After a week or two away from the office or job you are getting ready to go back to the old grind, at least you know you have to, but your brain is telling you it’s not ready. It takes a few days to get back into the routine, and those days seem to be wasted – like you are there in body but your spirit is still on vacation.

This condition is called “vacation brain,” where the brain is not engaging. Scientists actually see this as a real condition. It’s just the opposite of what happens when you have a spike in your IQ points immediately after you spent time concentrating hard on a problem or lesson. They believe your intelligence quotient (IQ) actually takes a dip after your brain has been at rest. Be assured, it’s probably not permanent!

Researchers have found, through numerous studies that exercising the brain can really lead to enhanced performance in some relatively unrelated tasks.  Their research tells them that both children and adults perform better on IQ tests after undergoing specialized forms of cognitive training, including brain exercises that improves memory and sharpens attention. Neuroscientists still do not know if this increase lasts for an extended period of time – past a few months.

Conventional scientific wisdom measures intelligence by scores on standardized tests. Most scientists believe we are both with a certain IQ, and it remains the same throughout our lifetime – it does not change. There is mounting evidence that seems to show there is a rise and fall of intelligence, even for short periods of time. This would explain why we feel much more alert and intelligent after training, and so sluggish after resting.

If our IQ varies according to the challenges it is confronted with, it could change the way children can be taught, and how we would prepare for mental testing and competition.

According to University of Michigan researcher John Jonides, who along with his colleagues published the first paper indicating that intensive working memory training can boost fluid IQ test, the degree of training makes a significant difference.

Oshin Vartanian, a scientist in Toronto at Defense Research and Development Canade, is seeking a way to enhance people’s brains in order to prepare them for difficult jobs that require an “outside the box” solution. He utilizes brain-imaging techniques to find out which training exercises can improve the ability to hold on to information for a short period of time (working memory), and improve the ability to solve abstract problems in order to raise fluid IQ (). It is his theory that training will use less oxygen and energy and make the brain more efficient.



About the author:

Ron White is a two-time U.S.A. Memory Champion and memory training expert. As a memory keynote speaker he travels the world to speak before large groups or small company seminars, demonstrating his memory skills and teaching others how to improve their memory, and how important a good memory is in all phases of your life.




The Globe and Mail – A workout program for your brain: