A training programme focused on the phenomenon of synesthesia was found to increase IQ with an average of 12 points.
Used to express the intellectual capabilities of an individual, an IQ score is often regarded as the ultimate number that expresses your intellect and creativity.
Having this in mind, it’s not surprising that people all around the globe are searching for different solutions that can help increase their IQ score.
Some scientists are avidly researching the matter and trying to find new solutions, including pills, that increase one’s intellect in a similar fashion to the Hollywood movie Limitless. At the same time, others are doing studies on seemingly unrelated subjects, only to find weird methods aimed to increase IQ.
Can Synesthesia Help Increase IQ?
In this case, a group of researches were focused on the curious case of Synesthesia. For those unfamiliar, the condition of Synesthesia itself affects around one-fourth of the population. People with Synesthesia tend to have crosswired senses meaning that some can ‘taste’ words, others can ‘see’ sound and there are a ton of other interesting combinations.
The study itself, conducted by psychologists at the University of Sussex, aimed at replicating the effects of Synesthesia via a rigorous 9-week training course.
It consisted of exercises in which participants were thought to associate different letters with certain colors. Focusing on 14 different individuals, the study was ultimately successful managing to help people achieve the phenomenon of Synesthesia without having crosswired senses.
In fact, the results of the study showed that all participants had not only learnt the connection between the colors and letters, but were starting to experience the effects of Synesthesia.
For example, some would sense that the letter ‘g’ had a certain personality, while others were experiencing the color blue, when they were thinking about the letter ‘b.’ While this is interesting enough on its own, what shocked the researchers was that the study had a strange side-effect on the IQ of the participants.
The Weird Results of the Study
Compared to the control group, those who were trained on the rigorous nine-week Synesthesia session had increased their IQ score with an average of around 12 points.
While the researchers still have to find whether the correlation between the increase has more to do with the synesthesia training or the mental memory effort put in the training, but the results were nonetheless baffling.
According to Dr. Daniel Bor, the lead author on the study, the cognitive boost experienced by the participants can open new doors towards the training of people with disrupted mental capabilities, such as children with ADHD or dementia suffering adults.
Dr. Bor also noted that the participants themselves had not become genuine synesthetes and that three months after the training most of them had lost the experience of ‘seeing’ colors when thinking about the letters.
Nevertheless, the IQ boost is certainly a nice side-effect of the curious and amazing experiment.