Archive for the ‘Intelligence’ Category

Brain Boost

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

A couple of the blogs that I follow have pointed to the following article in the last couple of days.

http://discovermagazine.com/…

The article describes “Boskop man”, who (the authors claim) had a much bigger brain than that of modern humans and was correspondingly more intelligent.

Much of the “science” of the article is debunked here:

http://johnhawks.net/weblog/…

Obviously, brain size can only tell us so much about intelligence. Otherwise, school examinations would be unnecessary. Instead, we could simply dunk a pupil’s head in a bathtub to measure the volume of water displaced by the skull and, from this, the child’s intelligence.

However, I think that much of the article was intended to be read a speculation rather than fact. It’s quite fun (and possibly not impossible) to think about how someone more intelligent thinks.

What hope for us modern humans, with our puny brains, is there? As a teacher, I am always searching for ways to improve the workings of my own brain and those of my students. A bit of searching on the internet for ways to improve your intelligence quickly brings you to addicting games like this:

http://www.soakyourhead.com/dual-n-back.aspx

Exciting, but cautious, claims are made about this game. There are probably lots of such games that can improve your brain. Unfortunately, I cannot see this game being a great deal of help in a foreign language classroom (my own area). Perhaps such toys will have an important role to play in education.