How to Build a Better Brain

Can You Build a Better Brain? – by Sharon Begley

“Blueberries and crossword puzzles aren’t going to do it. But as neuroscientists discover the mechanisms of intelligence, they are identifying what really works.”

This article addresses the question, “can you build a better brain?” Neuroscientists still do not know enough about the brain to physically find out what the difference between a smart brain and a dumb brain is. There are many claims saying that if you eat a certain vitamin, your cognitive function will improve, but those are all untrue. A greater cognitive capacity comes from having more neurons and synapses, or a higher level of neurogenesis. These things boost creativity, memory, and reasoning, but scientists are still uncertain about how to improve cognitive capacity based on this. Scientists are slowly uncovering the “mechanisms of cognition.” There is currently no way to improve cognitive capacity, but neuroscientists say they are not far from it.


  1. How did scientists figure out that neurogenesis causes a greater cognitive capacity?
  2. How will scientists improve upon their methods to figure out how to get a greater cognitive capacity?

Knowledge Question:

How do we know we can train our brains to have a higher cognitive capacity?