There have been plenty attempts in the past to increase this working memory, but for example, practising learning long numbers doesn’t seem to give participants any advantages when solving other problems.
So scientists are now turning their attention to more varied and complex tasks such as answering questions while remembering the last word in each sentence each time. Because it’s so difficult to develop conscious shortcuts, the brains of participants are forced to make new neurological connections to handle the extra information.
The theory is that these new connections will also help you succeed in other memory tasks.
And as a matter of fact, this technique seems to work, increasing retention of memory by about 15% by the end of the training, 5 weeks later.
In effect, these participants are probably coping with 8 bits of information at once, not the usual 5 to 7 that most of us can handle.
Some researchers are not so sure that this is increasing overall intelligence, but others assert that their results show an increase in short-term or working memory and therefore many cognitive abilities such as maths, reading, verbal skills and logical reasoning.
Would you be prepared to spend 5 weeks training your brain, by overloading it and forcing it to develop and grow? And if you did, what would you do with that increased neurological capacity?