Environmental intervention can increase a child’s general intelligence, but the effects are unlikely to be permanent, new research has found.
The findings suggest that intelligence can adapt to meet increased environmental demands but when those demands are no longer present, it returns to its previous level.
“While both IQ scores and general intelligence can be raised through targeted environmental interventions, any gains are not permanent and fade over time,” said researcher John Protzko from University of California Santa Barbara, US. The research was published in the journal Intelligence.
Protzko reviewed the results of a study, Infant Health and Development Program, involving 985 children, all of whom experienced an intense and cognitively demanding environment during the first three years of their lives. “However, my analysis starts to bring evidence to the idea that intelligence may not be the causal factor we suppose it to be from the correlation work — at least not in children,” Protzko explained.