Mind & Brain See Inside Scientists Design Exercises that Make You Smarter Recent studies indicate that some types of brain training can make you smarter By John Jonides, Susanne M. Jaeggi, Martin Buschkuehl and Priti Shah KATE FRANCIS If you want to strengthen your abdominal muscles, you can do sit-ups. Tone your upper body? Push-ups. To flex your intellectual muscles, however, or boost your children's academic performance, the answer is less clear. An exercise to stretch memory, tighten attention and increase intelligence could improve children's chances of coasting comfortably through life—and give adults a leg up as well. The very notion flies in the face of conventional wisdom. Most people presume that no matter how hard they work, they are not going to get any smarter. Some subjects in our research laboratory, though, have increased their IQ scores after training their brain for as little as three weeks. The improvement can be significant enough that, anecdotally at least, a few participants This is only a preview. Get the rest of this article now! Select an option below: Buy Digital Issue Customer Sign In *You must have purchased this issue or have a qualifying subscription to access this content It has been identified that the institution you are trying to access this article from has institutional site license access to Scientific American on nature.com. Click here to access this article in its entirety through site license access. ADVERTISEMENT Scientific American is a trademark of Scientific American, Inc., used with permission © 2015 Scientific American, a Division of Nature America, Inc. All Rights Reserved.