Essay on the speculative IQ increase possibility

Essay on the speculative IQ increase possibility

Part 1.

So there’s this company [] that I have no special interest in, that is trying to develop “The Only Brain Training System Scientifically Proven to Raise IQ.” They claim IQ gains in magnitude and strength far above what Dual N-Back can achieve.

They claim a strong foundation of scientific support.

SMART is the only brain training tool in the world to be supported by published scientific research from several independent laboratories.

No other tool has been proven in the scientific literature to significantly enhance general intelligence or educational aptitude.

So they really think they have “the most powerful brain training tool ever produced.”

Our cognitive skills training and brain training method is based on the scientific evidence that relational skills underlie most forms of intelligence. Our solutions help to enhance relational skills, so that working memory, performance, learning and IQ are significantly enhanced. The Academic Research Team behind RaiseYourIQ has helped to develop a widely used theory of cognitive development known as Relational Frame Theory, and have harnessed the vast evidence base for this theory to deliver the most powerful brain training tool ever produced.

Here, they describe their solutions.

Our solutions involve a series of games, puzzles and challenges to help children and adults to become expert in a range of critical cognitive skills, called Relational Skills.

Part 2.

And here is a screenshot of their training. Really reflect on what the researchers have found. They produce proven IQ gain with a training like THIS??

Go ahead and dismiss the findings “off the bat” … but for months I have been thinking about this. There’s something very curious about this.

Rant begins.

The researchers basically say, here’s this “Multiple Exemplar Training” where by rote learning you get these “logic skills” that are the underlying skills of cognition.

What I say: they’re stuck in the wrong paradigm!

CPU vs. GPU. To use the computer science analogy, there is the “CPU” of the brain (Reward and Punishment; an “emotional executive”) and the “GPU” of the brain (Rationality and cognitive maps of abstract spaces, kinda like a memory palace).

The researchers think that brute-force “logic skill” drilling will exercise the “CPU” of the brain. The researchers have both feet firmly planted in this "CPU paradigm."

What I think is that the GPU causes high IQ and is improveable.

What I think is that the CPU is merely a klutzy emotional regulation circuit from the “lizard brain” and when the researchers conclude that the CPU can do many cool things like Arbitrarily Applicable Relational Responding, that is technically correct.

Maybe when the researchers’ training works its magic of increasing IQ, it’s 5% CPU training and 95% GPU training. The causal mechanism could be that the logic puzzles are so boring that they basically “hypnotize” your CPU away and then the GPU starts to take over.

Quick quotes.

Stimulus equivalence is an empirical phenomenon; RFT is a behavioral theory about how that phenomenon (and other phenomena) comes about. In other words, RFT provides an operant analysis of how/why people are able to form equivalence classes.

What is “operant analysis”?

When a particular Stimulus-Response (S-R) pattern is reinforced (rewarded), the individual is conditioned to respond.

See? Reward and punishment!

I frame my opinion as: the GPU is the top of the mountain of cognitive intelligence while the CPU is merely a Base Camp – a “QUOTE staging area used by mountaineers to prepare for a climb.” So I think the whole education system is broken at a psychological level. Educators, researchers, etc. think that the CPU is the heart of cognition … when in reality the best approach is to have the CPU relinquish its cognitive responsibilities so that the GPU can take over. Loosely speaking; they use carrots and sticks to get the student to pay attention to their homework. So even the student’s innate curiosity becomes in the end based on the stringing together of carrots, sticks, and verbal behaviors. If you are brainwashed into such a framework, then it becomes impossible to really improve IQ until you find ways to break out.

Rant ends.

Part 3.

The specifications of the “Thinking System” training are outlined in the link. To get this to work and put this in context, you will need MANY pages worth of practical knowledge (that I haven’t published yet but eventually will). Note that training is a constant effort that requires intense focus 24/7 (but training essentially runs in parallel to your day-to-day routine).

QUOTE This piece develops a novel training program that (1) could possibly increase cognitive intelligence far faster (2) has wide-ranging psychological effects not observed in prior research. An important dichotomy of functional circuits (Reward and Punishment vs. Rationality) is discussed so that a long list of psychological phenomena (including core ideas in Relational Frame Theory) can be deconstructed in terms of the two circuits.

We holistically investigate Rationality-increasing measures (prior art; SMART training shows us how IQ can be increased) and demonstrate the possibilities for great optimization.

The SMART training (Relational Frame Theory) says that Multiple Exemplar Training is a scientifically proven way to increase IQ through mastering “arbitrary applicable derived relations.” I agree with the goal of training general relational response; I argue that Multiple Exemplar Training is misapplied rote learning. Radical behaviorism feels like a neat and tidy construct where stimulus classes, as nice “tokens” of thought, are “pushed around” by the brain and yield various behaviors, but someone critical of rote learning would say that efficiency comes from proficiency in metaphor. From this general notion, I recommend a new application of Relational Frame Theory that is based on a journey of conceptualistic development.

Part 4.

I have observed bizarre psychological effects in my own life so that is evidence of whether the training works. However, real IQ/memory/creativity increases will take several weeks/months to actually get.

This is the fact sheet that suggests that I have developed a “cure” for ADHD. Loosely speaking, I have gained end-to-end conscious control over a set of ADHD symptoms that I induced on myself.

  • I am fully neurotypical
  • my training has induced symptoms of ADHD in the past week that cannot be explained by placebo
  • what appears to be >3x creativity
  • at first, a persistent inability to pay close attention to anything
  • a little bit of hyperactivity and the worst insomnia in my life (for the first few days)
  • a sense of never being tired (I do not drink coffee but I felt a continuous source of energy that simply wouldn’t go away no matter what)
  • However, these induced symptoms are special because they completely dissipate with the correct (learned and acquired) psychological tricks.
  • The negative symptoms completely dissipated after I used the tricks, while the positive symptoms remain. For instance, I no longer have the insomnia and while I still have the “hyper-focus” I can consciously control it much better (e.g., I can focus really hard on typing a document and in a few minutes switch to some other urgent matter).

I am willing to discuss further with the community.

I am being quite transparent about my findings. My ideas might fail further rigorous testing (criticism, feedback, scientific advancement). However, my ideas might also succeed, and if they succeed, this will be game-changing at psychological, cognitive, therapeutic, and educational levels. So that is the speculative part and the entrepreneurial spirit.

After all, I am just a high school student from the US. Coronavirus has shut down all the schools and I have free time available, so I might as well write about what I’ve been thinking about lately.


Suhao Jeffrey Huang

I had to sigh when it was called ‘SMART’

no agreeing or disagreeing here.

At this point I feel like I exactly know what they are trying to do, it’s kind of interesting.

Before hoping that those digits are not just numerical mappings asking ‘is this larger than the other.’, while that idea still sticks with me. Aren’t they trying to train the ability to subconsciously find relationships and patterns between things without having to thoroughly process these independently?


Well, it’s easy enough to prove that knowing a language will give you the ability to have abstract thought. However if you mean that the GPU and CPU analogy is wrong, I fully agree.
As for brute-forcing logic skills. It’s not impossible, after-all you can still learn by brute-force but if you know common logical fallacies, even without recalling or thinking about them you can learn to avoid them on processing.

It is true that most people are guided by reward and punishment, If you have ever felt too much pressure you will realise that it is particularly hard to perform during those situations. E.g when you get too excited playing a game and you are about to win, you tend to have your fingers feel heavier, clarity of thought is impaired.

This depends, I can look at a picture and feel emotions and reason with emotions. So having a network inter-stimulated through this pathway is not absolutely implausible.

You can definitely learn logic… As stated above however I don’t agree with the CPU and GPU thing.

Without even looking at the link at this point I think operant analysis is something of the nature of
4 [] 4 = 16 where you recognise that the operator is multiply. A more complicated version of this, perhaps, due to them claiming this to be new they may be saying operant instead of operand or operator as a unique gimmick.

I agree that the theory on this doesn’t feel as though it holds up, but I can see this resulting in different than intended results that are much the same beneficial.

My opinion is that they think this because other than working memory, logic, visualisation, verbal thought, GPU does not make much sense in ‘differences’.

I think this kind of thing can work for IQ and cognitive ability but perhaps not intelligence in the sense of creativity and originality and being able to make use of your environment to outdo any of your current problems and limitations.

Most people struggle a lot more at working harder than being intelligent, is again one of my opinions.

I had a look at the link and feel I am heavily overestimating them now, the training ironically looks simple but its definitely a new approach so I am positive for it.

This so much sounds like an attempt to bring in a ‘default use of memory palace’ to enhance your memory in all cases (not actually a memory palace but a different device in this case). Which is very interesting and would likely work, but looking at it from the link I don’t see this implied besides calling it ‘thinking-system’.
24/7 is quite hard to achieve.

I wished they just called it RFT training instead…

This thinking is not wrong.

This is okay, because in that case you can do the same thing without the rote and it would work even better.


In a few minutes doesn’t seem very impressive.

I’m a bit confused on whether part of this is your opinion or what they said, so I just responded to it all impartially in the same context.

Being sceptical isn’t a bad thing, but before mobile phones have existed, saying that someday you can press buttons on a device and talk to anyone on the globe pretty much instantly, would have been much more Sci-Fi than most things people won’t believe today.

Feedback appreciated; will take a close look tomorrow. Misc first impressions.

I should extend/amplify your point.

  • Scientific skepticism really is warranted in this case.
  • Marketing the whole thing as a “paradigm shift” was a mistake; probably not the proper way to reach the audience.
  • I still believe that my ideas are “new and novel” but that makes them “totally unproven.”
  • I am still personally confident enough in my ideas to pursue them.
  • So the plan for the next draft is for me to discuss the strengths/weaknesses of the theory, to the furthest of my knowledge.

… note to self; revise the section in the next draft.

SMART = “Strengthening Mental Abilities with Relational Training” :wink:

It’s not as bad as you think. My highest priority is to develop a “mental toolkit” that trivializes the process.

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How much I read about people who scored above 190 points. Not only their natural intelligence played a role there, but also experience in solving such tasks. Otherwise, you will be slow, start to rush due to lack of time and make mistakes. So, solving such problems for a long time, your IQ will increase significantly. However, this does not mean that you have really become smarter.