.

Yes, that seems pretty reasonable. Reading that paper describing the
ANAM, the tasks do seem pretty 'easy'. I could buy an explanation that
the ANAM only catches deficits and errors, but couldn't distinguish
between people performing at a normal level and ones at a somewhat
higher level. One wishes that a tough IQ test had been used by Rawson;
it's problematic to compare Rae's benefits on a Ravens with Rawson's
lack of benefit on ANAM.

> Second, they only used 22 subjects in a non-crossover design.  Rae et
> al used 45 subjects and performed crossover design with within-group
> comparisons.  The higher subject number increases statistical power by
> roughly a factor of 1.4.  The within-subject comparison does much more
> than that, since it provides twice the data per subject with much
> lower noise--for a test with a reliability of 0.8 (the RAPM test-
> retest reliability measures between 0.7 and 0.9), I think that would
> reduce the measurement noise by a factor of about 2.8 (that's [1 / (1
> - 0.8^2)]), which should be equivalent to using about 7.7 times as
> many subjects.  In total, if my statistics are correct (and they're
> probably not), this would mean that Rae's crossover design had around
> the same statistical power as a 700-subject non-crossover design.
>
> On the other hand, Rae's results were significant at the p<0.0001
> level.  If Rae et al were able to achieve that level of significance
> with a 45 subject crossover design, one would expect a 22 subject non-
> crossover design to at least get to p<0.05.  They didn't.  The sample
> size compounded with the poor quality of the ANAM and the lower dose
> of creatine could explain it, though.
>
> More information on the ANAM:
>
> http://jtoomim.org/ANAM_corr.png
> http://jtoomim.org/ANAM_construct_validity.pdf
>
> Jonathan

Hm, the statistics is over my head I'm afraid! But all this makes me
eager to try out creatine soon.

Even if it only works well for ameliorating sleep fatigue, I think
there may still be a good combo there: modafinil to keep you awake,
creatine towards the end*, and then melatonin when you're done and are
going to sleep.Something to try, anyway.

* Although I guess creatine would probably be a daily thing, and not
something you take a few hours after the modafinil

--
gwern

Gwern Branwen

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May 5, 2009, 3:00:26 PM5/5/09
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On Mon, May 4, 2009 at 5:42 PM, Jonathan Toomim <jto...@berkeley.edu> wrote:
>
> On May 4, 2009, at 8:16 AM, Gwern Branwen wrote:
>
>> Creatine supplements sound kind of hard to use, though!
>
> You can buy 1 kg jars of creatine monohydrate powder for about $30
> either online or at stores like GNC. <http://www.google.com/products?q=creatine
>  >  You take about 5 grams, stir it into a glass of water, and drink
> it.  It has no taste.  I've done it for years.  The hardest part about
> it is remembering.  I'm omnivorous, but I tend to not eat very much
> meat because I'm cheap (and I live with hippies).  I do think it makes
> a difference.  I'm more confident that I've noticed effects of
> creatine than of DnB.

I see. Now that I look, most of the products are powder and not pills.

> Side effects:  You need to drink a LOT of water, otherwise you'll get
> symptoms of dehydration.  May cause mild bloating due to increased
> water retention.  May trigger problems if you have weak kidneys.

Heh. I am an inveterate tea drinker, so drinking a lot of water is not
much of a challenge.

> Be careful about the creatine ethyl ester stuff.  It's advertised as
> being better absorbed than the monohydrate.  AFAIK, there's no
> evidence for that.  It also tastes really really nasty, and leaves a
> sour film on your teeth for an hour or so.  The monohydrate leaves no
> such film.
>
> Jonathan

OK, thanks for the advice! I guess this will make another good section
for my N-back FAQ, then. At least, creatine seems more popular than
melatonin here...

--
gwern

Pontus Granström

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May 21, 2009, 12:43:25 PM5/21/09
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I scored 133 on www.mensa.dk/iqtest.swf today. I have never scored that high before I really feel the "dnb thinking" kicking in.

Toto

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May 21, 2009, 1:42:07 PM5/21/09
to Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence
Have you taken that test before? Or other tests of the same kind? I
have read that at least six months must pass before you retake a test
if you want to obtain accurate results. And it is not so unnatural to
score higher on a different kind of IQ test. By the way, Vlado tried
to replicate the original study and he said that the participants had
2-3 points higher scores, but even all of it could be retest effect,
because they took the same test after just one month. He promised to
tell us the results of the control group, we hope we will hear from
him soon. But 10 points is just absurd.

Pontus Granström

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May 21, 2009, 1:59:49 PM5/21/09
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Interesting,2-3 points higher on what test?

Pontus Granström

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May 21, 2009, 2:00:36 PM5/21/09
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Well I havent taken the mensa.dk test for at least one year.

Gwern Branwen

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May 21, 2009, 2:50:09 PM5/21/09
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On Thu, May 21, 2009 at 2:00 PM, Pontus Granström wrote:
> Well I havent taken the mensa.dk test for at least one year.

And what was the score then? (I'd like to add your case to the n-back
faq, but I'm only adding before-after comparisons.)

- --
gwern


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Pontus Granström

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May 21, 2009, 2:51:39 PM5/21/09
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I think it was 122. Well below 130.

Pontus Granström

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May 21, 2009, 2:52:34 PM5/21/09
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Here's a screenshot.
iqefterdnb.jpg

Mike L.

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May 21, 2009, 9:09:11 PM5/21/09
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When, by the way, did Vlado post his findings on this group?

Did he ever?

On May 21, 1:42 pm, Toto <a.mench...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Have you taken that test before? Or other tests of the same kind? I
> have read that at least six months must pass before you retake a test
> if you want to obtain accurate results. And it is not so unnatural to
> scorehigheron a different kind of IQ test. By the way, Vlado tried
> to replicate the original study and he said that the participants had2-3pointshigherscores, but even all of it could be retest effect,

Mike L.

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May 21, 2009, 10:33:23 PM5/21/09
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Where did you see this?

On May 21, 1:42 pm, Toto <a.mench...@gmail.com> wrote:

jttoto

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May 22, 2009, 12:00:02 AM5/22/09
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I've seen similar problems on an aptitude test I took in my teens.
That was almost 10 years ago, so I don't think that should matter.

Toto

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May 22, 2009, 3:47:51 AM5/22/09
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Actually, it does matter, if you saw such problems for the first time
then. It is one of the things which can account for big differences in
the scores of an individual. Results are usually 3 to 8 points higher
the second time. I've read about bigger "gains" - more than 20 points.
It was just one case, though.

Mike, Vlado has NOT posted his findings yet. He just mentioned that
the training group is doing a bit better than before - 2-3 points on
average. He had not tested the control group at that time. I think it
was in "Which is better - DNB ot TNB".

Pontus, I scored almost ten points higher on this test the second time
and I had not trained with DNB. Many things could explain the
different scores of an individual. That's why groups are used in the
studies. Nobody knows whether IQ is increased after DNB and, if it is,
how much. Maybe Vlado will tell us soon.

Gwern, you are aware, I'm sure, that people whose IQ didn't increase
are not likely to write about that. And, since you explained that it
is not unusual to score higher on a culture fair test, because it is
different than Wechsler's test, you should think it equally natural
that someone shuld score high on this test and lower on another (is
not Wechsler's the test on which someone scored 150, after he had
failed on Mensa's test ) :)



Pontus Granström

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May 22, 2009, 7:47:27 AM5/22/09
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I'm a bit sceptical to Vlados research since he uses a group that know what they are training for, it could result in a somewhat reverse placebo effect. I have taken the mensa.dk IQ-test many times (years ago) and never reached above 130 so in my case I definitley give credit to DNB.

Toto

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May 22, 2009, 8:03:02 AM5/22/09
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You give credit to DNB, and not to a possible placebo effect or
something else? And knowing what one is training for causes reverse
placebo effect? Perhaps the subjects want to sabotage Vlado?
The last time I took mensa.dk test I scored 143, i.e. I couldn't solve
just one problem. That is the result of taking a test many times. (I
have not taken it after training.)

Gwern Branwen

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May 22, 2009, 9:39:41 AM5/22/09
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On Fri, May 22, 2009 at 3:47 AM, Toto <a.men...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Gwern, you are aware, I'm sure, that people whose IQ didn't increase
> are not likely to write about that.

True enough. So far I have 5 examples, and only 1, Crypto's, is a null
result. I wish more people would write about what they see! I don't
know any way around this, though - people who saw results from
N-backing are just more likely to be subscribers who will reply, than
people who saw no benefit.

> And, since you explained that it
> is not unusual to score higher on a culture fair test, because it is
> different than Wechsler's test, you should think it equally natural
> that someone shuld score high on this test and lower on another (is
> not Wechsler's the test on which someone scored 150, after he had
> failed on Mensa's test ) :)

You allude to Lsaul's result, which was indeed on the WAIS. But MR
doesn't tell us what test his <131 score was on, unfortunately - so it
could be that he took the hard culture-neutral one, got a low score,
then took the WAIS and cleaned up thanks to the verbal subtests. The
first one was for Mensa, and I don't know that they use WAIS. (The
thread is http://groups.google.com/group/brain-training/browse_thread/thread/8af44f3b20df9904
) So your criticism here is correct.

I don't know whether this could explain a >20 point jump by itself,
but the remainder of the improvement could easily be covered by
different tests, different circumstances, motivation, etc.

--
gwern

jttoto

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May 22, 2009, 9:56:41 AM5/22/09
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If the Mensa practice test (the one of the official website), the
Wonderlic, and the test I took from my psychiatrist are any indicator,
then most IQ tests use problems that people have been exposed to in
their lifetime. For example, either by interest or profession, some
people deal with algebraic problems on a daily basis. By the logic
that retesting would raise IQ, wouldn't it seem reasonable that
certain professions would score superficially higher on portions of an
IQ test from mere exposure? What about an English major and say, the
vocabulary portion or the Wordsum test? The IQ test I took from my
psychiatrist, not to mention other measures of aptitude such as the
SAT or GRE (the GRE I scored high on through months of studying) ,
have a huge amount of knowledge-based questions such as the verbal and
math portion. If the retest effect is true (which I don't doubt),
wouldn't having a mere interest and practice in math and language give
one a superficially high score on most IQ tests? If that is the case,
then how valid are these tests?

I think that it is rather significant that I have achieved a rather
high score on a tests after being exposed to it once in my lifetime.
In contrast, many IQ tests outside the Raven's use questions that the
average person would be exposed to hundreds of times in their
lifetime, and some daily.

jttoto

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May 22, 2009, 12:51:26 PM5/22/09
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In addition, someone said that the retest effects go away after 1
year. The handful of raven-like questions I've been exposed to was
almost 10 years ago. But, as you said, it is not unusual for people
to score differently on different tests.

Toto

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May 22, 2009, 2:31:05 PM5/22/09
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What I was talking about is not retest effect. People just score lower
the first time they take an IQ test, either because ... actually, I'm
too tired now to think why :) If you saw just a handful of questions,
they probably were not scored separately and you don't know whether
you have improved.
Yes, many tests include knowledge questions and I don't think it's
fair. The hypothesis behind this is that the more intelligent you are,
the more you are likely to learn, and it is so in most cases. There
usually is strong correlation between the scores from such tests and
culure-free tests.
Some training in logic and math may increase IQ scores with several
points, so does taking many tests. But the difference is only a few
points.
People who have had mentally challenging professions (am I saying what
I'm trying to say :) increase their IQ with several points too (2-3
points I think, I read it long time ago).

Gwern,
Most Mensa branches use a culture-free test, similar to Raven's.
British Mensa uses two subtests, one is verbal and the other culture-
free, and if you score high enough on any of the subtest you are
admitted. American Mensa probably uses different tests. Is Lsaul
American?
As to whether there could be great differences between scores on
different kinds of tests, 3 years ago in a tv show, a university
lecturer (seemingly an intelligent woman) with extremely rich
vocabulary scored 52 (sd 24) on the Mensa test (FRT). (There is
nothing wrong with the test, a friend of mine has taken it and said it
iwas very easy).

Pontus Granström

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May 22, 2009, 3:15:56 PM5/22/09
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Of course this is somewhat of a holy grail, but since 50% of the G-factor is enviroment we should be able to affect the IQ-score, in what way is not interesting. The executive function on the other hand is nearly 100% genetical.

Pheonoxia

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May 25, 2009, 7:25:50 PM5/25/09
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Approximately three years ago I took the "European IQ Test." It was
posted on some message board and the author of the thread said the
test was credible. At that time, I scored 126.

I've been n-backing since early February, so I figured I'd try it
again today. I googled "European IQ Test" and clicked the first
result, a test from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.. I
don't recall any of the exact questions for the first one I took three
years ago, but the format of this test seemed almost identical. Today
I scored 144, 18 points higher than before.
http://www3.ntu.edu.sg/home/czzhao/iq/test.htm

To me, this is anecdotal evidence that n-backing does increase
intelligence. I'll try again for another three months and take a
completely different test.

I will admit, however, that I recognized one of the first questions as
the Fibonacci sequence, so I attribute that to crystallized, not fluid
intelligence. The highest score this test allows for is 171, meaning
you got ZERO questions wrong. I got 6 wrong and 3 half questions wrong
where it requires two answers (that was my worst section), so either
7.5 or 9 out of 33 questions wrong.

Curtis Warren

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May 25, 2009, 7:45:53 PM5/25/09
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That test doesn't seem to adjust for age.

Pheonoxia

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May 25, 2009, 8:17:12 PM5/25/09
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I was 19 then. I'm 22 now. I've also finished two years of college
since then.

jttoto

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May 26, 2009, 12:21:25 PM5/26/09
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138, does this mean I can apply for Mensa?

Honestly, I thought the test was a little too easy to be an IQ test.
I finished in 15 minutes and I guessed on a couple of questions
because I didn't feel like thinking. Not to mention I just taken a
test similar to the Raven's recently (scored 135)

Most IQ tests test verbal as well as memory. This one only seems to
test pattern recognition, which is one of my strengths, so I will
likely get an inflated score that doesn't measure my true
intelligence.



On May 25, 7:25 pm, Pheonoxia <b...@brockman.info> wrote:
> Approximately three years ago I took the "European IQ Test." It was
> posted on some message board and the author of the thread said the
> test was credible. At that time, I scored 126.
>
> I've been n-backing since early February, so I figured I'd try it
> again today. I googled "European IQ Test" and clicked the first
> result, a test from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.. I
> don't recall any of the exact questions for the first one I took three
> years ago, but the format of this test seemed almost identical. Today
> I scored 144, 18 points higher than before.http://www3.ntu.edu.sg/home/czzhao/iq/test.htm

Jonathan Toomim

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May 27, 2010, 6:54:10 PM5/27/10
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Reposting.  The upshot is that the Rawson study was of low quality, using a poor outcome measure, a small sample, and between-subjects comparisons, so their lack of significant results is probably because they didn't do a good enough job.

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Pontus Granström

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May 28, 2010, 5:48:09 AM5/28/10
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I bought 500 grams, should last for 100 days? It's interesting to note that study was conducted on vegans with a very low intake of meat!

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Pontus Granström

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May 28, 2010, 6:22:21 AM5/28/10
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Similar tactics applied to prove that brain training does not work.

On Fri, May 28, 2010 at 12:54 AM, Jonathan Toomim <jto...@jtoomim.org> wrote:
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Jonathan Toomim

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May 28, 2010, 12:13:41 PM5/28/10
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About 100 days, yes.  Maybe 50, maybe 200.  Depends on dosage.

The Rae study was performed on vegetarians, not vegans, and they had zero meat intake.  Creatine is also synthesized by the human body, so vegetarians have about half the creatine supply of the average omnivore.

Both vegetarians and omnivores receive benefits from creatine for muscle performance.  It's likely that the same applies to brain performance.
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