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Goodbye, IQ Tests: Brain Imaging Predicts Intelligence Levels 213

An anonymous reader writes "Research from Washington University in St. Louis has identified variations in brain scans that they believe identify portions of the brain that are responsible for intelligence (abstract). As suspected (and as explained by cartoons) brain size does play a small role; they said that brain size accounts for 6.7 percent of variance in intelligence. Recent research has placed the brain's prefrontal cortex, a region just behind the forehead, as providing for 5 percent of the variation in intelligence between people. The research from Washington University targets the left prefrontal cortex, and the strength of neural connections that it has to the rest of the brain. They think these differences account for 10 percent of differences in intelligence among people. The study is the first to connect those differences to intelligence in people."
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Goodbye, IQ Tests: Brain Imaging Predicts Intelligence Levels

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  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:40PM (#40846131) Homepage Journal

    But what about your Wisdom?

    Seems a better measure than how fast you can perform math, patern recognition, etc.

    Thanks to AD&D I learned about the importance of balance Int with Wis

  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:42PM (#40846169) Homepage Journal

    The question is, do the excess connections cause intelligence, or does working the brain cause the excess connections?

    Seems to me the opinion of science is having ability isn't the same as keeping it sharp -- performing Crossword Puzzles, Sudoku, etc, keep your mind in training, same as physical exercise does for heart, muscle and liver.

  • by Hentes ( 2461350 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:54PM (#40846373)

    Well if that is true they are already more accurate than IQ tests.

  • by nedlohs ( 1335013 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:57PM (#40846423)

    One implies being intelligent is just luck in the bilogy dice roll. The other implies you can change your intelligence through some sort of effort.

  • Oblig (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pr0t0 ( 216378 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @03:34PM (#40847021)

    Intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is knowing not to put it in fruit salad.

  • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @03:49PM (#40847243)
    Just remember that IQ doesn't include all of what people conventionally regard as "intelligence" - for example, knowledge. Even if your IQ isn't as high as another person's, you might be more motivated and work harder at obtaining knowledge, and wind up knowing more and being more productive than they are. (Of course in a large population people with higher IQ will have more knowledge on average since it is easier for them to attain, but averages are not deterministic for individuals - through effort you may become an outlier within your cohort).
  • by fredprado ( 2569351 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @04:02PM (#40847391)
    The amount of knowledge a person has is called ... err... 'knowledge'. Intelligence has nothing to do with it. Using the word to define knowledge levels is just a misuse of the word.
  • by nut ( 19435 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @04:43PM (#40847945) Homepage

    People have been trying to measure intelligence for well over a hundred years now, but I have yet to see anybody precisely and fully define exactly what it is they are measuring.

    And don't say IQ - the only thing IQ tests measure is the ability to do IQ tests. Read up on their history. There is nothing scientific about their origin.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @07:04PM (#40849729)

    That applies to all types of intelligence testing. You cannot assess human intelligence without adjusting for cultural background. IQ tests for what they're supposed to do are just fine. They just have been so abused and misused in the past that they've lost credibility.

    The approach they're trying here is ultimately doomed to fail as it's just a newer version of phrenology, the real super stars like Einstein had abnormalities involved which this sort of approach wouldn't even know how to deal with. IQ tests at least just look at performance without bothering to ask how. Which is good if you've got an intelligence test and bad if you're interested in why.

    IQ tests do have issues such as their laser focus on very specific functions and inability to compare people from different cultures, but most of the hate is just jealousy.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.