Raising the IQ of Knoxville, One Mind at a Time
We used to think you were born with it, but science is finding that your brain can become faster and smarter. One brain training company has seen its clients gain 15 IQ points on average. LearningRx, a company with more than 35 years of research experience, recently opened in Knoxville. With 60 centers in America and 40 countries, it was named one of the Top 100 Game-Changer Franchises in 2018. The aim of LearningRx is to custom design a one-on-one program of intense training to strengthen core skills needed to think, learn, remember, reason, pay attention, and solve problems.
For Doug Mapp of Knoxville’s LearningRx, there is a higher purpose than IQ points alone. He sees symptoms of a cognitive epidemic in America. “We’ve been taught what to think instead of how to think.” He points to the dividedness of opinion, the inability to use logic to solve problems, and even the unpreparedness of students for college. “Somebody’s got to ring that bell. It might as well be from the standpoint of therapeutic intervention. We want to create a forum in the community with educators, pediatricians, and others in the field.”
Mapp admits, he was skeptical. One of his son’s teachers had recommended LearningRx years ago. They visited the closest center in Chattanooga. Because of the distance, they passed. “You just have to work harder,” he thought. As a network engineer, he wanted to see evidence. He read case studies, research, and visited other LearningRx centers.
The centers have seen more than 100,000 children and adults, ranging from children with learning challenges, autism, ADHD or Down Syndrome to older professionals, lawyers, and NFL players. The diversity and number of clients gives LearningRx a resource of extensive data. In 2014, LearningRx took its research to a new level with the opening of the Gibson Institute of Cognitive Research. The Institute has published research in areas like traumatic brain injury, ADHD, dyslexia, and mild cognitive impairment, a precursor to dementia. Within the range of extremes, from the limitations of disability to the accomplishments of professionals, there is room for hope and improvement.
Mapp says that clients report feeling less stressed because they’re not having to double-check themselves, and they’re less frustrated by distractions. He personally found that his brain training improves relationships at work and at home. “There’s increased trust from team members and reduced conflicts through problem solving and attentiveness.” When you can focus, pay attention, and remember, that makes life at home better. Learning to focus is a key benefit of brain training. It makes people feel unimportant when we continue to half-way watch and half-way listen. “What happens is you made something else more important than them, and you can’t undo that.”
There is no shortage of brain apps and computer games, but Mapp points to the advantages of the LearningRx program that is uniquely designed for your brain with a coach who pushes you to the next level in areas found in your assessment.
If, as the philosopher once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living,” the opposite may hold true. “The examined life is more worthwhile.”