Monday, May 5, 2008

The Mozart Effect - Does it incease your IQ?

The Mozart effect is the theory that simply hearing classical music, typically Mozart, can increase your IQ or boost certain parts of your intellect. It all began with Alfred Tomatis who conducted simple experiments where he attempted to use Mozart symphonies as stimulus to cure a variety of different disorders. A later experiment was conducted where Mozart was used on students to try and increase the IQ by 8 or 9 points.

Another study was conducted where children of 3 and 4 were given 8 months of piano tutoring then given IQ tests. They typically scored 34% higher on tests of spatio-temporal reasoning than the other control groups who were given singing lessons, computer lessons or no lessons at all.

While the results and effects of the Mozart effect may have been blown out of proportion and gained a large amount of weight in the media, it is still an interesting and significant finding and shows that the IQ can be increased temporarily simply by activating certain parts of the brain passively.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Toys that increase your IQ!

Lego & Meccano

By playing with constructive toys like Lego and Meccano your brain is learning how to utilize different skills. Fitting together different shaped blocks and using subtle techniques that you might take for granted like which shapes fit where and how to make something look good actually employs your analytical and spacial awareness skills. Essentially you are having fun while learning how to increase your IQ! Why not steal your kids collection for a few days and construct a Lego masterpiece or start a new Meccano project to develop your creation skills and thought processes.


Boardgames like Boggle and Backgammon are perfect for jogging your math and literary skills and forcing you to learn new words and sums. Just about any board game involves some degree of skill which in turn requires you to think and plan. Games like scrabble are a perfect example, where you are forced to use memory and association. Even humble Monopoly forces you to make business decisions and keep track of your incoming and outgoing assets while trying to stay ahead.

Yo-Yo or Diablo

Yo-Yo's are an almost annual fad. Most years for a few brief weeks or months there seems to be a Yo-Yo craze and then they suddenly die out again. Well fortunately Yo-Yos are pretty cheap and fascinatingly learning how to use them and do different tricks activates and improves your hand-to-eye coordination and your motor functions. Learning to do some simple tricks or using two Yo-Yos at once will activate both hemispheres of the brain at once and really give your brain a jolt. Likewise the Chinese Yo-Yo or Diablo (pictured) is a unique toy whose roots began in Carnivals and festivals. You can buy one for $30 dollars or so on e-bay and after just a couple of weeks practice you can pull off some impressive tricks. A half hours practice per day will work out the alignment of your brain and also help to improve coordination skills.