Why i3 rather than another brain training provider?

There are a number of reasons:

  • i3 is an evidence-based development of the most scientifically credible type of brain training, working memory training, that has known benefits for IQ and memory (ref1, ref2, ref3). Research papers on working memory training interventions number in the 100s now. No other type of training has this kind of evidence-base.
  • Mark Ashton Smith, Ph.D. was trained in one of the most competitive cognitive neuroscience programs in the world (the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition) back in the late 1990s at the origins of cognitive neuroscience and computational modeling movement, before later taking up a post at the University of Cambridge. His fellow grad students have gone on to make seminal contributions in the field of intelligence and higher order cognition. i3 is a product of this scientific background.
  • i3  is a specialized app for increasing IQ – as measured on independent IQ tests. Other providers
  • Because of our results with i3 training, we are confident in offering our IQ increase money-back guarantee. We are the only company that offers a guarantee for increasing IQ level.
  • Many of the large companies have been shown to prioritize marketing and profits over scientific credibility and effectiveness (ref). Dr Ashton Smith has a genuine and personal mission to improve others mental performance, and the information provided is accurate.
  • Because we are small and independent, we are not constrained by the very slow pace of lab-based research or sluggish corporate bureaucracy. IQ Mindware adopts an agile approach to R&D. We are able to implement and test the latest brain training research results, continually crowd-sourcing data for rapid innovation and effectiveness.

Here’s an overview of i3’s distinctive features:

1. The only scientifically proven brain training game for improving IQ 

This evidence-based brain training app is developed by cognitive neuroscientists and is an effective delivery system to ensure you improve your IQ and memory – whether for brain fitness, college courses, aptitude tests, work performance, MENSA, or brain health.

i3 is based on training working memory (WM) – expanding its capacity and improving its performance. Working memory is a short-term memory and attention focus system –  your ‘mental workspace’. The better your WM, the better your IQ, problem solving, reasoning, comprehending & decision-making. Working memory training can also help improve attention-related disorders such as ADHD, dyslexia & ASD.

The best known working memory training game is the dual n-back. The effectiveness of the dual n-back for increasing IQ was brought into the spotlight by Dr. Susanne Jaeggi and her group at the University of Michigan  in a seminal PNAS paper in 2008: Improving Fluid Intelligence By Training On Working Memory. Their results led prominent IQ researchers to the conclusion:

Increasing intelligence is possible after all …with more training leading to greater gains …across the spectrum of abilities. …Almost 40 years ago, Jensen claimed that, when all is said and done, there is not much one can do to raise people’s IQs. Jaeggi and her colleagues have made an important contribution… by showing that intelligence is trainable to a significant and meaningful degree.

Robert Sternberg, Professor of Cognitive Psychology, Indiana University

The latest meta-review of all 24 dual n-back studies found a significant IQ increase from training and concludes:

“We urge that future studies move beyond attempts to answer the simple question of whether or not there is transfer [from dual n-back training to increases in IQ] and, instead, seek to explore the nature and extent of how these improved test scores may reflect true improvements in intelligence that can translate into practical, real-world settings.”

Jacky Au and colleagues, University of California, 2014

The most recent published commentary on the ‘n-back for IQ’ debate (Oct 2015) supports the conclusion that n-back training improves IQ. This is reviewed more extensively in this 2015 meta-review.

2. Self-quantification through valid cognitive tests for pre- and post-training

i3 integrates with an optional battery of cognitive tests for working memory capacity, flexibility, focus and learning ability – as well as IQ itself – so you can measure your own pre- and post-training performance, providing proof of training gains, as well as a valid, self-quantified ‘cognitive profile’.

3. Overcoming the limitations of dual n-back training

Traditional (e.g. Jaeggi) dual n-back training has a number of critical limitations  including the following:

  • Small IQ gains. The latest meta-review on dual n-back training has found only small (averaging 4 point) gains in IQ from dual n-back training. i3′s interference control training  results in maximum IQ gains from your training – of 10-20 points.
  • Counter-productive n-back strategies. The original Jaeggi dual n-back and its variants on the market do not prevent the use of strategies used to improve n-back levels without associated gains in actual working memory capacity – such as chunking, attention blinking and playing the odds. i3′s second generation (2G) brain training has been designed to deal with this problem.
  • Low Motivation. N-back training is very challenging and traditional n-back apps on the market have a high drop-out rate because of low motivation. i3 has been designed for maximum engagement, effectively delivering the training you need while maintaining motivation.

4. The popular alternatives: ‘No gain from brain training’ – Nature

There are a number of popular brain training products on the market such as Lumosity, founded  by Michael Scanlon after he abandoned his neuroscience PhD. An authoritative study published in the scientific journal Nature has recently shown that these do not improve general cognitive ability. Skills on the specific exercises improve with practice, but these exercises do not result in general improvements in brain function, except for specific attentional effects.

This Nature study investigating popular brain training products can be found here:

The researchers concluded:

There were absolutely no transfer effects” from the training tasks to more general tests of cognition, says Adrian Owen, a neuroscientist at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Cognition and Brian Sciences Unit in Cambridge, UK, who led the study. “I think the expectation that practising a broad range of cognitive tasks to get yourself smarter is completely unsupported.

A review of Lumosity in the Guardian  also concludes that “Websites that claim to increase concentration, verbal reasoning and memory have become big business, despite research that challenges their effectiveness”. Last year, Dr Adam Hampshire published research showing that out of 44,600 individuals who took an earlier version of the MRC tests, those who had regularly brain-trained using Lumosity and Nintendo showed no advantage in any form of intelligence relative to those who did not.

5. Scientific credentials

i3 Mindware has been developed by cognitive neuroscientist Mark Ashton. Smith, Ph.D.  Dr Ashton Smith obtained a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology and neuroscience from the joint Carnegie Mellon University and Pittsburgh University Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC) programFor a number of years he was a Lecturer/Assistant Professor in the Experimental Psychology Department at the University of Cambridge, England.  His active research in IQ interventions can be found here.  


6. Our IQ and memory increase money-back guarantee – on independent tests

We are the only company that offers a money back guarantee if you do not obtain a 10-20 point IQ increase and 50% working memory capacity increase – measured by scientifically valid tests- either professionally administered or through our online links to free valid tests. 

Other companies provide their own *internal* tests for performance gains, but these lack scientific validity. It is impossible to determine if you have really gained in your IQ or in other areas of cognition from these kinds of tests, and improved scores are the result of practice, not real IQ gains. We offer independent scientific tests for IQ and working memory – and we guarantee an IQ and memory increase that can be measured on these tests.

20 Point IQ Increase

7. Optional IQ test problems for improving IQ test performance

Working memory training primes our ability to learn new mental skills and strategies for better test taking. Between each daily WM training session, the app generates optional problem sets for the kind of IQ test you may get in a job test, aptitude test or entrance exam.

8. i3 is easy to learn, fun and challenging

You can download our software applications instantly. The online instructions quickly guide you through the game and its options. The principles of how to play are intuitive and easy to learn. You do not need to be online to enjoy i3’s simple interface and easy-to-learn exercises. And each day’s workout takes only 15-25 minutes.

9. Thousands of users have benefited from i3 training

i3‘s customers have consistently attained their IQ goals, and enjoyed the benefits of improved brain function – whether for brain fitness, Mensa, education, work tests or brain health.

10. i3 Mindware compared to Lumosity

Click on the papers for the research reference links.

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