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If humans can build up their muscles, why can't they build up their brains? Or why...

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laracroftd | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 21, 2012 at 4:38 AM via web

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If humans can build up their muscles, why can't they build up their brains? Or why can't humans increase their intelligence/IQ?

Tagged with brain, intelligence, iq, science

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pacorz | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted October 21, 2012 at 10:33 PM (Answer #1)

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Neuroscientists generally agree that your actual IQ (Intelligence Quotient) is primarily determined by genetics. However, what you do with your intelligence is far more important, and a far better indicator of success, than the IQ number itself. Consequently there are skills that you can practice that will increase your mental effectiveness, making you more successful and a "smarter" person. Learning how to do logic problems, for instance, will improve a variety of thinking skills. Exercises that improve one's memory are always useful.

One way to think of it is to think of each mental skill - memory, logic, calculation, communication, and so on - as a separate muscle, requiring a different exercise for development. Traditional education concentrates on some of skills, but in order to develop others you have to work on your own. Also keep in mind that work ethic is a necessary skill for success. It doesn't matter how high your IQ is, if you can't organize yourself and complete tasks, you will accomplish little.

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suzannah304 | Student , Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted October 21, 2012 at 9:06 AM (Answer #2)

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Of course we can increase our intelligence. It needs more practice and concentration. Intelligence is all about gaining knowledge. so yes, it is possible to increase your IQ.

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jane2472 | Student , Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 21, 2012 at 1:44 PM (Answer #3)

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The building up of brain tissue or IQ has more to do with Neurons and the ability to beable to process data. Neurons unlike muscule cells cannot be regenerated once destroyed. By around age 16 most of the neurological pathways in the brain have been formed. Although one can sharpen he/her mental abilities through mental exercises, the amount of neurological pathways and the ability to beable to process data is determined by the functioning of the neurons.

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