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Want More Brain Power? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Everyone wants to be smarter and have more brain power, but how much of a realistic difference can we truly make with our actions and efforts? There are two broad types of intelligence: crystallized and fluid. Crystallized is the information and functional knowledge stored in the brain. This is the intelligence you’d tap into during a game of trivia, for instance. Fluid intelligence is the ability to learn and think critically. You’d need a heavy dose of fluid intelligence to excel at chess, for example. Can you strengthen your fluid intelligence? Previously thought to be untrainable abilities, information processing and problem solving skills are now believed to be improved by a number of exercises.

Memory training certainly helps, as it increases activity in the prefrontal cortex and targets the brain’s weak memory centers. Working puzzles also helps—it requires the integrated interpretation of multiple sets of information such as shape, pattern and orientation. Meditation is great for the mind and for sustaining attention and vigilance, improving short-term memory. Perhaps try learning a new language—switching between languages ignites the prefrontal cortex, where higher-order functions occur. You may even consider taking a nap. Resting for 90 minutes recharges and strengthens power in the hippocampus, thus improving memory and navigation skills. Are you a coffee snob? You might want to become one if you want more brain power. Drinking coffee strengthens electrical activity between neurons. Engaging in physical exercise can strengthen your brain and mental sharpness as well. Physical exercise stimulates production of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), which nurtures the creation of new neurons and synapses.

If you want more brain power, take a look at the full infographic below! Do you complete any of these brain boosting activities on a fairly regular basis? Do you think it helps? Please share in the comments!

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