Mon, Feb 27, 2017 | updated 05:23 AM IST

Older adolescents better at learning non-verbal reasoning than younger people

Updated: Nov 05, 2016 14:00 IST

Washington D.C [USA], Nov. 5 (ANI): New study says that older adolescents and adults can learn certain thinking skills including non-verbal reasoning more effectively than younger people.

The study by University College London also highlights the fact that non-verbal reasoning skills can be readily trained and do not represent an innate, fixed ability.

"Although adults and older adolescents benefitted most from training in non-verbal reasoning, the average test score for adolescents aged 11-13 improved from 60 percent to 70 percent following three weeks of ten-minute online training sessions," said senior author Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore (UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience). "This calls into question the claim that entry tests for selective schools that include non-verbal reasoning 'assess the true potential of every child'."

The research involved 558 school pupils aged 11-18 and 105 adults, who were initially tested in various skills and then completed up to 20 days of online training in a particular skill before taking the tests again. They were then tested six months later to see whether the effect of training lasted.

The non-verbal reasoning test involved looking at a 3x3 grid of shapes with the final square left blank. Participants had to choose the correct shape to complete the pattern, and the shapes could vary by colour, size, shape and position. In another test, 'numerosity discrimination', participants were shown two groups of different coloured dots in quick succession and had to judge which group had the most dots.

"We find that these cognitive skills, which are related to mathematics performance, show greater training effects in late adolescence than earlier in adolescence," explained co-lead author Dr Lisa Knoll. "These findings highlight the relevance of this late developmental stage for education and challenge the assumption that earlier is always better for learning. We find that fundamental cognitive skills related to mathematics can be significantly trained in late adolescence."

At the testing stages, volunteers were tested on various tasks, not just the ones they had trained in, to see if the training effects transferred to other skills. No transfer effects were observed, suggesting that the effect of training was specific to each task.

"Some 'brain training' apps claim to improve your IQ by getting you to practice a specific task such as the non-verbal reasoning task we used in our experiment," said co-lead author Ms Delia Fuhrmann (UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience). "However, there is no evidence that this leads to an improvement in overall cognitive ability. All we can say for sure is that training to spot patterns in a 3x3 grid of abstract shapes improves your ability to spot patterns in a 3x3 grid of abstract shapes. While this ability is commonly tested in IQ tests, it might not be appropriate to make judgments about other forms of intelligence based on the outcomes of such tests."

The study has been published in Psychological Science. (ANI)

Karachi [Pakistan], Feb. 26 (ANI): Plans for Lahore Literary Festival 2017 did not go as well as expected.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [US], Feb. 26 (ANI): A study finds, eating nutrient-enriched diet during adolescence or childhood development may alter long-term behaviour and learning among ladies.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 25 (ANI): Vivek Chaand Sehgal, chairman of the Motherson Sumi Systems Limited (MSSL), has recently been named the EY Entrepreneur of 2016 for its outstanding contribution in the world of entrepreneurship.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb 25 (ANI): In your free time for book lovers nothing can be more interesting than spending time with some great food paired with an array of teas while having a favorite novel in hand. Located in the prime location of Delhi, Cha Bar located inside Oxford Bookstore has lots to offer to its customers.

Full Story >>

New York [USA], Feb. 25 (ANI): It's not only the peer pressure that makes kids try alcohol or smoke pot!

Full Story >>

'Straight' women tend to orgasm less!

Updated: Feb 25, 2017 06:27 IST

New York [USA], Feb. 25 (ANI): 'Orgasm gap' is something all have experienced while making love.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 25 (ANI): A European study has revealed that the majority of university students believe it is the social norm to use drugs like Ritalin to enhance academic performance - despite very few having used stimulants themselves.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 25 (ANI): "What will they say about you? Maybe they'll say you showed them what's possible."- This is what sports brand Nike has to say through their new commercial, which has gone viral on the Internet.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [US], Feb. 24 (ANI): Parents, please take note! A study warns teenagers who self-report feeling drowsy during mid-afternoon, are 4.5 times more likely to commit violent crimes a decade and a half later.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 24 (ANI): A team of US researchers warn, fathers, who do cocaine at the time of conceiving a child, may be putting their son at risk of learning disabilities and memory loss.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 24 (ANI): Waring for all the sea food lovers! Consuming fish, rich in mercury may double the risk of developing motor neurone disease.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 23 (ANI): A two- day annual fest "POLITIA" was organised by political science department of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee college for Women, University of Delhi, on February 20 and 21.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 23 (ANI): The implementation of state laws for legalising same-sex marriage can significantly reduce the rate of suicide attempts among teenagers, reveals a study.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 22 (ANI): Beware to-be mothers! Listeria, a common food-borne bacterium, may pose a greater risk of miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy than appreciated, warns a study.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 22 (ANI): Theatre is poetry! It's an amalgamation of music, dance and body language which takes the process of emoting to its peak. With the boom of visual digital media, theater had taken a backseat in terms of popularity.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 22 (ANI): In the day and age of months, sometimes years being spent planning the perfect wedding, reality is often a rude shock when the wedding is over and the marriage begins! This is because no one thinks of asking the questions that really matter!

Full Story >>

London [UK], Feb. 21 (ANI): Looks like Yo-Yo diet is not that bad!

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 21 (ANI): As exams are just around the corner, many students would need to declutter their rooms and organise them in a better way so that they can focus only on their studies without getting distracted due to unmanaged stuff surrounding them.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb 20 (ANI): After successful openings at their existing restaurants in Saket, Pacific Mall and Mall of India (Noida), Carl's Jr.®, the iconic American burger chain is now bringing its bigger and better California-style burgers to a prime location on the Gold Course Road, OHC (One Horizon Centre), Gurugram.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 20 (ANI): When every issue these days can be resolved with the help of your mobile phone, why can't parenting be too?

Full Story >>