Enhancing Intelligence: From the Group to the Individual
Research aimed at testing whether short-term training programs can enhance intelligence is mainly concentrated on behavior. Expected positive effects are found sometimes, but the evidence is far from conclusive. It is assumed that training must evoke changes in the brain for observing genuine improvements in behavior. However, behavioral and brain data are seldom combined in the same study. Here we present one example of this latter type of research summarizing, discussing, and integrating already published results. The training program was based on the adaptive dual n-back task, and participants completed a comprehensive battery measuring fluid and crystallized ability, along with working memory and attention control, before and after training. They were also submitted to MRI scanning at baseline and post-training. Behavioral results revealed positive effects for visuospatial processing across cognitive domains. Brain imaging data were analyzed by longitudinal voxel-based morphometry, tensor-based morphometry, surface-based morphometry, and structural connectivity. The integration of these multimodal brain results provides clues about those observed in behavior. Our findings, along with previous research and current technological advances, are considered from the perspective that we now live in ideal times for (a) moving from the group to the individual and (b) developing personalized training programs.