This week we interviewed Brian O’Connell, CEO of brain training software company RaiseYourIQ.
Tweepler: What are the main differences between your software and the brain training apps that are out there?
Brian O’Connell: The big difference is that SMART brain training from RaiseYourIQ is based on established principles of learning that have been proven to underlie intellectual development across a wide range of areas (reading, problem solving, reasoning, and so on). The skills that have been identified as underlying most intellectual abilities, are called “relational skills” and our founders (Doctor Bryan Roche and Doctor Sarah Cassidy) have played a key role identifying how “relational skills training” impacts a persons intellectual ability. We then devised the SMART brain training course to teach people these crucial learning skills. Dozens of published studies from several independent laboratories have honed in on the development of relational skills as they key to intellectual development. RaiseYourIQ have also published two experiments which show that IQ can be increased by a large amount using our method – something no other brain training company has done.
Several further studies conducted in the University sector have allowed us to further develop our brain training solution. We are the only brain training company who are genuinely immersed in the basic laboratory research that underlies our own product.
Tweepler: Is there an optimal age for the this type of brain training? Can anyone of any age benefit?
Brian O’Connell: Our training works across all age groups, from age 8 to 120. We have data showing that even high IQ adults or children can increase their IQ a considerable degree using our training, even though the effects are probably greatest for normally developing teenagers and young adults.
Tweepler: We have read your software can raise the IQ of children by an average of 25 points. On the other end of the spectrum, could there be a benefit to senior citizens (65+) to use the software to keep their brain active and maybe even prevent things like alzheimer’s or dementia?
Brian O’Connell: We are currently preparing for publication one study examining the drop off in relational skills that occurs in old age. Given that we know that our brain training can increase the IQ even of young children, we have no reason to expect that the general intelligence of an elderly person will not similarly be boosted. The software adapts to the user’s ability and progresses them only at the pace that best suits their ability level.
Tweepler: We see the program is free for schools. How do they get a copy? Would it be used during school hours or as homework?
Brian O’Connell: Any school can sign up free online. We have lots of schools using our SMART brain training both as a learning tool in classroom (not just for special needs kids but for whole school intellectual skills training) and also deployed as a homework activity.
Tweepler: Whats next for RaiseYourIQ?
Brian O’Connell: As our research and studies throw out more data and evidence of the impact of relational skills training, we want to develop specific brain training courses for the more challenging learning difficulties while also launching other digital health products all focused on improving brain fitness across a variety of specific domains (memory, logical reasoning, creative insight, and so on).