Do you have enough mental muscle to get the grades you want or to score as high as you would like on the SAT or GRE? I’ve pointed out several times that peak mental performance depends more on technique than on sheer power, however, there is no doubt that having a beefy brain does make things easier.
Good news! Neurological research has demonstrated that the brain responds to mental exercise much like a muscle. The more you work it, the stronger it gets. I’m not just referring to IQ; the brain itself actually grows physically in response to training.
Vincenzo Malacarne, an 18th Century Italian scientist first discovered this when he trained birds to do a series of complex tricks. Later he dissected the birds’s brains and found increased folding in the brains of the trained birds. The modern technological breakthroughs in brain scans have shown similar variations in human brains in response to learning.
This is great news. It means that, just as our bodies respond to exercise by becoming stronger and healthier, so do our noggins. So break out those books and start pumping info! You can get smarter!