Can mental training improve your intelligence? No video game or mental puzzle has convincingly been shown to work. But now a group of neuropsychologists claims it has found a task that can add points to a person's IQ – and the harder you train, they say, the more you gain. . .

The exercise involves tracking small squares on a screen that pop into a new location every three seconds. Volunteers have to press a button when the current location is a duplicate of two views earlier.

At the same time, consonants are played through headphones and a button is pressed if the letter is the same as that heard two "plays" earlier.

If participants perform well, the interval to be tracked (n) increases to three or more stages earlier.

Jaeggi's volunteers were trained daily for about 20 minutes for either 8, 12, 17 or 19 days (with weekends off). They were given IQ tests both before and after the training.

The researchers found that the IQ of trained individuals increased significantly more than controls – and that the more training people got, the higher the score. (Full Story via newscientist)

I’ve never fully bought into the IQ test. I think it probably works well as a general gauge of one’s ability to learn, but I think people like Mensa take it too far. It’s too often used to validate someone’s worth and that’s just wrong. So I guess we can now elevate our social status by watching moving squares.