Scientists Have Discovered A New Way To Predict How Smart You Are


Photo: WUSTL

New research from Washington University in St. Louis shows that 10 per cent of individual differences in intelligence can be figured out by looking at the strength of neural pathways.Specifically, it involves the pathways that connect the left prefrontal cortex — a part of the brain that’s linked to personality and cognitive behaviours — to the rest of the brain.

The findings, which were published in the Journal of Neuroscience, establish a new way to understand human intelligence. It’s called “global brain connectivity.”

It’s a brand new model of brain function which could have “important implications” for the understanding of human intelligence, according to WUSTL.

Postdoctoral research fellow in cognitive neuroscience Michael W. Cole, the lead author of the study, explains in the university’s writeup:

“There is evidence that the left prefrontal cortex is the brain region that ‘remembers’ (maintains) the goals and instructions that help you keep doing what is needed when you’re working on a task. So it makes sense that having this region communicating effectively with other regions (the ‘perceivers’ and ‘doers’ of the brain) would help you to accomplish tasks intelligently.

“We’re suggesting that the left prefrontal cortex functions like a feedback control system that is used often in engineering, that it helps implement cognitive control (which supports fluid intelligence), and that it doesn’t do this alone.”


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