Saturday, August 29, 2009

Multitasking Affects Cognitive Performance

I recommend perusing the following journal article, "Cognitive Control in Media Multitaskers", written by Eyal Ophir, Clifford Nass, and Anthony D. Wagner. It was published in the September 11, 2009 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). The .pdf is available here:

In this article, the authors describe their studies upon two groups of individuals: 1) heavy multimedia multitaskers; and 2) light media multitaskers. They attempt to extract the effect of multitasking on a person's ability to process information.

Counterintutively, the authors discovered that heavy multimedia multitasksers -those people who read books, watch TV, surf the net, and listen to music -are more easily distracted, and are actually worse at switching tasks than light media multitaskers.

Have the author's discovered a brain improvement technique? I'd argue that they haven't. However, applying their principles could be helpful in maintaining your current cognitive abilities. In sum, attempt to minimize the circumstances where your mind is bombarded with multiple information sources -read your book, then watch television, rather than attempting to read and watch at the same time.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Free Brain Fitness Software - Dual N-Backing Program

I'm a little busy right now, so I can't make this post a long one, but I thought that I'd quickly recommend a nice piece of free Brain fitness software, entitled Brain Workshop. The mental challenge on which the game is based, dual N-backing, has been shown to increase a person's working memory considerably, and I'd highly recommend it (future posts will discuss this fascinating discovery).

More importantly, there is a company called Mind Sparke, which is attempting to SELL software based on the dual N-backing method. Having purchased Mind Sparke's only currently available piece of software, Brain Fitness Pro, my opinion is that Brain Workshop is a better piece of software.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Image Streaming Part 4: A Conversation with Charles P. Reinert

In the third part of my image streaming series, I presented the entirety of Dr. Charles Reinert's study concerning image streaming and IQ improvement, which suggested that image streaming resulted in an average IQ increase for students who practiced the technique. A few months ago, I contacted Dr. Reinert by e-mail, and asked him a few questions about his study, and I thought I would share an edited version of the exchange (Dr. Reinert gave his permission).

OS: Why has no further study been done to confirm or refute your findings concerning image streaming? The findings seem quite interesting, and it surprises me that you haven't followed up on your research.

Dr. Charles Reinert: I have no idea why others have not done any followup work. I was a physics professor at the time, not trained in psychological research or the like. I had a full teaching schedule at SMSU, with no allocated time for research. After having experienced image streaming at a conference in Arizona a year or so before I did my work, I was much impressed with the theory underlying the image streaming protocol and my brief experience in doing it at the conference-- so much so that I determined to "give it a go" in a couple of physics courses I was teaching at the time, to see what might happen. I did not do much followup work, though I did teach a course the following year (as I recall), where the students did (only) image streaming, and we endeavored to test, not only their analytical skills, but also their creativity. What we found seemed to be clear indication that at least some types of creativity were enhanced, as measured by a standard test of creativity furnished to me by my psychologist colleagues. (The name of the test escapes me now.) As I recall, the analytical skills also increased, though I do not recall any details of that.

OS: Are there any scientific publications in peer reviewed journals which support the Whimbey Method, or the Image Streaming method (Try as I might, I cannot find publications supporting or refuting either technique)? If there are no publications, are you familiar with the reasons why neither of these methods have been studied rigorously?

Dr. Charles Reinert: ...I don't have a clue as to whether anyone has done any other work regarding Whimbey's work or Image Streaming. What I do recall is that in conversations with Win Wenger preceding and also after my preliminary work, he was having major difficulty in getting anyone to do such work. It seemed that he would have professionals all set to do the work, and then, for some reason, the efforts would fall through. There was a part of Win, and a part of me, at the time, that suspected that, because we were "challenging" the prevailing paradigm that it is "impossible" to change IQ, anyone who even sought to TEST that paradigm was perceived to be a few cards short of a full deck, as they say.

OS: Do you personally believe that image streaming is effective?

Dr. Charles Reinert: I have NO DOUBT whatsoever in my own mind that image streaming is effective, and that it pretty much does what Win believed it could do, which was to increase general intelligence (AND creativity, by my own measures) at a rate in the vicinity of a few IQ points over several hours of practice. I felt so strongly in my own mind, following my admittedly somewhat crude work, that I made the image streaming activity a "standard" part of my physics students' homework thereafter for many years. I also taught my then 3 year old daughter to do it, and we would have great fun while I was driving her the 20 miles to daycare-- I image streamed with my eyes open of course, and daughter (name removed) did it (I think ) with eyes closed. She quickly became very adept at it and I have to believe that this early practice became a continuing factor in her scholastic success, and likely in her being admitted (on her first try) to the veterinary medicine school at the University of Minnesota a few years ago. Another thing that seemed to happen to me and others who have done this work is that after one has been image streaming for about a month, the number of A Ha's, Ho Ho's, and He He's-- (the exclamations that are typically associated with what I term "creative breakthroughs" in my thinking), seem to dramatically increase.

OS: Why are there no peer reviewed publications supporting any of Win Wenger's theories (I appreciate that you may not know the answer to this, but your proceedings paper suggested you had contact with him)?

Dr. Charles Reinert: I don't know the answer to this. Perhaps no money available? No interest? Win's work IS of the type that I, if I were a creativity consultant to industry, would likely wish to teach the employees. Are you familiar with any of Win's publications? One is "Beyond Teaching and Learning"; another deals with what he has called "The Einstein Effect", as I recall, and he has a prolific number of other, smaller publications, which I have picked up at conferences on accelerative learning and teaching. If you are interested in developing your analytic or creative skills, it may be worthwhile to pick up a few of them and begin to learn how Win thinks. I do not know whether he is still presenting at conferences-- he used to be very active in what was once called the "Society for Accelerative Learning and Teaching", which later took another name because of copyright infringement. As I have gone off in other directions since that time, I have no idea whether that organization is still extant. However, if you get an opportunity to participate in any of his workshops, I would strongly urge you to do so. That may be the best way to convince yourself of the validity or lack thereof of Win's approaches to thinking.... And, of course, practice the technique for a month or so, a half hour per day, and come to your own conclusions. Then, do what seems to be the best thing to do with what you have learned....
Following this conversation, during the conversation where I asked Dr. Reinert if I could publish the above statements, he also wanted to add a few comments, which I present below.

OS: ...perhaps the most important aspect of the work (he is referring to his proceedings paper, found in part 3 of my image streaming series) is that it seemed to have been one of the first serious efforts to "test" image streaming, and (hopefully) gave some long needed impetus to Dr. Wenger's wonderful work. As I discovered, "IQ" is not an easy thing to measure, and the way in which I chose to measure it (using Art Whimbey's "WASI" test) was certainly an incomplete way to do so. On the other hand, the WASI was available, easy to administer, and was (according to Dr. Whimbey) a test which correlated well with other more accepted methods. As to the value of Image Streaming, this for me emerged as I did more and more of it, and began to have more creative "Aha" experiences. There is a part of me that would suggest, "Image Streaming is a bit like falling in love. It's difficult to MEASURE the effect that it has on one, but when you've experienced it, you know you've changed!"

And... that was the end of our e-mail interaction.

Personally, I don't know what to believe about image streaming. Dr. Reinert's study seems reasonably well conducted, but the absence of peer review and a proper control group makes me more than wary.His enthusiasm about image streaming was evident in our conversation, and it really makes me want to believe that image streaming works,  but I won't come down on either side of the fence until there's a successful repetition of Dr. Reinert's study.

Interestingly, no one (as of this writing), has bothered to attempt to repeat this experiment, including Win Wenger (the creator of image streaming) himself. The fact that other scientists haven't attempted to repeat this experiment isn't all that surprising, as for decades the prevailing dogma has been that IQ cannot be changed, and a non-peer reviewed study presented at the Society for Accelerative Learning and Teaching is unlikely to spur much interest in the scientific community, for the reason that no one other than the members of the Society for Accelerative Learning and Teaching would even know about the study. It is curious though, given its availability on the internet, that no one has attempted to repeat the study yet. Even more curious is that Win Wenger has not repeated the experiment himself.

So, does image streaming increase IQ? According to Dr. Reinert's paper, it does. But more work will have to be done in the future to validate his work (cough... cough... Project Renaissance (which is Win Wenger's organization)).

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Image Streaming Part 3: The Complete Version of Charles P. Reinert's Image Streaming Study

In my first article in the Image Streaming series, I displayed only a portion of Charles P Reinert's research into the efficacy of image streaming in relation to IQ improvement. After contacting Dr. Reinert, he gave me his permission to post the entirety of his proceedings paper, entitled, "A Preliminary Study of the Effect of Verbally Described Imagery in the Development of Intellectual Skills at the University Level".

Though the research presented in Dr. Reinert's proceeding paper is non peer reviewed, and has never been replicated, it provides evidence that image streaming is a method which increases a person's IQ. As far as I know, there are very few other IQ improvement methods
(brain training using the dual n-back method is one that comes to mind -I'll cover this topic in the future), which are supported by evidence of any kind.

For those who are curious as to what image streaming is, take a peek my second image streaming article. And, if the paper below appears too long, read my first post on image streaming.

The entirety of Dr. Reinert's proceedings paper is pasted below. In my next post I'll report upon an e-mail chat that Dr. Reinert and I had, where he reflected upon a few questions that I asked him. Happy reading!

A Preliminary Study of the Effect of Verbally Described Imagery in the Development of Intellectual Skills at the University Level

Charles P. Reinert, Ph.D.
Dep't of Chemistry/Physics
Southwest State University
Marshall, MN 56258

Prepublication Draft
April 25, 1990


A special one quarter, 4 credit hour course was developed at Southwest State University in order to begin to understand the effect of a verbally described imagery process, "Image Streaming", on the development of intellectual skills of university students. Most of the students in the course had been provisionally admitted to the University, with a measured I.Q. slightly below 95. Pretests and posttests of analytical skills, creativity, and learning style were administered. Students' verbalization techniques were monitored during each class. Cerebral dominance was measured using eye, ear, and leg preference. Occasional feedback was solicited from students concerning health, the number of intuitive insights experienced and other factors.

Preliminary analysis of results suggests that students' analytical skills rose with increasing hours in image streaming, with the largest rates being measured for the lowest initial analytical skills. The corresponding I.Q. gain per hour of practice ranged from a high of +2.3 I.Q. points per hour to a low of -0.9 I.Q. points per hour, with a standard deviation of 0.7. There was some indication that students with the highest I.Q. gain rates tended to be left cerebral dominant, those with intermediate gain rates were mixed dominant, and those with the lowest rates were right cerebral dominant. The average gain was 0.44. Increases in "artistic" creativity were also noted, with slightly larger increases noted for students with initially higher analytical skills. These students also reported more intuitive insights than the students with initially lower analytical skills. A modest decrease in "verbal" creativity was noted, this decrease being slightly greater for those students with initially higher analytical skills. As a whole, the group moved slightly toward preferences for "active experimentation" and "concrete experience", as measured by Kolb's Learning Style Inventory. Limitations of the study are discussed.


In the winter 1988-89, this author undertook a first preliminary study of the effect of "Image Streaming" upon the performance of students in a general education level physics course at Southwest State University in Marshall, MN. ("Image Streaming" is a term coined by Dr. Win Wenger, president of the Institute of Visual Thinking of Gaithersburg, MD., who developed and refined the image streaming process. Strictly speaking, image streaming applies to only the imagery//verbal description process associated when no "trigger" is used, as described later.) In this first study, students with an average I.Q. of 106 were given initial instructions for image streaming, checked twice thereafter, but otherwise did all of their image streaming out of class, on their own time, and kept their own time records.

The results of the first study, not yet formally published, suggested a positive correlation between hours of image streaming and an increase in students' analytical skills, as measured by a simple 38 point test, the Whimbey Skills Inventory. This "WASI" test had previously been correlated with the Otis Lennon Mental Ability Test (A. Whimbey, private communication). On the basis of the correlation, the resulting I.Q. increase was found to be approximately 0.8 I.Q. point per hour of practice. It was also found that the average learning style of the students who image streamed moved toward a more "balanced" position, as measured by Kolbs Learning Style Inventory (Kolb, 1976). Later analysis of this data indicated that the I.Q. gain rate dropped somewhat with increasing initial I.Q.

In the fall of 1989, this author again attempted to measure the effect of image streaming, this time dedicating an entire 40 clock hour university course to the process. The course, remedial in nature, met for one hour each day, 4 days per week, in the same, comfortable room as used for one of the sections in the earlier study. The routine was approximately as follows: Relaxing music ("Crystal Suite" by Steven Halpern or similar) was used during each class, played by CD system through a stereophonic sound system, and at a level sufficiently low that students could easily converse above it. At the beginning.of the class, 5 minutes of simple stretching exercises were used to prepare the students for class. This was followed by a 20 minute period during which the students "image streamed": The process was one of typically closing the eyes, then describing to a partner (each in turn), the images which appeared "before the eyes". Specific instructions were given each class period that the description was to be very detailed, and that students were to attempt to describe using all five senses, and in the present tense. In approximately 1/3 of the class periods, a "trigger" was used to encourage the students to "get started"-- for example, the students were invited to describe a "beautiful garden" as the first imagery exercise. In a later session, they were invited to image receiving a "letter from NASA", with an invitation to participate in a voyage to Mars, etc. Students had the option of using the trigger or not; most did when it was suggested. Following the twenty minute period, students were asked to rate the experience on a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best). They were then to spend the next fifteen minutes writing about their imagery and and then fifteen more minutes sketching (with colored markers) their imagery. Attendance at the class sessions averaged approximately 75%. As "homework", the students were to originate two more imagery sessions, done in the same way, with or without a trigger as they chose. Students kept track of their own time spent in the imagery process.

Occasionally during the ten week class, student feedback was solicited concerning physical/emotional health, attitude toward the class, and number of intuitive "insights" experienced recently.


A. Average Results:

1. Number of students assessed: 24

2. Average time in image streaming: 20.5 hours

3. Average attendance, percent: 70%

4. Average entry level I.Q.: 94

5. Average exit level I.Q.: 103

6. Average I.Q. gain rate: 0.44 IQ pt/hour

7. Entry level creativity scares:
Guilford "Decorations" 38.9
Guilford Expressional Fluency: 4.2

8. Exit level creativity scores:
Guilford "Decorations" 49.6
Guilford Expressional Fluency: 3.6

9. Entry level Kolb coordinates:
Active Experience - Reflective Observation: -1.2
Abstract Conceptualization - Concrete Experience: 0.8

10. Exit level Kolb coordinates:
Active Experience - Reflective Observation: 1.0
Abstract Conceptualization - Concrete Experience: -0.2

B. Analysis Of Trends

In an effort to sift the data for trends, the results were divided into two groups, based upon their rate of Increase of I.Q. with time. The 13 students with the highest rate of Increase with time (I.Q. gain rate) are identified as the "high 13"; those 11 students with the lowest rate of gain are identified as the "low 11" in the results following:

High 13 Low 11
1. Entry level I.Q.: <90 101
2. Cerebral Dominance: 5L, 5M, 2R 5L, 2M, 2R
3. Gender distribution: 7M, 6F 8M, 3F
4. Entry level "Decorations" 35.6 42.8
Entry level "Expressional Fluency" 4.1 4.4
Entry level Kolb L.S.I.: AE-RO: -2.8 0.9
Entry level Kolb L.S.I.: AC-CE: 2.3 -1.1
5. Exit level "Decorations" 54.8 45.2
Exit level "Expressional Fluency" 3.6 3.6
Exit level Kolb L.S.I.: AE-RO: 1.0 0.9
Exit level Kolb L.S.I.: AC-CE: 1.6 -2.3
6. Average I.Q. gain rate 0.7 0.2
7. I.Q. gain rate by linear regression No correlation 0.9 pts/hour


The average rate of Increase in I.Q. as measured by the 38 point Whimbey Analytical Skills Inventory was found to be 0.44 IQ points per hour of image streaming practice. What may be more indicative, however, is a mathematical fit to the data. The functional fits of the IQ change versus hours of practice via linear regression analysis are as follows, for the two subgroups.

1."Lower 11":
WASI change (WC) versus I.S. hours (ISH):

WC = -12.3 + 0.62 ISH
Coefficient of determination = 0.25
Coefficient of correlation = 0.50
Standard deviation = 11.1

2. "Upper 13": WC = 27.3 -- 0.41 ISH
Coefficient of determination = 0.117
Coefficient of correlation = -0.34
Standard deviation = 9.86.

The correlation for the "lower 11" is considered to be sufficiently, high that one can place some trust in the fit. In this case and in view of the 1.5 ratio between IQ change and WASI change, the IQ gain rate becomes slightly over 0.9 IQ points per hour of practice. Note that the coefficient of determination is not large. (A COD of 1.0 would be "perfect".) The mathematical slope of the function is 0.54, comparable to the value of 0.62 obtained with the 1988 study. The large value of the "constant", -12.3 in the mathematical fit for the "lower 11" suggests that, in this case, about 13 hours of image streaming were required before any IQ gain began to show.

The correlation for the "higher 13" is seen to be negative, though of a lesser magnitude.and therefore less reliable. Note that the coefficient of determination in this case is only 0.117, and therefore the mathematical function cannot be considered very reliable.

1. Change in "Decorations" (DECC) with image streaming hours (ISH)

For "lower 11":

DECC = 0.18 + 0.71 ISH
COD = 0.1
COC = 0.32
SD = 16.4

For "upper 13":

DECC= 9.02 - 0.03 ISH
COD = 7.7 x 10-4
COC = 0.03
SD = 6.7

2. Change in "Expressional Fluency" (EFC) with image streaming hours (ISH)

For "lower 11":

EFC = 0.25 -0.023 ISH
COD = 0.01
COC = -0.11
SD = 1.3

For "upper 13":

EFC = 0.75 -0.055 ISH
COD = 0.014
COC = -0.12
SD = 2.8

Evidentially, there is a modest correlation between image streaming hours and the "Decorations" score for the "lower 11" group, but a negligible correlation for the "upper 13" group. The correlation is negligible for both groups with the "Expressional Fluency" test.


At this stage of analysis, a model which fits all of the data has not suggested itself to this author. Simplistically speaking, however, I suggest the following for consideration:

A. For students with IQ's above 100 (and perhaps the absence of clearly defined "learning difficulties"), there seems to be a reasonable, positive correlation between IQ gain as measured by the 38 point Whimbey Analytical Skills Inventory and the hours recorded by students as spent in image streaming. The rate of gain is in the vicinity of 0.9 IQ points per hour of image streaming practice, which is consistent with (even somewhat greater than!) the rate of gain measured in the author's earlier work. (One should bear in mind that students normally spent some additional time in writing about, and in drawing, their Images following the image streaming exercise per se.)

B. For students with IQ's below 100 (and perhaps additionally with "learning difficulties), there appears to be much more scatter in the data, though the larger IQ gains do appear in this group. The mathematical slope of the the "best fit" line is actually negative for this group, however the goodness of fit is much poorer than the the other group. Perhaps there was a good deal of experimentation, reorganizing, what have you, happening for these students.

C. There is a modest, positive correlation between creativity as measured by the artistically oriented "Decorations" test and image streaming hours for the "lower 11" group. This suggests that image streaming has a positive effect on some types of creativity for some IQ groups. On the other hand, the "upper 13" group (lowest entry level IQ's) had no such correlation. Apparently, creativity gains for lower IQ's do not change rapidly with image streaming practice. Following the suggestion of Win Wenger (personal communication), perhaps "what needs fixing worst gets fixed first''-- It may be that IQ is the first quantity to change, and when this has increased sufficiently, positive changes in creativity begin to occur.

D. Clearly, much more work needs to be done. This author is presently compiling additional data from other classes where image streaming was used, and colleague Win Wenger has a major study in progress as well (personal communication). The limitations of this study are clear, at least to the author: IQ testing has been rudimentary and certainly not "standard"-- the 38 point WASI is convenient but does not have high status in the field. Also, the creativity tests which were used are "old", and there may be much better ones now available. Attendance data for this work was inadequate, as was the method of allowing students to monitor their own time investment. Additionally, the conditions under which the class was conducted are not typical-- music and a generally low stress environment are, regrettably, not yet the classroom norm. (It is worth noting in this regard, however, that while student technique was closely monitored in this study, the image streaming in the earlier study was done entirely independently. Yet we achieved similar results in terms of the IQ gain per hour investment.) Finally, larger student numbers, and better data on student entry capabilities are in order.

From a personal perspective of working with approximately 200 students over 1 1/2 years, the author remains very impressed with not only the quantitative improvement, which seems to accompany the image streaming process., but also its ease of use. I have yet to work with a student who, when using proper technique,.was unable to "get pictures". Some are of course much better at the process than others, but it seems possible, and relatively easy, for all to successfully use this technique. Considering that, once the student has been taught the proper technique, no instructor seems really necessary thereafter, it is tempting to suggest that this technique may be a very useful one for assisting large numbers of students (e.g. thousands) in basic skills development. A basic 5 clock hour course in image streaming technique would seem more than sufficient to allow the motivated university freshman to continue skill his/her own skill development, perhaps to much higher levels than we are accustomed to thinking about for our students. Finally, the author is personally convinced that creativity increases do accompany the image streaming process, If for no other reason than from the accounts by surprised students of the intuitive insights which begin to occur after about the first 4 weeks of image streaming practice. Though difficult to measure, I'm convinced they are there. Image streaming may therefore be very useful in the inventive/problem solving process which we must value highly in this technological society. In view of at least suggestions that the gain may be larger for lower values, its use by the mentally impaired is also important to consider


This author wishes to thank the students of the 1989 fall term ID 70 class for their cooperation in this study, Marilyn Leach of the Learning Resources Department, and Dr. Robert Larson of SSU's Personal Development Department for their assistance in this study. Finally, the author's assistant Mary Ruppert deserves much thanks for patiently scoring and recording the test results.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Image Streaming Part 2: The Basic Mechanics

In my first article in the Image Streaming series, I presented external evidence from Charles P. Reinert, which, though non-peer reviewed and never reproduced, suggested that image streaming could possibly increase your intelligence. So, how does a person go about image streaming?

The process is described on other pages found throughout the internet, but in case you stumble here, this is my version:

1) Sit in a chair, or lie down. Relax.

2) Make sure that you have a tape recorder, or another person present in the room.

3) Attempt to clear your mind of the normal background chatter -that little voice which is constantly characterizing, judging, relating to the future and the past - which seems to play continuously (Buddhists' refer to this as the monkey mind) and focus on your breathing.

4) Optional: Ask yourself a question.

5) Focus on your consciousness. When an image, not a thought, enters your mind, describe it in great detail out loud to the tape recorder, or to your partner. DO NOT self edit; DO NOT speak softly, but at a normal volume for conversation. It is quite common to be speaking continuously at this point -for words to be flowing from your mouth like water flows from a tap. Do your best to focus and describe the image.

6) Descriptions using all of the senses are better. Ex: The frog's texture is slimy, it smells like cut grass, I can see its eyes rotating in its head.

7) The images probably will not be clear at first (or even after a while), but feel free to embellish the images with your own details. If you can't perfectly "see" the spots on the image of the frog which enters your mind, imagine visually that they're there, and describe them out loud.

8) As other images enter your mind, follow the same process of verbally describing the images out loud. Use as much detail as possible (this is supposed to make the images become clearer), and describe using all of your senses.

That's it! Following this method should allow anyone to access their "image stream" in no time at all.

The greater problem will be for those people who cannot access their image stream. Don't worry though, there are resources available which will help you start observing images in your mind. Try checking out Win Wenger's image streaming backup procedures to begin; I'll be posting various methods to aid in catalyzing your image stream in the upcoming months.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Image Streaming Part 1: A Possible Way to Increase Your Intelligence

Win Wenger, who runs an organization called Project Renaissance, has for a long time promoted a method of intelligence improvement called Image Streaming. He claims that by practicing image streaming, considerable gains in intelligence may be achieved.

Before discussing the mechanics of Image Streaming -what it is, the underlying theory, how to do it, etc. -I thought that presenting the evidence behind image streaming would be beneficial. Accordingly, I searched the internet, and a number of academic databases, to discover the data supporting Image Streaming.

The result? I was able to discover only one study, which was non peer reviewed, written by Charles P. Reinert, and presented at the 1990 Annual Meeting Of the Society For Accelerative Learning, entitled: A Preliminary Study of the Effect of Verbally Described Imagery In the Development of Intellectual Skills At the University Level.

The entirety of the paper may be found in the third part of my image streaming series, and I would recommend reading my other posts on the topic, and also checking out Project Renaissance, but I present the relevant data below:

(From Section II, Part A. of A Preliminary Study of the Effect of Verbally Described Imagery In the Development of Intellectual Skills At the University Level, C P Reinert, Annual Meeting of the Society for Accelerative Learning and Teaching, Chicago, Il, April 27-30, 1990 )

Average Results:

1. Number of students assessed: 24

2. Average time in image streaming: 20.5 hours

3. Average attendance, percent: 70%

4. Average entry level I.Q.: 94

5. Average exit level I.Q.: 103

6. Average I.Q. gain rate: 0.44 IQ pt/hour

7. Entry level creativity scares:
Guilford "Decorations" 38.9
Guilford Expressional Fluency: 4.2

8. Exit level creativity scores:
Guilford "Decorations" 49.6
Guilford Expressional Fluency: 3.6

9. Entry level Kolb coordinates:
Active Experience - Reflective Observation: -1.2
Abstract Conceptualization - Concrete Experience: 0.8

10. Exit level Kolb coordinates:
Active Experience - Reflective Observation: 1.0
Abstract Conceptualization - Concrete Experience: -0.2

There we have it! Evidence supporting the image streaming theory! But, remember, it's not peer reviewed, and it's never been reproduced (for more on this, see part 4 of my image streaming series).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Brain Improvement Manifesto

The brain plays an important role in shaping every aspect of a person's life. It affects a person's ability to solve problems, by dictating which types of problems a person is inherently better or weaker at solving, and by dictating how successful a person is at solving different problems. For instance, Joe might possess a brain which makes him inclined to solve mathematical problems, but he might be mediocre at solving those problems, whereas Jennifer might have an inclination towards tactile problems, but be excellent at solving all problems. The ability to solve problems effectively, and solve different types of problems, plays an essential role in a person's life, determining a person's interests, career, career success, friendships, and virtually every other aspect of life.

Am I writing anything novel? No. Everyone's life experiences will align with what I have written: those with brains that have the capacity to solve a more diverse set of problems, and the capacity to solve more complex problems, generally end up wealthier than the next person.

The brain is also the center of consciousness, giving people the capacity to understand that they exist, and allowing the formation of an individual identity. It plays a role in perceiving sensations, allows living organisms to move, and is the center of emotion. A person is essentially their brain -which is why in science fiction movies, human brains, not hearts or kidneys, are shown being stored away in some god awful saline solution.

For decades, the scientific dogma stated that our brains and corresponding mental abilities and capacities could not be changed other than through surgical techniques or pharmaceutical intervention. Sure, a lobotomy could transform a severely manic depressive person into a comatose vegetable, or caffeine could allow a person to sustain their attention longer, but people couldn't improve their memories on demand, improve their emotional make up, improve their concentration, or improve their ability to solve problems. Our intelligence quotient was fixed, our personalities were fixed, and that was that!

Recent research has suggested this view is inaccurate. The brain can change itself, and thus a person can change various aspects of their mental or emotional makeup. Finally, the old dogma was overthrown, and people rejoiced!

This blog seeks to discuss all aspects of brain improvement, from the practical to the theoretical. As a trained scientist, I will do my utmost to debunk theories and practices which are not proven, and which will ultimately waste people's time, and shed light upon theories and practices which are valuable. From product reviews, to news regarding techniques for brain improvement, I intend to canvas the vast field of brain remodelling which has just opened up!

I hope that you enjoy what I have to write. Please stop by regularly!

To the success of the impossible,