I've had a number of people forward the following abstract to me. After reading the article I now see why. The article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) reports that a working memory training intervention produced positive transfer effects in fluid intelligence (Gf). Cognitive ability training research suffers from a paucity of studies that demonstrate positive transfer to other tasks/domains that differ from the training medium. This study also adds additional strong evidence to the link between working memory and Gf.
Cool stuff. A must read. Much has been written about the link between working memory and Gf. Here are some prior related posts touching on the topics of working memory and Gf.
I need to take time to read this study in depth before commenting more. I've only skimmed the abstract at this point in time. Maybe others can read and comment.
Jaeggi, S., Buschkuehl, M., Jonides, J. & Perrig, W. (2008). Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory. Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences, 105 (19), 6829-6833. (click to read)
- Fluid intelligence (Gf) refers to the ability to reason and to solve new problems independently of previously acquired knowledge. Gf is critical for a wide variety of cognitive tasks, and it is considered one of the most important factors in learning. Moreover, Gf is closely related to professional and educational success, especially in complex and demanding environments. Although performance on tests of Gf can be improved through direct practice on the tests themselves, there is no evidence that training on any other regimen yields increased Gf in adults. Furthermore, there is a long history of research into cognitive training showing that, although performance on trained tasks can increase dramatically, transfer of this learning to other tasks remains poor. Here, we present evidence for transfer from training on a demanding working memory task to measures of Gf. This transfer results even though the trained task is entirely different from the intelligence test itself. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the extent of gain in intelligence critically depends on the amount of training: the more training, the more improvement in Gf. That is, the training effect is dosage-dependent. Thus, in contrast to many previous studies, we conclude that it is possible to improve Gf without practicing the testing tasks themselves, opening a wide range of applications.