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You might think how smart you are is something with which you're born, and you can't do much to change it, but recent research has shown that isn't true. It turns out there are methods you can take to increase your crystallized intelligence, the facts you know and can access, your fluid intelligence -- how you see and identify patterns -- and even your emotional intelligence or how well you understand what others are feeling. Furthermore, learning new hobbies like the ones in this article can actually create new neural pathways and make your brain stronger.

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1. Reading

Reading can make you smarter in a myriad of ways. It increases crystallized intelligence -- we learn things by reading about them! Fiction especially increases our emotional intelligence by helping us identify with someone else's emotions and experiences. But even more remarkably, reading creates white matter in the brain. White matter is the material that connects the centers of analysis and experience, the grey matter. We experience these connections as thoughts, which means that reading literally makes you a better thinker!

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.