U of I Researchers in ‘Smarter Brains’
What is intelligence? How do we get it and can we increase it? Smarter Brains uncovers the latest research and reveals groundbreaking experiments that are redefining intelligence throughout our lifespan and especially our later years. Showing viewers the amazing science behind our intelligence — how it shapes our experience and enjoyment of the world around us, and how we can change and improve it, regardless of age. The program airs on WILL-TV at 1 pm Saturday, Aug. 17; 1 pm Monday, Aug. 19; and 9 pm Wednesday, Aug. 21.
Art Kramer, director of the University of Illinois' Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology; Edward McAuley, Beckman faculty member and professor of kinesiology and community health; and Gillian Cooke, Beckman postdoctoral researcher, are featured in the program. Smarter Brains takes the same tested approach as The Brain Fitness Program series, using inspirational stories, interviews with experts and researchers, and CGI illustrations. The result is a compelling narrative that explains intelligence and shows how neuroscience and psychology research indicates that we can not only make ourselves smarter, we can use everyday techniques and skills to help keep ourselves smart, active and vibrant throughout our lives. The program features leading neuroscientists, psychologists and experts from around the world weighing in on this life-changing subject. Smarter Brains presents the latest research that is proving that you can — and should — teach an old dog new tricks.
Smarter Brains explores crystallized intelligence, the knowledge and skills accumulated over a lifetime and which tends to increase with age, and fluid intelligence, the ability to reason quickly and to think abstractly. Fluid intelligence is the key to mental flexibility in older life and is critical for remaining engaged and at the top of our game. Fluid intelligence was once thought to peak in our twenties and decline during late adulthood, but recent research reveals that it is malleable throughout our lives — a game changer for anyone over the age of 30.
Smarter Brains also focuses on how processing speed and memory meet to form intelligence in the brain and reveals why a computer can never be as intelligent as a human. Experts from the Human Brain Project in Lausanne, Switzerland, who are exploring the frontier of intelligence toward machines, ask how you make a brain smarter if you start from scratch. Interviews with scientists behind some of the most incredible artificial intelligence break down how these developments compare and contrast with the human brain.
The program also reveals how social interaction, exercise and challenge impact our intelligence and our aging. It has been shown that what is good for the heart is good for the brain. But the latest neuroscience goes even further, suggesting that exercise may do more to bolster thinking than thinking does, and that people who engage in social interaction display higher levels of cognitive performance than those in a control group. Emotional and powerful illustrations show viewers how employing these methods can transform their lives.
Smarter Brains closes with the keys to intelligence, showing how to bring these lessons into daily life, to change the trajectory of aging, to regain spark and mental flexibility, and to give us all smarter brains.