The Doctors share troubling new research out of Norway that suggests humans may be getting dumber! The study looked at 730,000 men who were born between 1962 and 1991. IQs grew by nearly 3% every decade for the people born between 1962 and 1975, but after 1975, the scores started to fall. This is just one study out of the many all over the world showing similar results! In the past, each generation’s IQ scores were higher than those before it. This was known as the Flynn Effect. Now it seems this is no longer the case.
The Doctors discuss their thoughts on why this might be occurring. Dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra believes it may be due to people reading less, the shift to online and even the deterioration in the foods people eat due to the increase in processed foods.
The Doctors all agree that while people have an innate intelligence, their environment is a huge contributing factor. ER physician Dr. Travis Stork says that he actually feels dumber now! He believes the constant bombardment our brains deal with because of our electronic devices, and all of the jumping from task to task we do, has made it difficult to focus. “I would think, twenty to thirty years ago, you would be more focused on developing one skill set, learning it, and diving into it,” says Dr. Travis.
Dr. Batra adds that while there is so much more information to process, we are constantly being bombarded and not really processing the information and spending the time to think about it. She says studies have even shown that you don’t retain information as well on a Kindle as you do from reading a book.
Is there anything you can do?
Dr. Travis says having an active lifestyle can be good for your brain. It can increase blood flow and reduce the risk of dementia. Also, eating healthy brain foods, like walnuts and blueberries, are smart for preventing cognitive decline and Dr. Travis believes they would also be helpful for developing brains as well.
Dr. Travis suggests not taking the easy way out when given a brain task. For example, he says he used to be very into math and would solve problems in his head, but now, he is likely to rely on a calculator if given a math problem.
Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon suggests trying new things and Dr. Batra and Dr. Travis agree. Dr. Batra suggests continuing to learn things throughout life and going outside of your comfort zone. Why not learn a new language or pick-up an instrument?
Hopefully, all of these things are fixable, and Dr. Travis believes we can see a shift the other way around if we make some changes.